Signing on the dotted line for your company's first office lease can be daunting. It's hard to tell where your company will be in six months, much less a year or two. And once you have the office, the expenses mount--for furniture, office equipment and staff. If you're unwilling or unable to commit to a lease and the expenses that accompany a traditional office, a business center may be for you.
For a lower cost than the average office, business centers (also called executive suites) offer business owners the use of furnished office space, equipment and staff on an as-needed basis. "All the logistics are taken care of," says Richard Meyers, executive director of ALLIANCE Business Centers NETWORK, a Long Beach, California, organization for business center owners and operators.
Business centers offer the use of reception areas and conference rooms; experienced data entry, graphics presentation and word-processing staff; and faxing and copying services. The center's receptionist answers the telephone using your business's name, and you can use the center as your mailing address. Lease terms are flexible--whether you need office space for six hours or six months, most centers can accommodate you.
If you're homebased, business center corporate identity programs can help you project a professional image. For a monthly fee, the center will answer your phone, receive your mail at its address and provide office space for a few hours each month. Says Meyers, "It's the perfect solution for start-ups."
ALLIANCE Business Centers NETWORK, (800) 869-9595, http://www.abcn.com