In business, saving money is as good, and sometimes more critical, than making money. That’s always been a prime business axiom, but perhaps never more so than today, when more than ever before, solopreneurs and dreamers are launching their start-ups, thanks to the proliferation of affordable workplace and work-way alternatives out there – with the delicate yet critical mandate of trying to stay the course, while not allowing mounting expenses to outpace income and get the best of them.
Most businesses require a run-up to mature to the point where they are profitable. Most savvy business owners realize that opening up a business is a risk — one that drains financial resources through (sometimes substantial and personal) necessary investment and start-up costs. Very, very few businesses hit the ground running and start fattening up bank accounts from the get-go.
But initial and early spending of a start-up business is, and has always been, a reality that begs to be tempered … and the ones that do a better job of meticulously taming the start-up expense demands are the ones that more often go to the front of the class, and succeed. Controlling expenses is Job 1 of the budding entrepreneur, and at all young businesses. It’s what makes a business sink or swim in a world where unexpected bills and overlooked purchases threaten to zap dreamers barely after getting in gear with their shiny, new, profit-promising widget.
And leading the pack of formidable expense gremlins for new, and in fact, any business, are: the office space itself (especially with locked-in lease term requirements), infrastructure, equipment, furniture and staffing (receptionist, clerical, tech support, cleaning services, office management and more). That’s a mouthful. That’s a heck of an expense parade to contend with. And it used to be that addressing the outlays for that parade was an absolute must.
If you wanted to be in business, you had to endure and survive the pain of ‘paying the piper’, and deal with the reality that you would need to plan and budget for this slew of inevitable expenses – which was the hurdle that kept most people from taking the deep dive into opening up a business and being the boss of their own empire. Tack onto that, the fear of the unknown, of turbulence of the economy, and of well-heeled competition … and the leasing commitments and furniture/infrastructure that may outlive its usefulness.
Opening up a business used to be pretty darn scary – and it still is to a great degree, as is any investment and risk situation. But thankfully, in great part due to the evolution of the workspace and work-way universes, the start-ups and freelancers, as well as the smaller and newer businesses, have a better fighting chance to succeed and prosper, thanks to the fact that a dreamer doesn’t have to make all the previously listed heavy investments, commitments, and take on all the risks that entrepreneurs of yesteryear were saddled with. There are more reasonable and more thrifty alternatives that mitigate the many costs of doing business daunting risks of opening up and running an enterprise.
No longer is a fancy, full-time office, with a long term lease, that legitimizes and impresses customers and employees … or mounting furniture, equipment and build-out expenses that an organization might outgrow in no-time … the prerequisites for a business owner in order to seriously be in the game, and living out their entrepreneurial aspirations. Greatly reducing that risk, taking that sting away, and lessening the commensurate stress and set expenses is precisely the purpose and beauty of a serviced office.
Taking an office or desk space at a Business Center, or signing on at a coworking space for some community-based, open touch-downing, is a magnificent antidote for the wallet-squeezing blues. Why lock into a traditional, long-term lease when, in today’s rapidly evolving work universe, you have no idea how much and how fast your business will develop, or be tripped up? Why make financial investments and take on risks when there are perfectly suitable and infinitely more affordable workspace and work-way alternatives out there that will do the trick for you just fine, and have increasingly become acceptable, mainstream ways of doing business? Why strap yourself with a long-term lease when, in fact, you may be spending zero to much-less-than 24 hours a day, at your desk in a full-time office you’re barely using nowadays because of advanced technologies?
All great questions that point to the logical conclusion that, in most but not all instances, renting a full-time office, especially for a fledgling business in such a fickle and fast-moving economy, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Hallelujah for the Serviced Workspace industry … the ultimate disruptive innovation aiding business dreamers, AND the original ‘Sharing Economy’ business model that’s turning 50 years old this year.
Think of how many businesses and jobs would not be; and how many economies would be suffering a bit more, if there weren’t tons of business owners all over the land, opening businesses more readily and sustainably, thanks to the Serviced Workspaces that nurture them, thanks to the reality that what was once regarded as a steadfast list of substantial fixed costs, are no longer such ‘musts’? Business people have a better chance than ever before to succeed, get up on their feet – and be able to hedge their bets without risking the ranch, thanks to the many advantages that relatively low-cost, lower-risk Serviced Workspaces provide.
But why stop there? Why not only ask whether a Serviced Workspace, especially a full-time serviced office, with greatly reduced overall expenses and term commitments, is the best way forward? Maybe there’s an even bigger question begging to be asked that could result in even greater savings one that makes a business and entrepreneur more fleet of foot and able to bob, weave, and adjust on a fly to keep pace with a world where changes, tastes, values, demands and innovations take center stage at break-neck speed?
That’s where the Virtual Office working model works wonders for many (not all) businesses, entrepreneurs and situations. Maybe there’s even a more austere and wiser alternative to a full-time, contracted, low-expense, serviced workspace? Maybe just paying for space when one occasionally needs it, and otherwise having the Serviced Workspace be the home-base and hub for incoming and outgoing mail, answering phones, and other occasionally in-demand office support needs, is perfectly fine?
Working lean through a Virtual Office Plan is the ultimate answer to both keeping expenses and risks down (and keeping more greenbacks in your pocket); and, to being able to pivot effortlessly to keep pace with today’s exploding business demands. It doesn’t work for everybody, however it does work for a lot more people who could truly value the significant cost-savings of going Virtual Office, but who are locked into the ‘traditional 9 to 5 must office’ thinking paradigm. Traditional offices are losing their must-ness. For some, even having a dedicated Serviced Workspace is a bigger piece of the pie than they really need.
Maybe they don’t need a space at all? Maybe a leaner Virtual Office Plan, and paying minimal fees for services, and a la carte usages is the wisest decision they’ll ever make to jumpstart their success – especially when their just getting off the ground?