When you’re starting a business, it can be tough to find an office for rent that you can actually afford.
On the other hand, the corner of your dining room that currently passes as an office is a difficult place to work, so renting outside of your home may make sense — but where can you find space that’s affordable and functional?
Consider Co-Working Spaces
Co-working spaces are made just for small businesses, creative types tend to function especially well in these areas. You can rent a desk or a section of the office, depending on the setup, and many will allow you to do so month to month. With almost no strings attached, a co-working space can be a great way to get out of your house and into an office setting.
If no co-working spaces are available in your city, you might consider starting one. Call a few independent businesses that you know and see if there’s any interest in sharing a space. If there is, you may find yourself getting paid to host a co-working space, as well as having your own dedicated office space.
Ask About Empty Desks
As large, established businesses continue to contract or send workers home to telecommute, their big buildings have an increasing number of empty desks.
Many businesses are willing to rent a desk or a cubicle to a quiet occupant. Ask if you’ll have access to conference rooms — after all, you never know when you might need to meet a client in person or give a presentation.
Some independent workers may find an added benefit to working inside a larger business’s building. Whether you’re an accountant, a writer or a graphic designer, you may be able to barter your services for your space or even turn your new relationship into a paying one. Businesses love having access to certain types of workers without having to put them on the regular payroll.
Seek Out Quiet Spots
When you’re looking for a space that will be quiet and all your own most of the time, contacting organizations that have extra offices and not a lot of foot traffic is a great idea.
Your local chapters of volunteer organizations like the Boy or Girl Scouts or food banks may find themselves with extra space. Churches are another great place to search: they’re quiet, they usually have some designated office spaces and many smaller churches are thankful to have someone watching the facility during the day.
Increasing your productivity often means getting out of your home office, but coffee shops or the library can, for some, shut you down even further. Instead of looking for an office for rent, start by searching for a desk. Many companies and nonprofit organizations have desks they’d love to lend to someone just like you, for a small fee.