5 CEO Best Practices for Reducing Office Space Costs

virtual office services
Virtual office services can save a business money in many ways.

Unless you’re going to purchase a building, then it’s likely that you’re paying rent for a suite or floor in an office building. One of the biggest expenses for a CEO and a growing company is the office space costs, particularly since as a growing company you’ll have to move to bigger spaces and/or worry about rising rental fees. To keep these costs under control, or even reduce them, here are five best practices to employ when controlling and reducing your office space costs:

Virtual Offices as an Option

An increasingly popular office space option, and one that is significantly cheaper than traditional solutions, is the virtual office. This is an especially attractive option if you have employees who want to work from home, who are based in other parts of the country, or if you’re looking to expand your business into a new market on a dime. With a virtual office, you pay for the amenities and the address without having to worry about furnishing the space or covering the technology costs. Depending on the virtual office provider, you can also have more the one person use a virtual office if you plan to have this option for telecommuting employees. On top of that, if the virtual office thing really works out, you might be able to move to smaller space, increasing your savings.

Office Space with Growth in Mind

If you’re confident that your company’s growth is sustainable and not a one-time spurt, then choose an office space with this growth in mind. For example, if you currently have 15 employees, but project that you’ll have 25 in two years, then choose and set up your office space to fit 25 instead of 15. You might have to spend more initially, but for at least two years you don’t have to worry about finding a bigger space (and making the move) and upgrading your technological capabilities. This forward thinking also ensures that your growth doesn’t end up hurting you by draining time and resources away from client work just to accommodate the growth.

Negotiate with Your Realtor

This is one of the simplest, but one of the most overlooked ways to reduce your office space costs. When it comes time to sign, or to renew, your lease, you can talk to your realtor about getting a deal. If your renewing your lease, you can ask a for a free month or two, or even for a reduced rent (which shouldn’t be hard if you’ve been a good tenant). If you’re signing for the first time, try to negotiate the rental price. If you’re serious about the office space at the original cost, then it doesn’t hurt to ask. The realtor isn’t going to throw away your business because you’re just asking a few questions.

Consider an Open Floor Plan

Instead of worrying about every employee having a desk or cubicle, opt for an open floor plan that can seat everyone, but that doesn’t assign seating or space. With an open floor plan, you don’t have to spend as much on furniture and your employees may enjoy not being chained or relegated somewhere. This also means that you can opt for something a little bit smaller for the company, since you now don’t have to ensure that everyone has 25 square feet to themselves, or even that everyone has a place to sit (think of this also as a way to allow employees to work from home or at a nearby coffee shop if they wish). However, this arrangement doesn’t work for everyone, as companies such as Spotify found out. It’s also recommended to provide some private spaces with an open floor plan, since one of the biggest complaints with open floor plan is the inability to have a private conversation.

Consolidate

If your offices are spread out across seven floors in four buildings, then that’s an awful lot of waste and disconnect. It’s not just the office space costs, but also think the time and productivity wasted when employees aren’t working together, or are spending time getting to and from those floors and buildings. You and your company can gain a lot when everyone’s together in one building instead, perhaps on two or three floors instead of seven.

How Expensive are San Jose Virtual Offices?

One of the biggest benefits of San Jose virtual offices is the cost. Virtual offices solutions cost significantly less than traditional office spaces and, in some cities, even in coworking spaces. But, just how much does a San Jose virtual office, or any virtual office, typically cost? How much does a lawyer, entrepreneur, or small business like a doctor’s office actually save with a virtual office or by switching to a San Jose virtual office?

Virtual Office Costs

Generally, a San Jose virtual office can cost anywhere between $100 and $350 per month, depending on the types of services that you want. Of course, it’s cheaper if you only choose to have mail forwarding or to use the virtual office as a professional address. It would cost more if you want the mail forwarding as well as use of the conference room and/or use of a virtual receptionist services. A virtual office would also be more expensive in a more competitive location, such as Chicago, Los Angeles, or New York. However, the the situation is much cheaper than a traditional office with a door, which can cost $400-$700 a month, depending on its size. That price also doesn’t come with a virtual receptionist, and you might not necessarily get a conference room to use.

