When you start a business, among the most essential decisions are where and how you’ll set up your operations. Of course, much depends on the type of business you have: A sole proprietor/consultant may have the option of working from home, a physician needs a patient-accessible office, a manufacturer has to set up a factory, and a shop owner needs a location that attracts customers.
While there are any numbers of possibilities, there are several common scenarios we’ll address here.
Working from home has numerous advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side is convenience, flexibility, and reduced stress. Among the drawbacks: It can be lonely and you’ll need self-discipline – to get to work and then to end your workday. You may also lose out on networking and learning opportunities.
Most small businesses need to decide whether to lease space or buy an office. Leasing makes sense for many companies, as it offers flexibility and tends to be more affordable. It frees up working capital and can give you access to a great location. On the other hand, owning can let you maintain fixed costs and claim tax deductions, and it may be financially favorable in the long run.
Many considerations come into play: Location, type of equipment, and the physical set-up of efficient and comfortable workstations. It’s about setting priorities – and determining how to balance your wish list with your budget.
With a mobile office, you – or your employees – can work anywhere, at any time. As a small business owner, being nimble and flexible are key advantages. Mobile office must-haves include a reliable laptop or tablet computer, easy-to-access secure Internet connection, and access to key data.
A traditional office rental or lease might be too costly for your start-up or young small business. If so, one practical cost-effective alternative is to share office space. Consider the convenience of a fully-equipped furnished space that you might share with related professionals with whom you could also share referrals.
Virtual offices can provide three key services––communication services, meeting room services, and a registered business address. A virtual office can give a start-up business instant credibility simply by providing a prestigious address. It can do much more by also providing a wide-ranging suite of critical business services.
When setting up an office, think about the tax implications. For example, if you decide to work from home, you can claim certain income tax deductions. Leasing business equipment also has its own implications, including depreciation.