Chris Porter is an entrepreneur who has visited a number of shared office spaces and thinks he can use his experience to help other startups and entrepreneurs. That idea is what inspired him to open up a new Saline-based business, Strategic Office Space, at 168 S. Industrial Dr., in the Gateway Center.
Porter, originally from Dallas, spent some time in the Navy, and after earning an undergraduate degree, spent several years in pharmaceutical sales and medical device sales. While traveling, he looked for good spaces to work from.
"Searching out rental spaces to suit my needs, I started seeing they weren't getting it right," Porter said. "I wanted to use my experience to help others build their businesses."
The new business will combine office space rental with a co-working model, and will involve three levels of membership.
A full membership ranges from $700-1,000 per month and includes renting office space, a dedicated mailbox, priority access to the conference room and video-conferencing, and virtual assistant for the office. The full membership includes 24-hour turnkey access, a full eat-in kitchen, and a full shower for those who might want to work out or go for a jog before coming to work.
Porter said 25 slots are available for "social memberships," which provide a permanent mailbox, a lounge and computer bar, and access to the conference room. Social members may access the space from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and pay $250 per month.
Others who don't need office space can rent a mailbox only, for $40 per month.
A feature that will set SOS apart from other local co-working spaces is a "business incubator" type of service where Porter will bring in local business people to talk about their areas of expertise and help new businesses grow and thrive, Porter said.
He is open to tenants from just about any industry, from travel agents and real estate agents to lawyers.
“It’s for any kind of freelancer or home-based business that’s looking to grow to the next level in a professional environment,” Porter said.
He said he’s trying to lure some startups from the Ann Arbor market, because many of the other big co-working spaces are charging twice as much as SOS will. It’s for people who want to be close to Ann Arbor but don’t want to pay Ann Arbor prices, Porter said.
As of early April, Porter said he was about 70 percent done with renovations to the office suite, which used to house a physical rehabilitation company.
He is aiming for a May 1 grand opening including a ribbon-cutting ceremony. He says he isn't at capacity and is still looking for members.
For more information, visit http://sossaline.com/.