Market musings

Budgeting for 2018: Office vs. Coworking Expenses

by Sasha Viasasha
September 16, 2017

While some small business owners worry about improving their profitability in 2018, others are struggling with basic survival issues.

In both cases, “reducing expenses” sits at the top of the priority list. 

Location matters for all businesses, not just for those in retail and restaurants. As 2017 winds down and budgeting season looms, take a look at your overhead and reevaluate the ROI of staying where you are. Moving might be the best move for the future of your business.

The Old Way of Doing Business

Businesses have operated from offices for centuries because that’s the way it’s always been done. All the business tools are there, such as meeting rooms, copiers, computers and a professional business phone system. An office usually provides a better environment than working from home to concentrate on the work, meet clients and sign deals. However, those benefits don't have to come with such a large cost anymore. 

Here's at closer look at basic expenses in the office vs. coworking debate. 

Expenses for an office

The following average monthly expenses are  based a variety of sources:

Rent : $5,000/month

That’s an average lease based on commercial real estate broker TheSquareFoot.  In Miami, it will get you 1,800 sq. ft of space, while in San Francisco you will have to squeeze into 921 sq. ft.

Office supplies: $7,376/month

The Research and Analytics Group estimated small businesses of 1-4 employees spend around $1844 per employee for office supplies, especially computer related expenses. 

Office phone system: $4800 for installation, then $600/month for maintenance

That estimate comes from a business phone review by Home Advisor. These numbers refer to a traditional PBX system. New VoIP systems can cost slightly less but they are dependent on bandwidth and they can’t be used by all businesses.

 Additional office-specific expenses include things like utilities, real estate insurance, parking fees, location-based business licenses, etc.  This doesn’t include expenses like legal, accounting and advertising that will still apply no matter where you base of operations are.

Expenses for a coworking space

This example is based on The Common Desk in Dallas, TX.

Membership fees: $800-900/month 

Membership runs about $200 per employee for desk space in an open work environment. Private offices start at $900. The main benefit is not having a long-term commitment or a big up-front expense to move in to the new location. 

Office supplies: $0/month

As long as your employees have their own laptops, the biggest office supply expenses are usually included, such as including high speed internet, private phone booths, conference rooms, printer/copier/fax , utilities, office cleaning, etc. 

Virtual phone system: $32/month

Although there are traditional desk phones for outbound calling, you will still need a business line where customers can call and reach any of your employees. For $8 per employee, the downloadable Spoke app has all the essential features of a profession, like DDI, hunt groups, easy transfers and an always-on AI receptionist. Port over your existing number to give your customers a seamless transition.

Small business solution

Spoke has created a business phone system designed just for small and medium sized businesses with 3-30 employees. Spoke has just the features you need, and none that you don't. It's simple to install and simple to use. You don't have to wonder if now is the right time to cut the cord. Find out for no charge. Spoke is offering a 21-day free trial -- no credit card required. No wires, no hardware, no IT guy and no risk. All you have to lose is your headache. 

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