As a new entrepreneur seeking office space for rent, cheap options can seem rare in a major city like Houston. You’ve probably heard countless stories about sky-high rates and run-down office spaces from contacts who have already attempted the search.
Instead of aimlessly looking on Google for a place to conduct your business, you need to develop a winning strategy to make the journey easier. We’ve compiled our best office-hunting advice into a list of practical tips so that you can get your business out of the garage and off the ground at a reasonable price point.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at 9 ways to find cheap office space in Houston, TX.
1. Look For a Small Office
You don’t need to rent a whole floor to successfully run your business or to seem professional. On the contrary, new entrepreneurs typically find more success renting on a smaller scale. You’ll pay much lower rates renting out an executive suite or small office in someone else’s commercial property than you would renting an entire space of your own.
Plenty of community-sharing sites, such as PivotDesk, help people list and lease commercial space. They showcase a variety of spaces that suit a wide range of business needs.
2. Join a Coworking Space
In recent years, startups are turning to coworking spaces rather than traditional office spaces, and Houston is teeming with these.
Whether you lease one or multiple desks, a coworking space will grant you access to all the amenities you’d find in a regular office, such as conference rooms, fax machines, copiers, and business phones—all at an affordable rate.
If you need another reason to love coworking spaces, many entrepreneurs enjoy the community factor these places provide. This is something you might not find in a private office.
Also, make sure you take advantage of the frequent networking opportunities you’ll encounter when you opt for a coworking space. You may end up finding new customers or partners for your company’s services, depending on your niche.
3. Find an Individual Desk
If you want to avoid coworking spaces but can’t find a whole office at your desired price point, consider renting space directly from companies with extra desks in their offices.
Services like PivotDesk connect companies that have empty desks with entrepreneurs who need them. You’ll get access to desks in professional workplaces all over the world, including the Houston area. These services give you the details upfront related to cost, amenities, office rules, and more, so you can ensure that you’re getting everything you need in the space you choose to rent. You’ll benefit from a bit more privacy than you would in coworking since you’ll only be sharing space with an individual company.
If you prefer, you can even switch up your location from time to time since you won’t be bound to a lease, allowing you to test drive different workplaces and Houston neighborhoods. You can spend one month in Chinatown, one month in Midtown, and so on, allowing you to get a feel of what neighborhood is best for your needs.
4. Share with a Partner or Group
In the event that someone you know needs an office, invite them to share the space with you to cut costs in half. Compared to independently owned coworking spaces, you and your cohort will have more control over your office space.
Partnerships like this can be tricky if someone backs out or schedules don’t line up. The key to making this arrangement work is maintaining open lines of communication among all parties.
Choose people who provide complementary or supplementary services, fostering possible partnership opportunities down the road.
5. Apply to Accelerator or Incubator Programs
As the largest city in Texas, Houston has attracted a growing number of accelerator and incubator programs for early-stage businesses, including MassChallenge Texas, the Founder Institute, and home-grown TMCx.
Besides offering office space at an affordable price point—possibly even for free—these programs give startups access to mentors, networking opportunities, and other resources. For this reason, an accelerator or incubator has played a part in many companies’ success stories, including Airbnb, Instacart, and several others.
6. Ask the Government
Since cities want the economic growth and youthful energy new businesses bring, the government is often keen to let a new entrepreneur borrow office space.
Speak with your local chamber of commerce for these types of deals. Due to its large size, the Houston area boasts multiple: the Houston Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Houston West COC, the Houston Northwest COC, and a handful of others.
7. Exchange Services for Space
If your company provides a service such as content creation, graphic design, or digital marketing, you may be able to use those skills to barter for affordable office space. Conduct some Google research of businesses near you to find one that may need your talents, make a list of prospects, and send each one an email inquiry with your service offer.
Nonprofits often operate on a shoestring budget, so these organizations will be extra receptive to exchanging services for space.
8. Contact Your Clients
Current or potential clients may be another source of office space. In exchange for letting you use their facilities, they’ll get better access to you and whatever services your company provides.
Don’t be afraid to research entities on Google with whom you’d like to build a relationship and send them an email inquiry. Their willingness to find a mutually beneficial arrangement may surprise you.
9. Make Use of Free Locations in the Community
While working in public does tend to evoke “hipster” entrepreneur stereotypes, you can’t overlook the benefits of no-commitment office space. Google places near you with accessible outlets and free Wi-Fi, such as the Houston Public Library, a trendy cafe in Montrose, or any of the hotels downtown.
Each type of establishment comes with its own perks. Libraries and hotel business centers provide peace and quiet while setting up in a coffee shop can open you up to networking opportunities. Try flitting from one place to the next to test out the pros and cons until you find a permanent setup.
Find Your Houston, TX, Workspace on SquareFoot
If you’ve embarked on the search for cheap office space, Houston may not be where you expect to find it. However, you should be content to learn that this isn’t the case. Almost any company can find an affordable workplace in Texas’s largest metropolis if they use the right services.
Getting your own business address is a monumental step in your journey as an entrepreneur, but it won’t bust your budget if you follow our advice. Once your company scores a place of its own, the world is your oyster.
Ready to see what our service has to offer? Search Houston office space listings on SquareFoot today.