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5 Ways to Reduce Your Office Space Costs

As a solopreneur, there are only 2 ways to improve your business situation. Increase your top line (aka, making more money) or increasing your bottom line by spending less.
If you’re like most freelancers and consultants, your biggest piece of overhead is…you. Your take-home pay. After that, it’s your office costs, which can include rent, internet and utilities. Directly related costs include commuting, lunch, coffee and meeting facilities.
Fortunately, this is an area where you can keep costs low. Here are just a few ideas for how you can keep your workspace expenses low:
1) Avoid an office lease
The thought of having your own private office may sound tempting. But commercial real estate can be tricky. Most landlords are going to ask for a 3-to-5-year lease. Also, there are costs you may have not considered, like real estate taxes, building insurance, maintenance, furniture and high-speed internet. Compared to those costs, working from home or a coworking space like Coco is way more economical.
2) Reduce your commuting costs
More and more people are finding ways to avoid owning an extra car. As a solopreneur, you’re not required to show up at an employer’s distant office, so where you office is up to you. If you’re working from home, you may be able to use alternative (and lower-cost) transportation. You can bike, bus, take light rail or walk. At the very least, you can keep the drive short. Because Coco has locations in four popular neighborhoods in the Twin Cities, many of our members take alternative transportation. We provide space for members to store their bikes safely indoors while they work.
3) Bring your lunch
Lunch is almost guaranteed to cost you $10-$15 a day. So, if you’re looking to cut costs, this is an easy go-to. What can you do? Eat at home, obvs. If you’re coming to Coco, you can bring a lunch or store lunch ingredients in the fridge and prepare a fresh lunch in our full kitchen. Even better? Invite another member to eat with you. It’s a great way to make friends.
4) Don’t spend cash on meeting facilities
If you’re a consultant, you’re going to have to host clients for pitches, presentations and brainstorms. You can’t invite them to your house. Using the back room of a coffee shop is perhaps not terribly professional. So, do you pay several hundred dollars on a hotel meeting room? How about this: get yourself a Coco membership. Many of our memberships come with meeting hours built right in. We have a wide range of rooms types and sizes for you to pick from, at any of our locations.
5) Make sure your office costs are tax-deductible
Here’s something you may not have heard: after the most recent tax reform bill, meals and entertainment expenses are no longer tax-deductible. That means you can no longer deduct your coffee-shop expenses. By contrast, your membership at Coco is 100% tax deductible, which, generally speaking, amounts to about a 30% discount, depending on how much you make. Of course, you’ll want to talk to your accountant about all this!
Bonus: Network while you work
When you consider the cost of marketing or attending conferences, it’s freaking expensive to acquire new business. So, here’s an idea. How about networking…while you work? That’s what many of our members do on a daily basis. Just by showing up, they get to know other members and discover that those members are able to offer referrals, invite them to join in pitches, or in some cases, turn out to be clients themselves. It’s quite convenient if you think about it. It’s also more organic and natural because you’re not trying too hard to make sales. You’re just being you, making friends and getting business as a result!

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