Office Space to Reflect Your Brand

We spend many hours at work and the place where we do our job can impact the quantity and quality of the work produced there. Solopreneur consultants often brag about our ability to work from home, or the coffee shop, library, or hammock, but these environments may bring many distractions that have the potential to de-rail concentration or creativity. Furthermore, none is a suitable location into which an A-list client can be invited for a meeting.

If your goal is to attract big-budget clients, then you must communicate your team’s capability to deliver complex and sophisticated services and instill confidence in those whom you ask to hire you. That will almost certainly entail contracting for good office space.

Your office is an extension of your brand and it should represent you well. If you’ve decided that office space outside of your home is now necessary, please read on to receive a basic overview of typical B2B commercial rental possibilities that could align with your needs and budget. For information specific to your requirements, see a commercial real estate agent who has deep knowledge of the B2B office market in your location. As well, you may benefit from the services of an office planning specialist.

Co-working space

This is often the first place that Solopreneurs and Entrepreneurs consider when it’s time to move from makeshift to formal office. Think of co-working office space as living with roommates. Lay-outs vary, but you’ll have dedicated work space that provides some degree of privacy.

Besides your discrete work area, all other spaces are common and amenities are shared. You’ll share resources such as a photo-copier, scanner and a conference room stocked with basic audiovisual equipment. There will probably be a kitchen, supplied with at least a coffee maker, microwave and refrigerator.

Many co-working spaces are exclusive to a particular industry (often high tech). They’re designed to encourage networking and referral building, because they are populated by small operators.

Privacy can be a challenge, however, because so much is out in the open, including perhaps your desk area. Highly confidential meetings might need to be held in a coffee shop, ironically, where anonymity can work in your favor.

Shared prestige

Some co-working spaces are in luxury office buildings that have lost a big client and so the building’s owners make up the lost revenue by renting to those who seek an elegant office for a limited number of hours each month, primarily when they would like to impress a client or prospect. Office share is a more accurate description of this arrangement.

There is usually a receptionist on site to greet your appointments and inform you of their arrival. There will be a conference room available that renters can reserve for larger meetings. There will be a proper office with a door, giving privacy. You’ll have a great kitchen, high-end photo-copy machine and other standard office amenities. The receptionist may also answer your office land line and forward calls to you, which you can return at your convenience. If set up correctly, no one will know that you’re only renting a share.

Private office

A traditional office suite, even a small space, is a big financial commitment. Commercial leases are often of three year’s duration and difficult to break. You must have great confidence in your projected revenues.

Think carefully about staffing needs to determine the square feet that you’ll rent. Do you anticipate hiring an administrative assistant and others to work with you in some capacity? There must be space to accommodate them. Whether they are likely to all be in the office simultaneously is another consideration, but each will need a dedicated permanent space.

Your staff may require different styles of work stations, depending on what it is they do. The size of the desks and style of chairs will matter as well. Ergonomics count, as its use decreases the risk of developing back and neck aches and promotes productivity.

Finally, there is the floor plan to envision. Open plans are popular, but the office cubby gives more privacy. Will you, the boss, have a private office, or will the open plan include you, too, communicating that you are a team player?

Thanks for reading,

Kim

Does Your Home, Commercial or Auto Insurance Cover Vandal’s Damage?

Splattered across newspapers and social media are recent events that has divided the nation. Protests glorifying white nationalism, counter protests and a random act of anti-Semitism toward a non-profit holocaust museum have highlighted baseless hatred as well as the resulting damage associated with vandalism.

Saddened along with the rest of decent Americans, the insurance industry turns its attention to the need for insurance that protects against these acts.

For average business owners, non- profit executives, homeowners, renters and car drivers, the issue is a burning one. Will indemnity that is in place protect one from “willful and malicious destruction of property”?

If those who inflicted damages are not found or identified, your insurance will cover the expense of repair or replacement – depending of course if the affected property is included in coverage.

First off, let us examine a standard homeowner’s policy.

In general, a standard home policy can shield one from civil unrest damage and vandalism. This is because property and liability protection is included. The one outstanding exclusion is if your home has been vacant for sixty one or more days.
Secondly, comes the business owner’s coverage – or non-profit organization insurance policy.

Standard policies cover the following:

- Your building
- Any fixtures located within or outside of the building
- All permanently installed machinery or equipment
- Outdoor furniture
- Floor coverings
- Appliances, such as a refrigerator, a dishwasher, a clothing washing machine, a clothes dryer, ventilators and so on
- Business personal property that is indoors or outdoors, like a car or van, that is 100 feet away from the building or closer.

For the business owner that experiences a loss of income due to a property restoration or replacement, the policy includes business income coverage. This means there will be reimbursement for loss of income or business maintenance – such as payroll payments, utility payments, mortgage payments and rent payments.

Finally, auto insurance will cover you for vandalism IF you have the appropriate form of the coverage. A comprehensive policy covers restoration as well as replacement charges if your vehicle has been damaged in a protest or other event that is unrelated to a collision. Bear in mind, though, without the comprehensive plan – regardless of any liability, collision, PIP or uninsured or under-insured auto policy you have bought – you will not be covered for anything unrelated to an auto or other vehicle accident.

For more answers to any question about vandalism and how it correlates to your insurance coverage, speak to an experienced independent agent.