Other Virtual Office Expenses (and Savings)

Those costs just cover the rent and what’s paid just to have the San Jose virtual office and to be able to use it. It does not include any other expenses or savings that could take place when making the switch. For example, if you are currently commuting an hour each day to a traditional office space, a virtual office can save four hours week if you choose this option and only go there three times a week, spending the other two days at home. An extra four hours can mean a lot for an entrepreneur or a growing small business. A company can also save on utility, Internet, and phone costs with a virtual office, as those expenses are often covered by the company in a normal office space. However, with a virtual office, those costs are covered for you with the monthly virtual office rate while providing an infrastructure that’s as good (if not better) than what you would get if you covered it all yourself.

The Additional Costs of a Virtual Office

With the benefits of cutting costs and even saving money on things you didn’t realize you could with a virtual office, it’s only fair to discuss some of the additional costs you can incur with a virtual office. For example, depending on your virtual office provider and the services that you choose, you might have to pay to use the conference room. Although most places will include that as part of the service, or as part of one service package, you might need to pay to book the room or if you need to use it a certain number of times. Another example is with printing, copying, and faxing costs. Most providers will have the facilities available, but might charge to use it or if you go over some sort of monthly or weekly quota. Naturally, this can be solved by using your own printer and copier in a home office, but this does mean that you would have to handle more of the costs yourself.

So, San Jose virtual offices, and virtual office solutions in general, typically cost only a few hundred dollars a month. Those costs change depending on your needs, your location, and maybe even if you need multiple locations (this also depends on your virtual office company. This information should give you an idea of whether or not virtual offices are a cost-effective solution for you.

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The Costs of a Virtual Office

virtual office costsWith virtual office services ranging from $50 to $250 (and up) a month, depending on your city and your amenities, the price tag is much better than a typical office suite. It also offers a lot more than the home office or the coffee shop. After all, both of those come with hidden costs, like putting together that office infrastructure at home and all those lattes to keep your spot next to the outlet.

However, entrepreneurs and telecommuters need to be realistic. A virtual office will reduce your costs, but it doesn’t mean all your costs will disappear or that they will never come with new costs. Here’s a look at the costs of a virtual office; what you can expect when you pay your monthly fee and what other costs you can expect.

The Transition Cost of a Virtual Office

If you are transitioning to a virtual office from a home office, a coworking space, or a traditional office, then you might be moving your belongings from one place to another. If so, then that takes some time, time that would otherwise be spend marketing your business or working with clients. The transition means that, temporarily, you might not make as much money from your business, or you might have a few long days to pick up the slack. This might not translate into financial costs, but its an aspect of getting the virtual office that many may overlook.

Commuting to the Virtual Office

For some, the virtual office may just be someplace to have a professional address and to handle the mail. Other than that, you may be working from home or in coffee shops. That’s fine, but it does mean that you have to go to the virtual office regularly to pick up the mail (and at least pay rent once a month). Depending on the location of your virtual office, you might have to factor in commute time and the costs of that commute, whether its a public transportation ticket or gas prices on top of the time to make the trip and back. The commute may not be a big deal for most, but it can put a huge wrench in your day if you forget to budget the trip into your schedule. Commuting could also include any parking costs, if you travel to and from the office by car.

Any Other Virtual Office Costs?

Depending on your virtual office services or arrangement, you may have to pay for conference rooms or office supplies after a certain point. After all, if you use a whole ream of paper printing out research and contracts, surely the virtual office company will ask for something extra to cover that. Or, if you schedule 10 one-hour meetings in the course of a month, you might have to pay extra to have two or three of those meetings at your virtual office. Or, you might pay for some office supplies so you don’t have to compete with the other tenants when it comes to the stapler and the pens. Things change when you have a virtual office, so there might be some small costs associated with those changes.

Overall, a virtual office will help in reducing the overhead of a solopreneur or telecommuter, but it’s important to take an inventory or a catalog of what you spend your money on, and what kind of savings you’ll see with the virtual office. Sure, you might save $200/month on rent alone, but it might be close to $150/month if you’ll be spending more on gas to get to the virtual office and to use it for meetings. A virtual office won’t be a silver bullet, unless you mold it into the silver bullet you need it to be for your business.