“A disorganized workspace means disorganized work habits. A sloppy work environment equals sloppy results.” – Larry Winget
If you are a newly started entrepreneur who is starting from scratch using your own capital, you must have already wracked your brains about where you should be working from. Working from home can be tricky. Getting your own office can be expensive. Co-working spaces are trending at the moment. Cafes are exciting!
What’s it gonna be? So let’s get right to it.
How about renting an office space?
An absolute NO! If you are starting out, there is no worse way to drain your capital than by renting an office. It’s not just the rent that’s an expense, you have to account for maintenance, electricity, office supplies, stationery, some furniture, printer, paper etc.
It would be a good idea to rent an office space once you have some fixed average monthly inflow, a couple of employees and your line of work requires you to have an office. However, as long as you are working by yourself, with not enough clientele and your savings to live on; an office space will do you no good.
The trending Co-working spaces
A co-working space makes economic sense for professionals or entrepreneurs working alone; because the cost is per desk or workstation. There is a huge upside of networking at co-working spaces. That aspect is very much location specific. There is no harm in trying out these office arrangements. The factors to be considered are commute time, benefits of networking for your product/service and the cost.
Work from home
If you’ve ever been in a job before, you’ll find the idea of work from home amazing. The idea of doing the boring stuff from your comfort place while listening to music and munching snacks; that was the dream! As an entrepreneur, the work dynamics completely change. You are working with much more dedication, you are on the phone all the time and you are meeting a lot of people. Saying “Home” may not sound like the best answer when a prospective client asks “Where is your office located?”. Also, the environment at home is so warming it can actually hamper your productivity.
Although it’s not impossible to work from home, most successful businesses do start out that way but evolve into a proper office space ASAP.
Other makeshift alternatives
Cafe. There is a new cafe propping up every day in Mumbai. If you are brainstorming with your partners or simply ideating by yourself – cafes are beautiful places. With the kind of ambience modern day cafes offer, ideas just flow well. However, going to a cafe is an Rs. 800-Rs. 1000 for a day affair. It really is a once in a while treat for yourself. I personally like Starbucks for working by myself or even hosting meetings.
Sports Club. This is where I got creative. When I had just started out, I had no budget for even sitting in a cafe and working from home was not fruitful – I decided to work in the reading area of the Sports Club where I go for swimming. It was deserted. That was the best thing I did to save money, work efficiently, make a dozen sales calls each day with all the privacy I want and then go for a swim at the end of the day!
The Ideal Workspace
For a new entrepreneur, the ideal workspace would be to rent out a conference room or a cabin at the office of a friend or a relative or an associate. If you don’t know someone like this, you have started off on the wrong foot as an entrepreneur. Most people who have conference rooms use them once or twice a week. It is well-furnished and has all the amenities. This workspace alternative only has benefits. You get enough space. You pay a nominal rent (assuming you have a stellar rapport with the friend/relative). You can host meetings there. Everything is taken care of – Stationery, office supplies, cleaning, furniture, electricity etc. Just go for it!