How to Make the Most of Office Space on a BudgetThinking of starting a small business? You’re certainly not alone. Small businesses are on the rise in America; according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, the number of small businesses has increased by almost 50% since 1982!

However, despite the surge in popularity over recent years, starting a small business can still be a daunting challenge to the entrepreneurial-minded individual. With lots of initial hurdles to overcome, many small businesses fold within the first year.

But there’s still plenty of hope! By maximizing revenue while minimizing overhead in those early years, many small business owners can set themselves on a solid foundation for success from the start. Do you need the biggest and best equipment on Day 1? How much space do you need for your workforce? Can you live without that can’t-live-without software for a few months? Putting together a plan that accounts for immediate, short-term, and long-term needs is essential, especially when it comes to finding an office.

While it can be tempting to sign on the dotted line for a new workspace immediately, there are tips that every small business owner should take into account to increase your survival rate right off the bat. Here are the top 3 ways to make the most of an office space on a budget.

#1: Share and Share Alike

Everybody knows that sharing is caring, so why not apply it to your small business? There are plenty of shared office spaces where people use exactly what they need when they need it. What a perfect option for a new, growing small business! Ditch the shackles of a long-term lease until your business growth is stabilized and enjoy the benefits of coworking (not to be confused with co-working) in a shared office near you. From temporary conference rooms to full-blown collaborative spaces, sharing an office is a fantastic resource for the newly minted business.

#2: Lease Your Equipment

Why buy before you try? Equipment leasing takes the investment out of initial start up costs, which is an especially attractive option for those with a tight cash flow. From printers to desks, computers, and everything in between, equipment leasing gives small business owners flexible options for preserving capital while they sort out their initial equipment needs. Plus, when you lease equipment rather than purchasing it outright, you may be eligible for special tax benefits! Equipment leasing also allows small businesses to preserve cash for those unexpected occurrences and emergencies to remain flexible, agile, and ready for anything.

#3: Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

You’d be amazed at how eager other professionals are to help launch small businesses. If you found that committing to an office space is the best option for you, see if you can negotiate a lower monthly rent in exchange for a longer-term lease. Or, consider what your small business provides – are you able to barter your goods or services in exchange for something you need? If you’ve discovered a new software program that comes with a hefty price tag but could potentially maximize your productivity rate, inquire about a free trial before committing. You’ll never know how much can be accomplished and how far you can go by simply asking.

There are plenty of tips for small business owners either just starting out looking for a workspace or taking their business to the next level with a brand-new office. Shortcuts generally don’t pay off, but there are certainly some underused resources out there that directly contribute to the success of small businesses. Whether equipment leasing or coworking is right for you, we hope that your small business finds success and stays within budget with these suggestions!

Author Bio: Taylor Miller is a contributor to the small business center blog at National Funding and regularly writes about small business loans, equipment leasing and merchant account services.