How to score cheap business space

If you’re starting a business you must explore every possible option to stretch your budget. This series of five columns will present five ways to reduce your launch costs.

Space for your service business could be really expensive. While you may one day move to a fancy office in a downtown skyscraper, now is not the time to waste your precious startup dollars on an unnecessary commercial lease.

Consider these options to get up and running.

Home office

There’s nothing wrong with running your new business from home. Millions of entrepreneurs prefer this option because it gives them desired work-life balance. You’ll certainly save on office rent, and a portion of your household expenses could be written off as business expenses.

Virtual office

While some definitions may differ, a virtual office package typically offers shared office services such as business address, mail and courier services, phone services, fax services, answering services, web-hosting services, and meeting and conference facilities.

You won’t get your own office with this option, but you may enjoy access to day-use facilities.

Executive suite

The executive suite proprietor rents entire floors and leases the smaller office spaces or workstations to businesses that don’t need, or can’t afford, large space. Most offer a professional receptionist to answer your calls, access to meeting and presentation rooms, and pay-per-use resources such as photocopying, scanning or video conferencing.


Tap your professional network to find a business colleague who may be willing to rent you a workstation or office within their business. Stuck with commercial leases for space they don’t use, many business owners will welcome the extra income.

No office

You may decide to make the world your office and work in coffee shops, public libraries, hotel lobbies or pubs (my personal favourite). While it will depend on the type of business you’re starting, many service-based entrepreneurs find they can function quite well with a good smartphone and fast laptop. Put all of your files in the cloud so you access them anywhere and anytime.

— Startup expert Roger Pierce has launched 11 businesses, co-authored a book and advised thousands of startups worldwide. E-mail Roger at