Over the past decade, the way many small businesses operate has changed – and the change appears to be a permanent one. Businesses are now operating without the need for premises, with the business owner and staff all working remotely.
While the above arrangement is not suitable for all types of enterprises, it is an intriguing idea for businesses that are primarily services-based and where much of the work is conducted online.
What are the benefits of moving away from business premises?
Premises are expensive; there’s the cost of the lease (or mortgage) itself, as well as ongoing overhead costs such as electricity and water bills. Without premises, these outgoings are no longer necessary, which improves the profit margin of the business significantly.
How has the shift away from dedicated premises been possible for these businesses?
There are four main reasons it is now possible for a business to operate without premises:
#1 – Professional office meeting spaces can now be hired as-required
Many businesses traditionally needed premises so that they could host meetings with their clients. Nowadays, it’s possible to hire offices on an as-and-when basis; these office spaces are usually based in central or business-focused locations, which offers convenience for both client and business, and provide a very professional, impressive environment. While there is a cost to hire this kind of space, they’re a cost-effective choice when compared to the overheads related to maintaining business premises 365 days per year.
#2 – Outsourcing agencies can replace the work of in-house employees
Businesses once needed space to house all the employees required to keep their company operating, usually separated into different departments that were responsible for specific tasks – but this simply isn’t necessary in the modern business climate. The rise in outsourcing has made it possible to hire an accountancy firm or an SEO agency to work on the business without the need to hire – or provide the space for – full-time members of staff or departments.
#3 – The internet has made it easier to recruit and work with remote workers
In addition to outsourcing agencies, business owners also have the option to hire and collaborate with people who work on a remote basis. Communication – thanks to video conferencing and online messengers – is straightforward, and there are countless online software applications that can ensure project management is as simple as it would be in a conventional business environment.
#4 – Coworking spaces have become more common
One of the main downsides of working alone from home is the potential for loneliness, so premises just seemed like a sensible choice, bringing everyone together into a single location. However, coworking spaces – where freelancers, business owners, and remote workers all share a single, professionally-focused space for a fee – have become extremely popular, allowing people to work “together” even if they are working on different projects.
Could leaving your premises and operating remotely be the right choice for your business?
Some types of businesses will always require a physical location – with retail being the most obvious example. However, given the substantial cost savings operating remotely can provide, if your business can be run without premises, then leaving your premises could definitely be a positive choice for your company.