As you walk through the sleek, modern, industrial-looking doors into the lobby of your office building, you are greeted by a friendly receptionist and the anticipation of an event being held later that day, “Free Beer Friday.” Free beer? Who could say no to that? “This is great!” you’re thinking as you walk to your high-end, glass-enclosed fishbowl office. Sure, the office that looks like something from a design magazine… just don’t forget to leave any papers out that can breech confidentiality and privacy laws.
Some of your colleagues are sitting on balls and bean-bag chairs sending emails while eating “free” snacks; others are in the midst of a ping-pong tournament. Deadlines can be adjusted, right?
Before you sit down at your desk, you gaze out on the beautiful cityscape. This is the life; the Ritz Carlton of offices! But then, on the 15-minute walk to your car in the spot in the parking deck that you waited for months on a waiting list just for the privilege of paying $100’s per month, reality sets and you begin to wonder: are all these perks genuinely free? Who is paying for all of this? I have dreams of starting my own company. How can I afford all of this? WHY do I pay for all of this?!
You can’t and you shouldn’t. Sure, as your business grows and succeeds, you may want to offer some perks to your employees (please, no more ping-pong tables), but first things first. As an entrepreneur, you need to focus on your business, your clients, and your bottom line. Office and meeting space, internet access, and services that help you conduct business efficiently and effectively to reach profitability is what you need.
As a successful entrepreneur you know the truth. The cost of all the “free” amenities and luxury accommodations that sound appealing from a distance are actually added into the rent you pay at a luxury office building. Maybe someday you’ll be able to justify the expense of luxury office accommodations, but maybe you aren’t there… YET!
Consider this: Would you rather have a perfect view of the city or more money to hire your first employee? Would you rather have free donuts and bagels on Wednesdays or more money to buy inventory? For new businesses, and businesses looking for the best return on their investment, there are other options.
Luxury is great when you are an employee and the company you work for is paying the bill for your office. But now you are the boss turning your dream into reality and putting your time, energy and capital into something you are passionate about. For small business owners an office is a necessity, not a country club.