If you have a spare room in your business premises, it’s time to put it to work. Don’t leave it lying empty – you should make sure that it earns its keep. Whether you rent or own the property, it’s still expensive to keep it open – which means that you should at least try to get a return on your investment.
Here are seven ideas to try that will make money from your free space.
 Rent It Out. If you have a spare room that could be used as storage or a small office space for a start-up, then get it listed on a community sharing site. You’ll likely find very soon that someone takes you up on the offer. Space is at a premium anywhere that businesses are run, so someone will want to rent the extra space, whether it’s on a permanent basis or a temporary one.
 Invest in Stock. Could you purchase more stock for your business and then use the space as storage? If you’re a service-based business, you could still try to incorporate selling products. For example, hair salons can sell shampoos and styling products, IT and web development companies can sell storage devices and smart hardware, and any kind of business can sell equipment to others working in the same niche.
 Create More Space. If you are in a retail business, consider using this extra space to spread out your product displays and put more room in the aisles. It’s an experimental technique, but it might make customers feel more comfortable when they are browsing. This could encourage them to stay longer and browse more. If the space is a separate room, you could create a themed sales area with products that match.
 Rent Your Parking Space. If your space includes a parking lot, you can also rent individual spaces or the whole area out on a site like ParkHound. A lot of people want to be able to park up in cities, close to their workplace or when they are travelling and don’t want any inconvenience. Parking spaces can be very desirable, so you can make money just by letting someone leave their car there.
 Create a Consultation Room. No matter whether you sell products or services, a private consultation room can be really alluring to your customers. Depending on what your business does, you can help them decide what package fits their needs best, give them a style makeover, make their shopping easy, or just show them you think they’re a VIP. You can charge extra for this service, or use it as a selling point to bring in more customers.
 Bring in a Partner. Is there a local business that would benefit from sharing your space? If your customers are their customers, a bit of cross-promotion could be great. A clothing store could host a pop-up from a local label. A record store could have a merch stall come in with the kind of bands that sell well with your customers. There are lots of possibilities here.
 Sell It. Finally, if you don’t think you will ever need to use that space again, why not just sell it? Make sure to define clear boundaries on who owns what part of the property and who is required to cover the general upkeep of the area. This will create a contract that will suit both parties for the long term.
Spare space should never just be left empty. There’s so much you can do with it! If these ideas don’t work, wrack your brains until you come up with more.
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books, and writing about green living.