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  • Posted on 23rd Sep, 2022 01:42 AM

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Share space and reduce costs.

Is the cost of leasing office space giving you major start-uppains? No wonder:Besides monthly lease payments, you'reresponsible for utilities, phoneservice, parking, equipment rentaland insurance. If you need a full- orpart-time assistant to answerthe phones, type reports and take care of themail, add salary andpayroll taxes.

Fortunately, there's a lower-cost alternative: ashared-office facility. Yourent space in an executive businesscenter, and pay for any support servicesyou use.

"In many cities, it's hard to get into an office spacewithout paying a hugeoverhead," says Erik Emanuele, generalmanager of Columbus Corporate Center, ashared-office environment inHartford, Connecticut, that houses 30 businesses,including asoftware consulting firm and a human resources consulting firm."Ashared-office facility is a low-cost way to get in, getestablished and growfrom there."

A shared-office facility provides many workspace solutions. Youcan rent spaceon a full-time or as-needed basis. It can be a smallcubicle or a corner officewith a window. At the Columbus CorporateCenter, a small cubicle rents for $300a month. A 10-foot-by-12-footwindowed office costs you $800 a month. Yourpayment includes aworkspace, a phone line, a receptionist, furniture andparking. On a"pay-for-what-you-use" basis, you're billed forsupport servicessuch as secretarial help, toll-free phone lines, access, computer andgraphic services, use of a conferenceroom, furniture rental and parking.

"You're not burdened with out-of-pocket expenses forfurniture, equipment andsalaries, and you can work in an officeenvironment that offers a full array ofservices," Emanueleexplains. In addition, your costs for office space andsupportservices are deductible as a expense.

Concerned about conflicts? "Only twice in three years havewe had a conflictwhere two tenants wanted to use the conferenceroom at the same time," saysEmanuele. "We'veexperienced no other problems."

How do you select the shared-office facility that's best foryou? Considerthese factors:

Costs: The package price for a shared-office facilitycovers your basicneeds--generally, your workspace, phone line andreceptionist. Add to that thecost of any other services you mayuse, such as voice mail, secretarialsupport, mailing services,conference facilities, furniture and the use of thecopy and faxmachines. "Since such support services are [priced] a lacarte,make sure the costs are competitive and not excessivelymarked up," suggestsEmanuele. Since you'll pay extra forthese services, make sure the facility youselect is equipped withstate-of-the-art computers, fax machines, copiers and avoice-mailsystem.

Parking: For convenience and security, select a facilitywith on-site,monitored parking.

Location: Look for a shared-office facility with awell-known andreputable business address. Your site should be closeto customers and easilyaccessible to major streets andhighways.

Support staff: Choose a facility run by a full-time,on-site manager.Interview the people who will greet your customersand answer your phone. Thesepeople may not work for you, but theyset the tone for your business.

Furnishings: You'll either have to buy your own ,chairs, bookcases,lamps and filing cabinets; rent your own; or paya monthly fee to use furniturefurnished by the business center.

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