Bluffs Advocate

Small Business


Desk rentals and services await the beginning business person

By Larissa Primeau

            Happy New Year? Wait, it’s already past Valentine’s Day—well past the fresh start you promised yourself as you donned the new underwear you got from your mom on Christmas morning. As you begin 2014 in a new pair of briefs, you may be thinking about starting your own business. I mean it does take some cojones and what with your new undies to support them, why not take the leap? Sometimes it takes the beginning of a new year to give you the renewed energy to branch out on your own.
           I’ve written previously about the decision to work from home or rent an office space and if you’re torn between the two, I’m here to tell you there’s no need to stress—you can have it all. If you aren’t ready to commit to a lease, but you’re also the kind of person who needs some interaction and you know you are easily distracted by your cat’s antics at home, there are many shared office space options in Toronto.
           Not only do these shared spaces allow you a chance to get out of your new Christmas onesie (I’m wearing one now) to go to an office, they are also a great place to network and to be inspired by other like-minded people. These spaces are mainly dedicated to an atmosphere of co-working so you can get back into the habit of gossiping about Andy’s bold choice of cologne or how Santa brought Tanya a new pair of lips for Christmas. In the east end we have the Beach Business Hub, located east of Queen and Woodbine. Not only does a hub like this provide the space you need to work, but included in your fee are admin services, IT support and LCD projection rentals. There are drop-in rates of $25 a day and private desks available at $425 a month.
           This is roughly the arrangement you’re going to find at most shared spaces, though some offer different amenities and price structures. Another one in east Toronto is Workplace One, a business-focused space that encourages business owners to help one another and share ideas. Similar to this is the space I like to use—CSI, or Centre for Social Innovation. It too is in the east, situated in Regent Park. There is a range of rates available and tons of amenities.
           What I like about this one is the focus on learning and support. They host relevant talks and community-inspired lunches. The space is large and bright with a warm feeling and laid-back atmosphere. Another perk is that they offer a free introductory day so you can see if you’re even interested in jumping back into the outside work world, or if you’ll just miss your 12 pm Netflix fix too much. There are some really cool spaces in the midtown area, and in the West end as well, including IQ Office Suites, Project: Rhino, Co-Work on Bloor, ING Network Orange, Camaraderie and Foundry. Check out some of these options if working from home, especially in the winter, is making you a bit squirrelly.
           Go forth and make money!

Larissa Primeau Executive Producer—Online and Branded Content. El Pea Productions www.