For most small businesses, renting an office in central London is not an option. Sky-high rental costs are to blame and they keep rising all the time. It’s practically impossible for start-ups to find affordable space.
Although working from home is a much cheaper option and has some advantages, the dining room table is hardly the most suitable place to hold professional business meetings or to pitch your products or services. You need to find reasonably-priced office space, because renting a private office is just out of the question.
So here are 9 nifty ways to help you find cheap offices that will still impress your clients.
- Rent a Desk
Many companies in London who rent or buy office space often have a couple of desks that are not being used, so they rent them out, cheaply, to freelancers and one-man start-ups who need somewhere to work.
- Shared Offices
A shared office is a much more permanent but still affordable alternative. Here, a few different businesses can rent desks and share the services and facilities. Throughout London there are hundreds of shared offices and these include meeting rooms, reception areas as well as office furniture. And working closely with other businesses offers you the added opportunity to network and share skills and expertise.
- Hot Desking
Hot desking is a bit of a buzzword in the commercial world. Whether you’re a one-man start-up or employ a small team, hot desking is a cheap but versatile option for renting office space. This simple office solution gives you a desk to work at, an electric plug point and an internet connection. If you need a little more than this, some offices are more upmarket, and can offer a kitchen, a reception area and even meeting rooms. Daily, monthly or annual rates can be negotiated.
- The Coffee Shop Office
For freelancers and one-man bands, coffee shops provide a great alternative to a traditional office set-up. They’re an ideal meeting place for freelancers who don’t have access to a private space. What’s more, coffee shop owners often provide free WiFi in exchange for the price of a coffee or two and the odd pastry. I’ll have a cappuccino with an extra shot, thanks.
- Search Engines
With the help of Google or other search engines, you’re sure to find a varied selection of cheap office rentals. Websites like Gumtree and local community forums advertise office space to rent. But be careful who you deal with on these sites and don’t pay any money before you’ve viewed the office space and made sure that everything’s legit.
- Networking Opportunities
Now is the time to start networking, get talking to other business people – you’ll be amazed at the wonderful opportunities that pop up out of the blue just because you made a connection with someone. Try to network with as wide a range of people as you can and don’t be shy to ask people you do business with or clients you do work for if they have, or know someone who has, office space to rent.
- Social Media
Social media is the new king of the concrete jungle when it comes to connecting with people, companies and communities. If you’re not connected, then you could be missing out on a world of opportunities. The online superstars of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram et al provide the perfect vehicle for connecting with other start-ups in the city. And who knows, the people you make connections with may well be able to help you find suitable office space. Begin your search for hashtags and conversations about office spaces in London and see who you can find.
- Meeting Rooms
While it’s fine to use your flat or your home as your office, there are times when you need somewhere more professional to meet with your clients. If that’s the case, you can always rent one of the many meeting rooms available all over the city, at a range of prices to suit all budgets. The rooms come in various sizes with services and facilities that include tea, coffee, internet connections and other bells and whistles.
- Virtual Offices
Virtual offices are becoming the talk of the town, as start-ups embrace the benefits of working remotely whilst at the same time being located in the city’s centre. The beauty of a virtual office is that you can have a postal address, a receptionist, a service that answers the phone and opens your mail, and you also have access to a choice of meeting rooms. But make sure you shop around as different providers offer different services and costs.
The author of this article, Lloyd B Wells is an experienced content writer covering business and marketing industries. For the information in this article, London based office rental specialists Stuart Neils were consulted.