Setting up your first office as a business is a big expense. Especially for a start up that hasn’t gone anywhere yet, it can quickly swallow up a lot of your initial investment. Here’s how to make sure that you have enough cash to get through the first year of your lease – and beyond.
1. Start from home
If you can do some of the work from home, start there. You can hire employees with the understanding that they will work from home until you can afford to pay the lease on an office. If you can’t possibly work without all being in the same room, you could also hire a co-working space by the hour which will be cheaper. You will have to share with other businesses, but it will help you to save up some funds while you get the business going.
2. Look for investors
Investors are always a great way to get your business off the ground. It’s up to you what kind of terms you set. Sometimes an investor will want to own a share of your business, so that they take a return on all future profits. In some cases, you may be able to secure an investment which you simply have to pay back with extra, like a loan. You may also be able to find an investor who has connections and advice that will pay off for you, as well as money.
3. Rent half
What about sharing your first office space for a while? If you take on a lease and then sublet the office to another company, so that you each have half of the desks, you can recoup some of your costs while you get set up. By the time that you are earning enough to cover the lease on your own, you can also think about expanding your team in order to use the extra space.
4. Raise money
How about asking people to donate to your cause? There are various ways to do this. One is to hold a fundraising party, where people pay to get entry and experience entertainment of some kind. You can make a profit on the ticket price if you are smart about it. This is also a fantastic way to raise awareness of your brand and get networking, so that you might make more sales and increase your profits as a result. You could also use a crowd-funding campaign, or even something like Patreon, where customers can get access to exclusive rewards in exchange for their support.
5. Make money yourself
If you don’t want to rely on other people, and the business isn’t quite off the ground yet, where can you turn? You can always use your own skills to try to raise some money. You could sell your skills as a freelancer online, or you could take up part-time work as a consultant. You can rent space in your home or garage, or you could start making things to sell online, such as paintings or furniture. You could try investing or playing the stock markets to try to increase your capital. There are lots of ways you can raise money on your own if it comes to that – in desperate times, you could even take out an extra mortgage on your property.
You will likely need a lot of capital to go for that first office, so make sure that you budget carefully. Don’t bite off more than you can chew, and keep enough money in your business account to always be able to pay at least two months’ rent just in case.
Alex Lawson is a Financial Team Leader and a blogger, working together with other experts at Brighter Finance. Whenever not working on another project or helping customers with their financial issues, Alex