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Have an office? Look how you spend your money.

One of the biggest concerns of business owners looking for a home for their business is which space to choose. Perhaps the most significant consideration is probably the economic one. If money was not a factor, you probably would have rented an office on the highest floor of the newest building in the trendiest area, but money is a limited resource that should be considered wisely. Many think that the transition to shared work spaces is a change in work style as well as time and location, but in truth finance is the most important factor. Holding a traditional office? Let’s see what you’re working with now and how you can save.

Rent

It’s no secret that real estate prices are high. Renting an office in a good business area is a very high expense and yet some business owners think outside the box and manage to save costs. How? A business owner needs to understand what exactly is the requirement for their business by asking questions like: How many employees do I currently have that need a permanent job? How long can this office accommodate at team of that size? When do I want to make a change again and how many employees am I expected to recruit by then? Where do I want my office? Do I want to take over the logistics management? Sit down with these questions and try to answer them in earnest.

Traditional office’s main issue is the absence of modularity of occupied space. Suppose the business has experienced tremendous growth over a period of time and the number of employees you recruit has tripled or quadrupled above forecasts? You are in serious trouble and you will likely have to move out of your office and start a new, with all that costs that this entails too. If you go and take an office that currently has a lot of empty spaces waiting to be filled, you will pay a lot more than you actually need and also experience a huge sense of failure if things do not go well and these places remain empty. The key word specifically for growing businesses is flexibility. Flexibility in the office structure will significantly reduce your expenses.

Design

Another important aspect is the visibility of the office. Think of yourself when you come to a partner’s or competitor’s office. You can learn about the business you visit right from the time you enter the office, and whether we admit it or not, we all judge on appearance. We look at the sofas, the office design, the coffee machine, the originality and innovation we see and even the attire of the employees. This judgment is natural and is a strategic learning tool for us to understand what we’re up against. This is why business owners take a designer and invest a lot of money implementing a unique and up-to-date look in wall colors, furniture that connects to the general style, pictures, tables, chairs and even services.

Just like in a restaurant, the quality of services can tell a whole story about the nature of the place. A good way to avoid messing around with planning and budgeting for design is of course to rent a space that has already be designed for you. When choosing a shared work space for example, there is no room for expectations or disappointments. This is a finished design product that you can choose if you like it or not. When you get in there for the first time, you’ll know exactly what your competitor or colleague will see when coming in.

Maintenance

Another well-known money grinder is office maintenance. There are tons of examples of unexpected maintenance-related expenses that inflate the budget from the initial forecast. The maintenance of the office includes cleaning: You can choose whether to recruit cleaning workers from the market individually or hire a cleaning company. Cleaning companies are not cheap, so if you decide to recruit alone, you must first consider that the cleaning staff will also use up some of your HR resources.

If you hire your cleaning staff directly, statistics shows a turnover of at least seven employees until the “click” happens. During this time, you pay the employee for sick leave, holidays, and all related expenses. And what about cleaning products? Tools? Professional cleaning workers sometimes bring these with them but in many cases they do not. Office maintenance also includes management fees for infrastructure maintenance in the building. If you decide to go for it, don’t forget to consider the time it will take you to make market surveys without which you won’t make the informed choices and you certainly won’t know how to find the more affordable suppliers. Always remember that your time is worth money.

Small expenses

Another set of expenses are “small expenses”. A mistake that has been made already in the terminology, because these often turn out to be expenses that are not small at all. This refers to food and drink in the office, to related products such as toilet paper, utensils and cutlery, soaps and so on. If you decide that you do not pay for your employees’ meals, it is especially important to express your caring through the choices you make in the snacks they can get throughout the day. Today employees are very critical while they examine whether working for a particular employer enhance their “social condition” or not.

What kind of coffee or milk is offered? Is there also soy milk? Is there a variety of choice? Are there cookies for snacks? In this category we are talking about inventory of products that need to be managed and maintained regularly. Expenses that reach hundreds and can easily reach thousands of dollars a month. Here too it is worth thinking about whether you want to take on management and expense planning, or maybe you should simply rent an office or two in a shared work space and let others take care of this issue and bear the expenses involved.

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