Should You Set Up a Physical Office for Your Online Business?

Starting a home-based business has never been easier. With cloud-based tools that can aid in web design, marketing, and project management, you can start a fully-operational business in cyberspace without ever leaving your house. There are also tools that can help your company grow without the need for face-to-face interaction with your team – from cloud-based management platform to a live conferencing tool.

As a result, some startups get very comfortable with a virtual setup that they scrap the idea of investing in an office altogether. In turn, they may miss out on opportunities to accelerate the company on the path to success.

The Benefits of a Physical Office

Having a centralized place of business still offer numerous advantages even to small businesses. First of all, having a physical office makes you more likely to invest more in your company. It is a mindset that helps you provide the commitment and funds necessary for growth.

Apart from making your business more “official” to you and your team, it will also show legitimacy to your potential clients. Keep in mind that a physical office can demonstrate how much you are willing to invest as a business owner to grow and keep it stable. If you know how to design an appealing room, it can also be used to impress your walk-in customers and win their loyalty.

Another significant benefit is that a physical office ensures better communication between team members. Although internet technology makes it very easy to communicate with live video and other collaborative tools, nothing beats face-to-face interaction when it comes to building a tightly-knit team.

According to studies, face-to-face communication is usually more productive than other forms of communication. It simply works due to the presence of communication factors such as body language, positive gestures, and bonding moments like having lunches together or sharing stories during breaks.

A particular study published by the American Society of Interior Designers reveal that a well-designed workplace is one of the top three factors for employee satisfaction. On the other hand, work-from-home professionals often feel isolated from the team and exposed to distractions such as family matters, entertainment systems, and their fridge.

Overcoming the Challenges of having a Physical Office

Another challenge is that business owners may lack the knowledge about utilities and how to manage their monthly costs. Keep in mind that these expenses quickly sum up to much money especially with unexpected events like piping problems and broken fixtures. The good idea is to consult a utility company and try to obtain a summary of previous year’s billings for water and electricity.

In every business decision, you need to weigh your options and be ROI-oriented at all times carefully. That is why, despite the numerous advantages of a physical office, there are still some challenges that are preventing business owners from using them. One of these difficulties is the high cost of a physical office.

In the US, the average monthly cost of office space in 2013 was $23.23 per square foot. Naturally, it will discourage startups and small businesses from investing their limited resources in an office space. If this particular reason applies to you, then some of the options you need to consider is a co-working space or self-storage units.

Renting co-working spaces is not a new concept in the world of business. It involves renting office space with other tenants—usually other small companies—to save on rental fees. On the other hand, using self-storage units for business is an out-of-the-box idea that can save you a hefty sum. One advantage of this strategy is that you can quickly scale up or down to suit the current size of your team.

Lastly, picking a physical office space is all about good location. With a little research, it is easy to determine the best place to build your office. Just pay attention to factors such as the distance between suppliers, the location of your employees, and your office’s exposure to potential clients. Of course, not all these factors apply to all businesses, so be sure to identify the specific needs of your business when it comes to office space.


Having your physical office can be an exciting idea. However, you need to be familiar with the present challenges and learn strategies that can help you overcome them. Rest assured that an office space is still one of the most rewarding investments. It is just a matter of knowing the right time and circumstances that make the investment truly worth it.

Originally posted on December 13, 2016 @ 8:48 am