Dell Technologies

By Debbie Gregory.

So you’ve decided to take the big plunge and launch your business. Congratulations!  But if you can’t afford to have the office of your dreams in the prime location that you want, here are some alternatives.

Your local coffee shop may not be the ideal place to start your business, but at some locations you don’t even have to be a customer to reap the benefits. If your team consists of you, this may be an ideal temporary, short term option.

Working from home is the next best option. But in order to be successful here, you should delegate a space that is yours for you to work on your business, be it a dedicated room, space in the basement, the garage, or even a large closet.

Co-working spaces and shared office spaces offer flexibility, as well as the opportunity to collaborate. Incubators are all the rage for start-ups these days, and can be beneficial on many levels. A shared office space where two or three start-ups can work side by side does not only help in cost cutting. The businesses can learn a lot from each other. There are several places that sublet their conference rooms, projectors, and other office amenities to small businesses at an hourly or daily basis. You can book a hall for a day and hold your weekly or monthly meeting with your team members or prospective clients. It is a win/win situation at a very reasonable bargain.

If you identify a space that you think would work for you but it’s too much for you to take up on your own, you can turn it into a co-working space. Try to identify spaces that have sat vacant for an amount of time. The owner may be more flexible with you in an attempt to get it rented. Be sure that you are in a financial position to cover the cost of vacancy rates before you sign a lease.


Boots to Business: VAMBOA

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boots_to_businessBoots to Business is an introduction to starting a business for veterans and transitioning military. The entrepreneurial education and training program is offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program (TAP).

Speaking at a recent “Boots to Business” boot camp, James Williams, the lead economic development specialist for the Richmond, Virginia District Office of the SBA, told the story about a group of his peers who sold sandwiches to pay for college tuition.

“We laughed at them,” he said. “Fast forward to today — they’re called Subway.”

“Boots to Business” is part of a push to better prepare troops for life after the military and improve TAP, the target of many a veteran’s distain for what has previously been considered to be a superficial approach to transition. Formerly aimed only at troops close to separation, the program was recently opened to all veterans and troops, regardless of how much time they have left in the service.

Williams said that “Boots to Business” serves as a reality check about the very difficult road ahead for anyone starting a business. He added that the structure and discipline troops learn while in the armed forces serves them well in business, but that there’s often an adjustment to leaving the military bubble, with its free health care, readily available services and housing stipends.

“One of the big hurdles is becoming acclimated to civilian life again,” he said. “They have been in a protected kind of life, separated from the general population — some of them have separation anxiety.”

“What we’re really looking to do is give them a vehicle by which they can think about, ‘What is the feasibility of my dream?’ ” he added. “In the end, if you decide, ‘This isn’t for me,’ that’s still a success.”

The Veteran and Military Business Owners Association (VAMBOA) is a non-profit business trade association that promotes and assists Veteran Business Owners, Service Disabled Veteran Owned Businesses (SDVOB) and Military Business Owners. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and responsible for job generation. That is why VAMBOA provides its members with Business CoachingContracting Opportunities, a Blog that provides information, Networking contacts and other resources. Membership is FREE to Veterans. Join Now!

Boots to Business: VAMBOA: By Debbie Gregory

VAMBOA: California Business Portal

Those who own a small business — or want to start one — now have a one-stop source of information about the how-tos.

California’s Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development this month set up a website dedicated to answering basic questions about starting, running or relocating a business.

Users also can use the portal to obtain licenses and permits, as well as to learn about state and local regulations and find links to additional information on government incentives.

The site is at and is accessible on both iOS and Android cell phones and other devices.

Reach Rowena Coetsee at 925-779-7141. Follow her at