If you are starting a business one of the biggest expenses you may incur is rent for a business premises, this is why it is important to identify your start-up cost early on. Start-up costs are items which will be required to start a business for e.g. rent, stock, equipment and travel. The common misconception is that you have to rent or lease premises to start trading but this is simply not the case.

There are a variety of alternative premises options to consider such as hot desking, office sharing or working from home. It is worth researching which option will be better suited for your business factoring in size, location, accessibility and cost, operating from a vehicle, working on a market stall or a pop-up shop. Below are a few alternative premises to consider:

Home based

Working from home has become a popular option for many start-ups, this is due to the advantages it presents. Examples include being able to claim a proportion of costs associated to your business such as mortgage, rent and utilities, as well as having flexibility which will allow you to save time and money on commuting.  Another major benefit is that this option will give you more time to spend with your family.

As not all business can be run from home,  it advisable to conduct research to identify which businesses will be better suited to be run from home.

Shared office space

A shared office space is an alternative to renting or leasing premises and allows multiple businesses to operate in the same office. You may share items such as facilities, office equipment and sometimes staff such as receptionist and IT technicians. Shared offices are usually cheaper than renting premises; however prices will vary depending on the location, size and the length of the agreement. It would be ideal if you shared an office with a business which could complement your business. For example if you were a removal company and shared an office with a packing and distribution business. This would be extremely beneficial, as you could share contacts and work together. 

Operating from a vehicle

There are a number of businesses which can be run from a vehicle. Popular choices include ice cream vans, burger vans or vans serving hot drinks. However, every business is different and will require you to comply with legal requirements such as insurances, health and safety and food licences. A good example of this model is the burger chain Meat and Liquor, which started from a mobile food van and used a Twitter account to promote their business and now has a turnover of more than £12 million. This is just a snapshot of the options that you have. This is an area that is developing at a rapid pace. The key is to do your research and to embrace the opportunities that you get.

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