Your living room coffee table just doesn't cut it as a client conference table anymore, and your dog insists on greeting your clients face to face. It may be time to seek an alternative workspace. Executive suites, which allow business owners to rent office space on a temporary basis, have become a popular way for homebased entrepreneurs to run their businesses in a more traditional office setting--free from the interruptions of home.
"It's projected there are about 4,000 executive suites in operation in the United States right now," says Jeannine Windbigler, executive director of the Executive Suite Association in Worthington, Ohio. "Membership in our association grew from 474 in 1996 to 550 in 1997."
Catering to convenience-driven entrepreneurs on the go, Executive Office Club Inc. in Washington, DC, now rents offices by the hour and requires no minimum time commitment. For $7.95 per hour, temporary tenants have access to computers, secretarial assistance and an open office space. Multimedia conference rooms and private office spaces are available for a higher fee. Anticipating that this new format will woo homebased entrepreneurs nationwide, Executive Office Club Inc. plans to develop a network of by-the-hour executive-suite facilities in major cities across the country in the next five years.