Why Freelancers Need an Executive Suite

executive office suites in AtlantaAre you a freelancer or considering freelancing? The number of freelancer workers in the US workforce is expected to outgrow full-time workers by 2020, so the question shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. Although part of what it means to be a freelancer is to not be confined by a cubicle, it might not be wise to throwaway the idea of an office space all together. Executives suites are an excellent compromise that doesn’t confine like a cubicle, but maintains the professionalism and productivity necessary in a successful workspace. Here’s why freelancers need an executive suite to succeed and standout in the increasingly competitive DIY economy:

They’re Great for Getting Started

The toughest part about being a freelancer is getting started. You need to find clients that are willing to take a chance on someone new to sites like Elance, even if you have a wealth of experience. You need to find clients on your own, perhaps without the help with referrals and testimonials because you don’t have any clients yet. To make that good first impressions, an executive suite helps because it shows that your serious about your work.

With an executive suite, you have a professional business address that you can add to your email signature or on your business card. An executive suite, with the address, shows that your writing or graphic design work isn’t something that you do on the side as supplementary income. That work is your bread-and-butter, and a potential client can see that they aren’t going to have to compete with a full-time job and will be able to reach you during normal business hours.

Privacy When You Need It

Executives suites have a door, and when you’re a freelancer on the phone with a client or with a source, privacy is incredibly important. Whether or not you’ve signed an NDA agreement, you don’t want to risk jeopardizing the client/source’s trust because they think someone can overhear the conversation. You don’t want to risk misunderstanding the conversation because you couldn’t hear over the background noise.

Being able to shut the door is a huge help, and a perk that isn’t always available in a coworking space or home office (shutting the door doesn’t necessarily drown out the kids in the next room or the street cleaner outside). Coffee shops don’t have this option either. You may not necessarily need the space to meet clients in person, but having the door is a benefit when you want to ensure that the client/source has your utmost attention.

Get Away from Time-Sucking Distractions

Although email and social media will still be at the executive suite, there are distractions at the home office or coffee shop that won’t follow you to the business address. These distractions include snacking, television, and even unproductive people (not everyone at the coffee shop is there to work or to study) can hinder your ability to be productive. With an executive suite, you don’t have food in the refrigerator or pantry tempting you, and you don’t have a television on in the background as you’re working.

Also consider the executive suite as a way to be part of the working world, but on your terms. No more forced schedules, costly commutes, and awkward meetings. You’re still professional because you have that office, but it no longer has to come at a price of being away from the family, or of working early mornings or late nights (unless you want to), or of mandatory meetings and events. Don’t think of an executive suite as anti-freelancing. Think of it as a way to freelance without coming across as someone without direction or without responsibility.

Have you used an executive suite or another virtual office solution for your freelancing career? What would it take for you to move out of the home office or coffee shop? Let us know in the comments!

Related Links:

Why Meeting in a Coffee Shop is a Bad Idea

How to Remain Legitimate in a Scottsdale Virtual Office

Why CEOs Need to be on Social Media, and 3 Ways to Do It

How to Make a Virtual Office Space Work for Your Business

virtual office spaceChange is tough, especially for a business. Depending on the change, you might have to close business all together for a short period of time, or coordinate a series of events so the fewest things possible are out of order. A change that can disrupt a business this much is a change in address, where physically moving somewhere else can take up a lot of quality time and energy. Even simply switching the address can be a hassle, as you now need to inform everyone about the change.

If you are an entrepreneur or small business that’s making the transition to a virtual office space, then there will many differences between the virtual office and your old setup, whether it’s a home office or a traditional office. Here are things to consider when making a virtual office space work for your business:

  1. Networking and Camaraderie – This is something that could easily be taken for granted in a traditional office, although someone working in a home office may understand how hard it is to find these things. Depending on your virtual office solution, networking and camaraderie may become easier or harder to come by. If it becomes harder, make sure to put in the effort to network and to get to know some of the other tenants in your space or building.
  2. Client Meetings – One of the big benefits of a virtual office space is the ability to meet clients and potential clients in a professional environment, away from noisy coffee shops and crowded restaurants. With a virtual office space, you could have these meetings in you new office or a conference room, making a good impression about you and your business. Take advantage of this from time to time.
  3. Consider a Live Receptionist – Many virtual office spaces offer a live receptionist who can take phone calls on behalf of your business. This person wouldn’t be an employee, but could be trained to handle customer calls, forward calls to your phone, screen for calls, and even take orders and messages. This could be a huge bonus for a business that receives a lot of calls, and could use the help managing them all without taking away from the core business in any way.
  4. Sign Up for Multiple Locations – One of the great things about virtual office companies is that they have locations all over the country, and may be able to work out allowing you to use their virtual office services in other cities. This is great for those who travel a lot for business, and don’t want to be relegated to doing work in the hotel room or the hotel business center. Multiple locations gives you all the amenities you’re used to at your primary location without a whole lot of additional trouble or expense.
  5. Choose Only the Services that You Need – Virtual offices may offer a lot of choice when it comes to the services and amenities offered, so take the time to think about what you need and what your business would like to get out of the virtual office space. This will make it easier to have the virtual office space work for your business and to meet the needs necessary to allow you and your business to grow and to succeed.

