Which office-space option is best for you and your small business? When setting up a new office space, one has several options to choose from – ranging from moving into a rented office, taking space in a Business Centre, sharing space with another company, or taking up a virtual office space option. Yes, the are quite a few office space options for any given business, and each one comes with several choices, their own unique costs, advantages and disadvantages. So how does one decide what is best suited for the needs of his or her small business?

It is important to factor in the total cost as well as look at the total lifetime cost of the office space option that you are selecting. But it is more important to select an office-space option without hidden costs. Far too often, a businesses will sign up for an office that carries hidden costs that they where not expecting and did not budget for. Let’s look at a few options that a small business has.

• A traditional empty office space in an office building that does not offer anything beyond space. This is where you have to create an office environment from scratch, you have to choose and purchase the office furnishings and configure your own furniture and office infrastructure, before you can even move into the office. Can your small business afford the time and money to set up a raw office space before you even get started? And is it worth the cost to personalize the space to make it “your” space?

Sharing office space with another business that has extra space to accommodate you and your staff. This arrangement can work, but how much input will you have? And how much will it cost you to bring the flavour of your small business to a space that is branded for another business? Yes, it is easy to co-brand an office space, but are you willing to invest in the co-branding of a shared office space just because the other business has extra space?

• Maybe you only need office space for occasional use. Perhaps you need it to do some paperwork and have an office address, or for a place to sit down with your laptop that is not your home office, but still represents a professional environment. Or maybe you need a shared office in an office space that gives you access to equipment that you cannot afford to have in your own space. Perhaps you prefer to share and only pay for your usage of equipment as you go. These types of arrangements are actually quite affordable – and can cost your business only $225 per month, plus your telephone and photocopier usage.

• If you need a little more privacy without a totally private office, consider a semi-private office that you share with one other person. When a semi-private office is shared with another person, more often than not the two people sharing it do not even see each other. People who share an office likely keep different schedules and rarely keep the same office times.

• Looking for more privacy? An interior private office can give you that, and save you money too. In this case, you are not paying for a view or window office; you just have private space in a office space with the amenities you need. You also have access to those office machines (such as colour photocopiers and network printers) but you are only paying when you use them.

• Oh, you do want that window office? Well, that does not have to be a cost challenge. In fact, you would be surprised what a window office at an office business centre costs. Depending on availability, you can get a window office for as low as $450 per month, but that depends on the view and what is currently available.

Office availability and prices are usually determined according when you want the office space and if it is available. Keeping in touch with the staff at the office business centre you want is also very important. The office-space solution you liked yesterday may not be the option that is available today. Things change every day in an office business centre, and your sales rep can offer you different options from day to day while keeping you up to date on any last-minute or future changes.