Advisory Board: Co-Working

Written by Advisory Board

Welcome to Advisory Board, a weekly department in which a panel of experts—made up of entrepreneurs and professionals—answer questions you have about how to run your business better.

This week, a reader asks:

“€‹I’m planning to launch a startup with a small team shortly, and am looking for ways to keep overhead low. Co-working spaces are all the rage right now—is operating out of one a smart way to save on rent, or do I need my own office to meet clients in?”

Here’s what the experts have to say.

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“Locating in a shared space is an excellent way to keep overheads low. Many such spaces have shared board rooms for client meetings, and most clients will be understanding of this. Try looking for local tech incubator sites such as through MaRS, or university-based innovation parks. Depending on whether you are pre or post product development your needs and areas of focus will differ considerably. ”

Charlie Reid, Charlie Reid & Associates, Kingston, Ont.

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“My experience is that clients would rather meet in their office or a coffee shop. Go virtual, skip the office space. We got rid of our office in 2006 and haven’t looked back—it allowed us to grow across Canada without having to consider the large operating costs of opening an office in Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, and Edmonton—all cities where we have clients in now.”

Mike Desjardins, Driver, Virtus, Vancouver

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“There are many spaces that drive collaboration and success, and every startup needs a custom solution. I recommend finding and securing a space that will enable employees to live the brand vision and get their work done too. And if that means your small team works in your kitchen to start, then #makeithappen (I did!).

—Christine Faulhaber, President and CEO, Faulhaber Communications, Toronto

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Do you have a question you’d like answered? Email us and we’ll put it to the experts. Have any advice to add to this list? Share your thoughts using the comments section below.

Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com