Overall, you will get out of your virtual office space what you put into it, so it’s best not to treat the decision as a small one. Even if you don’t plan to visit your office often or if the business is just you, a virtual office space shouldn’t be thought of as something that’s just there. It can be a real business asset, so treat is as such.

Alternative Office Spaces the Latest Trend in Work

office spaces
Coworking spaces are essentially shared office spaces.

Shared office spaces, also known as coworking spaces or simple ‘coworking’, are the latest trend in office spaces and virtual offices. Coworking, as defined by Wikipedia, is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. It’s becoming a great alternatives for freelancers, entrepreneurs, startups, and even microbusinesses who would most likely be working from home or at coffee shops if it weren’t for coworking spaces.

There are over 1100 coworking spaces worldwide, offering a range of services that are similar to executive suites and virtual office spaces. They are essentially office spaces with anything a professional or a small company would need, but without the large overhead of having to worry about paying for utilities, high rental fees, or maintenance problems. Coworking spaces are also great places for networking, exchanging resources, and meeting clients. They also allow the flexibility for someone to work at home from time to time, while also handling the mail, keeping a professional business address, and perhaps forwarding any messages that may come in while you’re away.

One of the biggest worries possible tenants have with coworking spaces is that the open office spacesspace could actually make it more difficult to work because of the distractions. Coworking spaces get around that by offering private executive offices or private work spaces as well as the open plans and the individual desks. This makes it easier for those that need to be on the phone to do their work without distracting others and those that just need to get down to business can simply shut a door. At a coworking space, they can do this without losing the networking and the connectivity that happens at a typical office space.

Coworking, virtual office spaces, and executive office suites all fall into the realm of “alternative work space offerings.” There are many things driving this change for professionals: increase in technology, rise of online businesses, need for work/life balance, companies want to cut costs, people want to commute less or in a more environmentally-friendly way etc. Alternative work spaces may still be new to some, but they are the wave of the future as people crave more choice in when they work, where they work, and how they work. Allied Offices are part of this trend as much as a coworking space or a virtual office firm.

Traditionally office space vacancies are at 17.2 percent in the United States. They just aren’t as cool or as flexible as alternative office spaces. After all, work doesn’t typically get done “at work.” But, it might if we reinvent what it means to be at work.

What to Look for in Executive Office Suites in Atlanta

executive office suites in AtlantaWe’ve previously discussed how to get the most out of an executive office suite or a virtual office space, but before you get the most out of one, you need to find one first. In Atlanta, what should you look for in your executive office suite? What sets one apart from the others? Here are a few factors that can help:

What’s Surrounding the Executive Office Suite?

This is more than considering the location of the executive office suite in Atlanta, but looking at what’s on the same block or across the street. This includes the other businesses in the building, the restaurants within walking distance, or important landmarks (such as the courts or a conference center). An executive office suite in Atlanta ought to be convenient for a professional in its services as well as in its surroundings.

Is There Lodging Nearby?

If you or your business meets with a lot of out of town clients, or if you have an executive suite in Atlanta because you come to Atlanta office, then looking for nearby lodging would be helpful. You would want lodging that’s close enough for your or your clients to get to quickly and easily. Lodging doesn’t have to be something fancy, as Doubletree Hotels and Garden Inns work just fine.

How’s the Parking?

Parking is crucial if you plan to drive to your executive office suite. Some may be able to provide it for free. Others may only have street parking. Some may have nearby parking in a garage or lot for a monthly fee. Parking costs need to be considered as a business expense, so don’t take them lightly when looking for your executive office suite in Atlanta.

Are there virtual receptionists available?

Virtual receptionists and live phone answering is a great for solopreneurs, or professionals that travel often. It can be hard to keep track of communications if your business is just your, or if you travel often and could be in a variety of time zones and places. A virtual receptionist would be a dedicated person, provided by the executive office suite, who could handle all those communications for you. You then wouldn’t have to hire anyone to handle it for you, you wouldn’t have to give away your cell phone number, and you wouldn’t have to take care of those phone calls yourself.

Executive office suites in Atlanta come in many shapes and sizes, and meet the needs of many different people in many different ways. Finding one that meets your needs takes careful consideration. Hopefully, this list helps in pointing out what ought to be carefully considered.