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Office Space

Ready to move out of your house and into a real office? Here are some tips.

This story appears in the May 2008 issue of Start Up.

If your cat has taken up permanent residence on your keyboard and you are hiring employees who don't want to work from your table, maybe it's time to move into a professional office . Determine if you're ready to move out of your , says Jeffrey A. Landers, author of The Home Office From Hell Cure. Is your growing? Do you need space for new employees? Do you want to have somewhere more official than a local coffee shop to meet with clients? There are some low-cost alternatives to an expensive office space.

To keep costs down, look into executive suites. Executive suites usually offer a common reception area with a receptionist, a number of conference rooms, a kitchen area and individual offices. They're also already hooked up to high-speed internet and phone service. Flexibility is one of the top selling points of these arrangements. "If you're moving out of your home office and your business is expanding, one of your concerns is predicting the future," explains Landers. "What's going to happen over the next six or 12 months? Is your business going to quadruple, or will you find business is not as robust as you thought it would be? You want the flexibility." In traditional office spaces, you'd have to sign long leases, sometimes lasting from three to five years. Executive suites typically offer space for three-, six-, nine- and 12-month terms, and some even offer month to month.

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