General Practice, Solo & Small Firm DivisionSolo Newsletter
SPRING 1997 ISSUE
Is It Time To Relocate Your Office?
by Alan C. Kam
You’re ready to do some image building, and your current office digs or decor just won’t cut it any longer. Or you’ve decided to go out on your own, but don’t know what type of space you’ll need for the long term. For both of these situations, shared office space may be the answer.
Shared office space is enjoying growing popularity among small law firms and solo practitioners. Opening an office in an executive suite can enhance a firm’s image with little initial cost. Executive suites allow firms to operate efficiently in a short amount of time, eliminate the need for additional capital expense for equipment, require no long-term lease commitment, and allow firms to focus their attention and resources on servicing clients, not on managing personnel and equipment.
Generally, executive suites provide such basic services as receptionists, secretaries, telephone operators, word processors, transcription services, travel services, business equipment, access to professionally decorated conference rooms, desktop publishing, and mail and delivery services.
Many shared office centers offer additional amenities, including deposition rooms, color copiers, training rooms, expanded conference centers, video conferencing, on-premises restaurants, health clubs, and dry cleaners. Some executive suites are tailored specifically for law firms, providing legal secretaries and law libraries. Some also offer reciprocal use at their affiliated centers across the country.
Firms can create a customized package of premium office space and business services. Rental rates vary depending on the geographic location of the suite, the size and number of offices, furnishings, and the term of the lease.
Some facilities offer flexible part-time office plans that allow firms to rent office space, with business support services and office equipment, for a few days a month, at a reduced rate. Another option, business identity programs, offer lawyers a prestigious address, telephone answering service, voicemail, and package, mail, and delivery services. Monthly costs start from about $100. Programs can include access to deposition and conference facilities, office equipment, staff, and use of a day office. This could be ideal for solos who work out of their homes or smaller office space but would take advantage of impressive meeting facilities.
Alan C. Kam is vice president of advertising and marketing for ALLIANCE Business Centers, the largest organizaiton of executive suites in the world.