Microbusinesses are on the rise in 2018, and you are testing the waters of entrepreneurship yourself. One of the biggest challenges many solo entrepreneurs and freelancers face is that of productivity. Sometimes it can be very difficult to get the work done at home. Maybe you have family members or roommates at home that make it difficult to get things done. Or perhaps those dirty dishes and overflowing laundry hampers are always calling your name.
Whatever the reason, you find it hard to get work done at home, and sometimes you need a good place to meet with clients. You cannot afford to lease your own office or studio yet, so what else can you do? Below are four alternatives to working at home that might be a good fit for your business.
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Work in Your Car
One of the cheapest options that is readily available is to work in your vehicle. This obviously won’t work for everyone, but it’s not a bad option if all you need to do the work is a laptop and a smartphone. If your parking space is out of range of your house modem or free Wi-Fi, then your smartphone can double as a mobile hotspot. Some mobile providers included free hotspot data every month, so ask your cell phone company about it.
Some freelancers go all in on this idea by converting vans into office spaces, complete with desks, leather office chairs and fax machines. If you’re a small-time writer, blogger or photographer, then you might not need to go that far, but that depends on your situation and business needs.
Work at Coffee Shops and Libraries
Coffee houses and public libraries are frequent hangouts for freelance writers and similar solopreneurs. They are also popular places for freelancers in other industries to meet with clients over coffee. Walk into any Starbucks and you’ll see home-based business owners meeting with prospects or working on their websites.
Public libraries are also great options, since they offer plenty of power outlets and free Wi-Fi. Many libraries even have mini-offices—called study rooms—that you can use for two or more hours at a time, depending on whether others are waiting or not. You can even use the larger study rooms for meetings.
The biggest drawback here is that most libraries don’t typically allow food and drinks, but some larger metropolitan libraries will have a lobby area where food, drinks and conversations are allowed.
Rent Office Space from a Neighbor
A lot of homeowners in your neighborhood probably have a room for rent, so this might be a little cheaper and easier than renting a full-blown office suite. Many folks even have guest houses or a trailer or mini house located on their property that you can rent for a fraction of what a high rise office would cost you. The biggest drawback might be getting 24/7 access, which would be a deal-breaker if you are building a side business during your free time and days off from your regular job.
One option that is really picking up speed lately is executive virtual offices and shared workspaces. An executive suite rental might be ideal for business owners who need to hold meetings with clients but don’t want to do it at a coffee house or out of a garage—or minivan. It’s a real office building with real offices. You can pay by the month or even just by the hour, depending on the specific business’ rental options.
Many virtual offices also offer mailboxes complete with suite numbers, for those who need a professional business address for shipping and mailing purposes. And some of these shared workspaces even have shared lobbies and kitchens, vending machines and free coffee.
If you have a home-based business but don’t want to do all of your work at home, try out some of these options above to see if they will work for you. With today’s digital technology and mobile connectivity, there are tons of options available for all kinds of different businesses.