This week, I have seen a number of posts on LinkedIn and Twitter promoting the availability of office space for start-up businesses. They all have great rates, hot desking, a supportive business environment and wifi. Since setting out on my own 2 years ago, I have tried a few such office spaces but, today I am sat working at my small desk in the comfort of my own home.
In my experience, these shared office spaces come with high on-street parking costs. To work away from home for one day would cost over £8. Over a whole week, the combination of renting the space and parking costs means you will have probably spent more on parking and rent than you have managed to earn from your business. In the first 6 months of self-employment, do you really need that extra pressure to find over £150 a month for parking costs? I have had to walk away from a number of working spaces due to them not being cost effective. Choosing public transport would make little difference as costs are similar without the convenience of driving.
True, having a professional looking address on your letterhead might sway some businesses into working with you, but you have to work out whether it is worth the cost to your business. Perhaps look into having a PO BOX address instead? All of my business is online and so I do not put a business address anywhere, I just mention the area I am located in.
I work from a 5×5 ft area at the back of my living room. I have tea and coffee available – from the kitchen, I have wifi, and a desk that I don’t have to ‘hot-desk’ with anyone else. It’s mine! My filing cabinet is at arm’s length, my noticeboard is within easy reach and I don’t have to abide by anyone else’s rules and regulations. Having your own rules is a perk of self-employment isn’t it?
When using a shared office space last year, I found that some business people solely used the space to get out of the house, to see other humans, and to network with other businesses. Great! However, it meant that they became a distraction. That is not what I was paying £1.80 an-hour parking fees for. I really needed somewhere that offered a space to get my head down, without distraction, to build my empire (JOKING).
I have a dream. I am turning my charity brand ME Foggy Dog into a social enterprise that will offer training to education and healthcare professionals. My dream is that in 5 years time I will be the owner of a training establishment with walls, windows, wifi, and FREE parking. I know, it’s a huge dream but….FREE parking!