As a startup founder, one paramount challenge that you cannot avoid is office space problems, especially at an early stage and especially if you are bootstrapping (who doesn’t? Except you are Rocket Internet). How can you scale through? What is the most cost effective way to gain traction? Can I work effectively without an office space? These and other questions will keep on repeating in your mind.

I’ve been there, done that and I know how painful it is to go through all that and alone. So without much ado, let me go through the various options available to you as a startup founder, in terms of securing office space, I’ve left out private office space which is very obvious to everyone

(1) Co-Working Spaces: If you are in a mega commercial hub city like Lagos, you would find quite some number of co-working spaces. I know that most of us knows what co-working spaces are, but let me explain the term to the minority that are not conversant with the model — Co-working spaces are office spaces that are operated by an organization usually for profit and in this model, office space users subscribes to a flexible arrangement of office spaces say monthly, quarterly annually etc., and during those times, you have access to a couple of amenities like desks, kitchen, gym, resting lounge etc. depending on the subscription level you actually payed for. Sounds cool right? An average monthly subscription goes from N30,000 to N40,000 depending on the location and amenities of the co-working space. So if you are a freelancer, work-at-home professional, contractor, or an early stage entrepreneur, you can make use of this service. Example of co-working spaces in Lagos are iDEA hub, Venia hub, CCHub, Capital Square, Cranium one, etc.

(2) Shared Office Spaces: The sharing economy has come to stay and will continue to expand. If you are keen on using shared office spaces, you can head to the street and scout for businesses that compliment what you do but not exactly what you do (obviously to avoid competition). Meet with the management of the businesses and liaise with them and see what is doable. You will need to reach agreement on the rent terms (cost and duration) and terms and condition of your stay. Good luck on that!

(3) Virtual Offices: If you are running a services business, you might want to consider using a virtual office. Wikipedia has this to say about a virtual office “ A virtual office provides communication and address services without providing dedicated office space. It differs from “office business centers” or “executive suites”, which do provide office space.” Basically, what this means is that here there is no physical office how you use this service is that you kinda sign up with the virtual office space provider, and when a customer for example wants to reach out to you, like say pass a message across to you, the customer uses the address you were assigned to by your virtual office provider. Then your virtual office provider processes the message and then sends it across to you.

(4) Work from Home: This is a no brainer. If you can’t find flexible and affordable office space, then fire down from your home and wait till you have enough funds to get that office space you have always dreamt of.

There you have it, various ways to get office space. Here at Sparedesk(http://www.sparedesk.com.ng) we help companies find the perfect office space for their business, whether you are looking for a shared office space, private office space, co-working, shop, warehouse or virtual office, we are more than willing to help you out. Bye for now until I come your way next time.

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