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Archive 2012 · Leasing meeting/office space
  
 
TAGfan
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p.1 #1 · Leasing meeting/office space


I know the argument has been had before about whether its better to meet clients at home or in an office space of some sort. This is a little different - I cannot meet clients at home, and I am sick of using Starbucks or some other such place.

An opportunity has presented itself where I can lease local office/conference space and have it configured as I want - because it was part of a larger space that's being subdivided. It would have some foot traffic and would be markedly better than meeting at a coffee shop.

I'm looking for opinions really, pro's and con's - preferably from those who have meeting spaces or who have had them in the past.



Sep 06, 2012 at 06:12 PM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #2 · Leasing meeting/office space


Depending on the price, I say go for it.


Sep 06, 2012 at 06:54 PM
johnrg
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p.1 #3 · Leasing meeting/office space


I say go for it too if you can swing it--it's definitely nice to have. We share an office space with several other vendors (Coordinator, Floral, DJ, Invitations, and Cakes). It reduces cost and increases referrals making it a win-win.


Sep 06, 2012 at 07:03 PM
ckhagen
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p.1 #4 · Leasing meeting/office space


It really depends on the price and what you're comfortable with.
I've done leased space, I've done Starbucks, I'm doing office space in my home now...
I would say overall the only thing leased office space really did for me was limit my work hours (which was great) and make me feel all warm and fuzzy about how cool I was. It didn't really affect my bookings in the end. So the question I would ask myself again before leasing would be "will the benefits be worth spending $X on?". The benefits in my case was not more money, so the overhead was kind of a loss or just the cost of doing business the way I wanted to do it.

Now, if you're considering projecting for portrait sessions and doing in-house sales, you would have more of a profit basis to consider when looking at the amount you'll be coming out of pocket for the space.



Sep 06, 2012 at 07:05 PM
canerino
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p.1 #5 · Leasing meeting/office space


another added bonus for a space (which i'm sure you thought of) would be workspace. it's really hard for me to edit in my house with three sons.

i dont know that the space would make you money, but i do see other benefits.



Sep 06, 2012 at 07:34 PM
sboerup
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p.1 #6 · Leasing meeting/office space


ckhagen wrote:
I would say overall the only thing leased office space really did for me was limit my work hours (which was great) and make me feel all warm and fuzzy about how cool I was. It didn't really affect my bookings in the end. So the question I would ask myself again before leasing would be "will the benefits be worth spending $X on?". The benefits in my case was not more money, so the overhead was kind of a loss or just the cost of doing business the way I wanted to do it.

Now, if you're considering projecting
...Show more

My feelings are very similar. I had less work hours when I had a commercial studio space, since I couldn't work into the evenings very well. I would try to, but it was slow on a macbook and I didn't have files, etc...

It's really nice having a dedicated meeting space for the latter reasons Candice mentioned. Hands down it was the best thing I ever did, but thats because I rely a lot on sales of products. I just got tired of driving to work (8 minutes, lol) and paying someone else to get rich instead of paying myself (buying a home).



Sep 06, 2012 at 07:43 PM
TAGfan
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p.1 #7 · Leasing meeting/office space


Yeah, this all makes sense. I am weighing the pro against the con - and I am also waiting to hear on a monthly cost based on the space that we discussed yesterday.

Would be large enough for a nice meeting area and office, but probably not large enough to do any shooting there.



Sep 06, 2012 at 07:52 PM
sboerup
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p.1 #8 · Leasing meeting/office space


TAGfan wrote:
Yeah, this all makes sense. I am weighing the pro against the con - and I am also waiting to hear on a monthly cost based on the space that we discussed yesterday.

Would be large enough for a nice meeting area and office, but probably not large enough to do any shooting there.


If you don't do any studio shooting now, it doesn't make sense to add it unless its really part of your brand and value. I thought I'd shoot in a studio if I had the space, but I never did. Had a large space, did a few business headshots but thats about it. Money wasted on that space IMO.



Sep 06, 2012 at 08:15 PM
MattSepeta
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p.1 #9 · Leasing meeting/office space


I share space with a company I do marketing/development work with on a contract basis. I get half the space and pay half the rent. Clients almost always choose "Office" when I ask "office or coffee shop or anywhere you want"... They like seeing prints on the wall and images on a 47" screen while sitting on a couch instead of a puny laptop in a busy coffee shop.

