When the Home Office Isn’t Sufficient: How Sharing Space is Smart Small Business


The lousy economy. It’s all you hear about today. Families curtailing their spending. Businesses laying off employees. The pendulum has swung 180 degrees from those intoxicating days of spending like drunken sailors to belt-tightening austerity. Looking for ways to cut space, make the most of what you have, or migrate your home-based business into an office that exudes professionalism and spaciousness for a growing enterprise? Read this guest post from SharedOffices.com

With firms cutting staff, many now find themselves with excess office space that is collecting dust and costing money. Concurrently, there’s been an resurgence in the number of small start-ups as layoffs have forced qualified, experienced individuals to “re-career” themselves.

The combination of these two factors has caused an increase in sharing—office space, that is. Wendy Bounds, WSJ’s Small Business Editor, posted a YouTube video on this very subject, portraying shared office space as a popular trend in today’s economy. In fact, if it’s done right, sharing space can offer businesses benefits that go beyond economics.

Sharing space is nothing new.

Firms have been subletting forever. Some in a transparent way, and others discreetly, as some lease agreements prohibit it (although the economy has forced many landlords to turn a blind eye).

Ideally, both businesses are well-suited for each other in terms of the space itself as well as their respective industries. If two non-competing, industry-compatible firms share space, each can realize cost savings and create an environment where business synergies (collaboration, referrals and networking) can emerge.

Other solutions include executive suites, like DaVinci Virtual, Regus.com, eSuite.com, and Crexent.com.

Examples of industry-compatible space sharing are: a larger law firm and a sole practitioner attorney; a public relations firm and a web developer; a marketing firm and a social media company; an orthopedic practice and a physical rehab center.

Finding a suitable tenant or just the right shared office space, however, can be challenging. Real estate professionals are typically more focused on more lucrative transactions. Going the route of classified ads, posting on Craigslist, or driving around looking for signs can be cumbersome.

The internet has emerged as the preferred solution to finding shared office space or a perfect tenant. A new company, SharedOffices.com, (free for those looking for space) generates ranked match results based on space attributes and industry type. Tell it what kind of space or tenant you’re looking for and it finds matches via their Proprietary Matching System.

Another, ShareMedicalSpace.com, as the name implies, is industry-specific.

Whatever your shared office needs are, a solution likely exists that will save money, improve a professional image and give the small business space to grow.

Related posts:

  1. Smart Cause Related Marketing on a Small Business Budget
  2. Home Office Round-Up: Insurance The Right Space
  3. Home Office to Co-Working: How Space Creates a Collaborative Small Business Ethos
  4. Use Space Creatively — and Be Your Own Boss
  5. Guest Post: Sharing a Home Office With Your Spouse – How to Make It Work