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Sharing Office Space

Having an office mate can help your business--just make sure you choose wisely.

This story appears in the March 2001 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Kevin Yen thought he was done with having roommates. Then, in 1998, he opened Designer Body, a food supplement store catering to the fitness-minded. The location he found on a busy street in Kaneohe, Hawaii, seemed ideal. There was a problem, however: The space was too big, and the rent too high. Easy solution: Yen approached a friend, Joey Aukai, 35, who was looking for a location to practice physical therapy. Aukai agreed to share the space and related expenses.

Although Yen moved out of the space in January, both parties agree the time spent sharing an office was beneficial to both businesses. Designer Body's customers, because of their inclination toward physical activity, often get injured, so when they learned there was a physical therapist on-site, they became interested: "Many [ended] up seeking treatment from Joey," says Yen. The reverse was also true: Aukai's patients or their family and friends often became Designer Body's regular customers.

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