As a small startup business, you will often find that keeping your overheads low is a key concern. With low costs comes great flexibility, and as a result of this the startup business model is extraordinarily successful. Your flexibility and the innovation of your idea is the selling point of your organisation, which may have its roots as a one-man business. But as you grow you will want to expand your operations and capacity. Maybe your first step will be making a hire, maybe it will be securing that big contract. In any case, there will eventually come a time when a startup business has to move into its first office.
This is a huge leap, as it establishes your organisation as a public-facing business. You are no longer just some person at the other end of a website. When you have a premises you have a presence. But it is also a huge responsibility and a huge obstacle. When you secure an office you are saying that you are ready to face the future, and that your business will continue to sustain itself. By making your offices official, in many ways there is no going back. With that in mind, you’re sure to want to think through your choice and back it up with cold hard fact. We’ve put our heads together to help you in this endeavour. With these tips and ideas you should be sure to secure a premises that is perfect for your startup as it continues to grow.
As the number of startups and small businesses has continued to expand, hubs have started popping up everywhere. These are small and flexible portions of a larger office space available for low rent at short notice. Startups usually band together to create these hubs, and they can be incredibly useful spaces for new businesses. They provide ample room and flexibility, without acting as a huge commitment. They can ultimately be the perfect solution to the problem of being a new business seeking offices by closing the gap between home and office spaces. A London virtual office is a great way to help with the expansion of your home business.
If your business has to make a larger commitment or is not seeking offices in an area where hubs are available, a larger rental can be the perfect solution. It can be a fantastic idea to consider renting out a larger space than you need and sub-letting to other small businesses. By undertaking the extra administration entailed in being the landlord, you could even turn a small profit which might cover your own rental fees. In these circumstances you may even want to consider founding your own hub. They may be common in London and other capitals, but when seeking office space in the Manchester City Centre there can be fewer similar options.
Consider the size of your business and where you hope it will be in a few years. Think about what aspects of it you hope to expand and build on. Think about how your office space will need to reflect your changing needs. The above idea of buying a space to rent is particularly innovative in this regard. If you have control over a large office space and you need to expand, you can simply choose not to renew the contract with your tenants. This offers a huge amount of flexibility, and you will have no obligation to move offices or reconsider your choices.
In any case you should be thinking through the general change that you hope your business to go through in the coming years. Startups are notorious for growing astronomically quickly, growing to multinational businesses in the space of just a few years. This may be a touch ambitious for you at the moment, but you should definitely be considering the expansion plans that you have when you look into an office space.
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You should also be thinking about the general design of your office space. As young and innovative businesses, startups are also well known for having open plan and fun office spaces. Supposedly these spaces reflect the structure of the business operation, and they allow everyone to communicate openly and freely. Think about whether you want your business to operate in this style or not. You may want to have a think about how you hope your business to exists as it grows, and consider how your workflow processes will fit into the office space. Think about the nature of the work you do. It won’t be viable to have clients visit the office for meetings if you are entirely open plan. There may be sensitive or confidential work that also needs to take place in private. If you’re a media company you’re likely to want to install some editing suites, and they too will require appropriate isolation from the workaday buzz of the office.
Location Location Location
This will already be a key concern as you look for your first office. But there are more reasons than convenience and cost that dictate where you should be looking to take up your first office space. If you are a startup business, there are plenty of areas which are synonymous with such enterprise. The Silicon Valley was the first of these, but there are a number of locations now associated with startups in every major city.
Finding a space to work from in any of these locations will benefit your work in a number of ways. You will be more respected as a viable business, participating in a legitimate movement. You will also gain access to a whole community of similar businesses, all sharing wisdom and ideas. As you move from the garage to the office, this informal support network can be a great way of gaining confidence. It will also help you to network as you hope to grow your business, associating you to potential partners by the convenience of geographical proximity. You will also find that cooperative organisation and workspace hubs are more likely to exist in areas such as this.