But in the end, its cost/benefit. Is it worth it for YOU? Personally, I only work in my office space 1/4th of the time, the rest at my home office. Still worth it though for the address and the option of using it. Also, the networking by meeting fellow building occupants has been PRICELESS.



Sep 06, 2012 at 08:33 PM
TTLKurtis
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p.1 #10 · Leasing meeting/office space


The question is whether you can make more money by having a space. I had a house to use as a studio for years and once I started focusing less on portraits and more on weddings it became apparent that it was an unnecessary expense. I'm now perfectly happy meeting folks at their venue or at Panera, etc... half the time they book without a meeting, or they go to a hotel that has some recent album samples and check those out and then we have a phone chat or whatever... works for me and like Spencer said now I'm not making someone else rich.


Sep 06, 2012 at 09:58 PM
 

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jprezant
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p.1 #11 · Leasing meeting/office space


I saw an increase in booking % when I started meeting in the studio and not in a cafe.


Sep 06, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Inku Yo
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p.1 #12 · Leasing meeting/office space


Here's my take on it and it may not be true for anyone else...

If I were going to hand over many thousands of dollars to anyone, I would hope they're not working out of the trunk of their car. Or at least they shouldn't give the appearance that they are.

Again, that's just me. If I want someone to spend $10K+, they need to know that I'm good enough at my job to have a nice location and that I plan on sticking around a while.



Sep 06, 2012 at 11:05 PM
TomHarmon
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p.1 #13 · Leasing meeting/office space


Do it. I've been wanting to get a space for quite some time now. I think it looks more professional, especially at a certain price point. I've actually lost a wedding to another photographer because the other guy had a studio downtown.


Sep 06, 2012 at 11:25 PM
TAGfan
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p.1 #14 · Leasing meeting/office space


I kind of echo what Inku said - I think an actual location adds some credibility to the biz. Whether that's your home office (not possible in my situation) or another office location.

I think it would also help me to book a higher percentage of wedding clients I meet with, by being able to show more of my work more efficiently and in a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere.



Sep 07, 2012 at 12:13 AM
paparazzinick
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p.1 #15 · Leasing meeting/office space


If its in your budget. Do it!!

I love my office at home. Once my family grows more I will lease or rent a space. I'll never go back to Starbucks.



Sep 07, 2012 at 12:38 AM
nolaguy
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p.1 #16 · Leasing meeting/office space


sboerup wrote:
Hands down it was the best thing I ever did, but thats because I rely a lot on sales of products. I just got tired of driving to work (8 minutes, lol) and paying someone else to get rich instead of paying myself (buying a home).


Hi Spencer,

Could you please clarify... it sounds like you were saying the studio space was "the best thing you ever did", but you decided against it? If I understand correctly, it was very profitable but you decided against it for personal, quality of life reasons?



Sep 07, 2012 at 01:04 AM
sboerup
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p.1 #17 · Leasing meeting/office space


Sorry for any confusion. Yes, getting a meeting space was the best thing for my business, hands down. However after a year in the studio (1300sqft) it was huge, and I wasn't even using half the space like I thought I would. So I decided to instead buy a home and use it as my office.

I treat my home as a studio, I call it the studio, and when people come to meet me there (everyone does), they see it as an office/studio because it's presented as a business operation. My office is now just a different building, nothing changed between them is all.



Sep 07, 2012 at 01:50 AM
bthatton
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p.1 #18 · Leasing meeting/office space


As much as I want a space I have managed to book some of the big venues in New York via iced skim lattes. That said, am I embarrassed every single time someone asks me where my studio is? For sure.


Sep 07, 2012 at 05:51 AM
marti.g3
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p.1 #19 · Leasing meeting/office space


My home studio. Shows you are a successful home and business owner. If you can swing the monthly lease payments on a commercial space, and willing to do so, then go for it. I found that unless it's a space with foot traffic which creates interest, it will simply be your office/meeting space. Some clients will be impressed, others won't care.


Sep 07, 2012 at 01:07 PM
joosay
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p.1 #20 · Leasing meeting/office space


I've managed to get some nice bookings over coffee but I do feel a bit embarrassed when I have to meet them at a cafe and not my own swanky studio/office space. I was debating if I should get one of those "We Work" spaces here in NYC but I feel it's not the most cost effective option for me right now.

Eventually, I am 100% sure I will get an office/meeting space though. Perhaps next year.



Sep 07, 2012 at 01:11 PM
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