While some companies start as one-person startups and then move into private workspace on short term rental agreements, others still tend to initiate their life as a business in a traditional way. Either way, you need to ensure that the place you lease out is big enough, as well as that it can support your corporate infrastructure. In fact, the actual physical space you have available might have some influence over your business as a whole. With this in mind and without further ado, here are five tips for setting up your first startup office.
1. Do you even need an office in the first place?
You would be surprised with just how easy it is to run a project consisting entirely of remote workers in 2018. In fact, with IM software capable of high-definition conference calls and adequate collaboration tools, you can avoid the need to lease out an office space for years and still run a successful business. If, in fact, you decide to look for an actual office space, for all the perks that such a business decision brings, you still don’t have to lease out an office. If your team isn’t that big and you don’t need a lot of work hours, it might be more cost-efficient to look for a shared office space.
2. Think about the overhead
Leasing out an office in a major business hub like New York, London, Hong Kong or Sydney can cost a small fortune. On top of this, your utility bill will keep growing with the number of people in your employ, which means that, soon, this will become one of your major expenses. Sometimes, it’s wise to look for an office at an inferior location and, in this way, pay less rent on a monthly basis. In some scenarios, merely renting out a cheaper floor can make a huge difference and help you avoid the need to make cuts in other areas.
3. Think about your communication channels
As soon as you settle in the office, you need to let everyone know the location of your new headquarters, as well as the channels through which you can be reached. When moving in, you also need to think about the impact of your contact info on your company’s reputation. For instance, obtaining one of those 1300 numbers in Australia is as important as getting the .com extension for your domain name. On the other hand, handling the technical issue of your move isn’t necessarily the end of your troubles. Some of your clients and contacts require a call, which means that apart from all the logistical tasks of the move, you also have to worry about the networking.
4. Office layout
Once you start furnishing the place, you have to make an important decision. First of all, the cubicle system has long been updated and a present-day office mostly levitates towards the idea of the open floor. Then again, it’s a smart move to separate different departments (if you have the option) in order not to have them interfere with each other’s work. For instance, your sales team may become increasingly competitive (and more efficient) when faced with peer pressure, whereas they might distract your company’s creatives and make it impossible for them to focus.
5. Avoid places that need a lot of work
For your first office, you will probably be on a tight budget. Therefore, you need to avoid picking an office that requires too much work. In other words, while the light situation might be crucial for your team’s productivity, having to rework your company’s entire lighting system upon moving in is definitely not cost-effective. In other words, if you notice that a place has a major flaw, try to make an estimate of just how much a remodeling project will cost. It’s often simpler to just look elsewhere for an appropriate office space.
While setting your first office may seem like a lot of work, keep in mind that it’s something that even some of the world’s least successful entrepreneurs have managed to pull off efficiently. In other words, with just a bit of effort and research, it really shouldn’t pose a problem.