If you’ve ever shopped for a business space, you know some of the common headaches: Getting the right space, at the right place, in a way that can easily be configured for enterprise needs, to say nothing of the complicated calculus of lease times and allocating for growth. The issues go on and on. Maybe you’ve considered the lack of innovation in the commercial real estate market. However, One Stop Spaces has recently disrupted this market – and this has led to an interesting rise in demand for unexpected business environments.
Often compared to WeWork, a flexible office space often aimed at start-ups and freelancers, One Stop Spaces offers something different: Commercial warehouses. The large, empty spaces listed on their site may initially seem a far cry from the decked-out amenities of WeWork, which include fruit water and funky furniture. However, more and more startups and small businesses are turning to these spaces. A skeptic might look at the pictures of huge, empty warehouses, complete with fluorescent lights and loading bays, and raise his or her eyebrows. Yes, this is the next big thing.
To make sense of this shift, we should rewind a little bit. What does a warehouse mean? Its connotation of industry and storage is unfair. In reality, a warehouse is a large, open space. One of the truisms in real estate is to try and make the space seem like a blank canvas that can easily transform into clients’ needs. One Stop’s competition works because most small businesses and start-ups are looking for a space that fits in with their self-image and their view of what a business space “should” look like.
Yet One Stop has broken the mold entirely, and this has led to the rise in popularity of commercial warehouses for startups and small businesses. Increasingly, these companies are turning to warehouses. And why not? In addition to the gritty, hipster factor, there are a multitude of pragmatic reasons why commercial warehouses are becoming so popular. First and foremost, warehouses are cheap. For companies operating on a shoestring budget that have outgrown their parents’ garage, a warehouse can represent a thrifty way to scale up a little bit (Indeed, for those coming directly from garages, the warehouse will already seem like a very familiar environment!).
Speaking of scaling up, warehouses offer one distinct advantage that the traditional office space cannot. Although “open concept” offices have been in vogue, despite scientific evidence that they annihilate productivity, they correspond to the same feature: They are easy to scale up. It is much simpler to add another table or cubicle or desk to a large, open space than it is to add one to a pre-designed space that is already perfectly designed for a very specific number of people. Warehouses take the open concept and dial it up to an 11. Need a new room? This is no problem, and can be arranged with either a contractor or, for those on a serious budget, with some cheap bookcases. Want to add a second floor? Warehouses are usually supportive of adding these features.
Naturally, warehouses also offer the bonus of manifold storage space. For the quintessential start-up CEO who lives in the office, this is a plus: It is also a plus for companies selling physical products that need to align with a supply chain. This excess space can create additional benefits for companies. For one thing, it can be used to create additional amenities for employees, such as bike parking, a break room, lounge space, or even a band practice room.
If, at this point, you might be warming to the idea of a warehouse, but remain wary of traditional rental contracts, we’ve got more good news. One Stop Spaces has disrupted business leases as well as driven the rise of commercial warehouse spaces’ popularity. Unlike competitors, One Stop Spaces respects how critical it is for small businesses and start-ups to remain agile. What did you have to produce the last time you rented, whether personally or for a business? Chances are, it was a fairly large binder or folder containing documentation on your entire financial and work history, including assets, reference letters, and balances from every single account. One Stop Spaces offers what its name implies: No financial statements. No balance sheets. No blood samples or rabies certificates (for either your employees or the office dog). No promising your firstborn to the landlord and no hard sells for a five-year lease. One Stop is all that is needed; you do not have to undergo a lengthy screening and application process on either end of the relationship with One Stop.
Most importantly, One Stop Spaces does not require a commitment to a specific lease. One Stop Spaces understands and if your circumstances change, you can let go faster than your last ex. If a business finds that the commercial warehouse concept does not work for them, or if they cease operations, or if the company is instituting a month-long break, there are no “gotchas.” Commitments are flexible, because One Stop Spaces understands the startup and small business life.
In summary, warehouses are not just for trucking and supply chain management operations anymore. With some creative thinking and experimentation, they can work for almost every business, and for that reason, more and more startups are turning to commercial warehouses as a creative way to solve problems. Sure, a warehouse may not look like much at first glance, but if you see it as a modular, blank canvas for your business that can easily be scaled upwards or downwards, your imagination may be your only limit. Instead of turning to an expensive, ready-made, amenities-stuffed office that may meet most of your needs now, save your money and stay agile for the future by turning to a warehouse for your small business or startup. Check out One Stop’s current rentals and see which ones might work for you.