When your startup begins to take off, you’ll soon need one thing above all: office space.
Right now, you might be working from a cramped bedroom as part of a distributed team or you’ve set up shop in a repurposed garage. That is all fine and well in the very first stages of a business. But it’s simply not ideal for operations and holds back growth in the long run.
The solution? Creating a professional office space for your startup.
In this, you have two main determining factors: your budget, and the brand identity you want to project. Having a professional office is a key contribution to attracting employees, clients, and investors.
When you set out to find the perfect office space for your startup, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
First off, you have to narrow down the location for your office. Look at your target audience and do some market research.
If you’re running a B2C business, aim to be close to areas with lots of foot traffic. If you’re in a B2B niche, it’s more advantageous to be close to your ideal clients.
Also, check out areas with accumulations of other startups. Being in an established startup spot will help you to network. It simplifies connecting with other entrepreneurs and investors. Plus, these areas are likely to provide attractive infrastructure for employees.
Office space is expensive, and your budget is going to be a big limiting factor in where you can set up shop, and how big your business space will be.
That means you have to spend some time looking into the financials of finding an office space. Set a fixed budget on how much you can afford to pay for monthly rent and down payments. Then, find the best location for that price.
Also be sure to look into different types of lease – whether you’ll be charged a flat, all-inclusive fee, a base fee plus utilities, or a base fee plus a revenue percentage. If possible, aim for a flat rent – it is the most predictable to factor in for startups.
Finally, be sure to consider costs like outfitting your office space and hiring a reliable movers’ company.
Think about all the things you and your team will need for daily operations – from office equipment like printers to bathroom and kitchen facilities.
In terms of the floor plan, a kitchen and break area, conference rooms, and storage space are must-haves.
To attract employees, you should also consider which amenities are available in the vicinity of your future office. Easy access to restaurants, coffee shops, and gyms is a plus for many potential team members.
The look of your office will determine how people perceive your brand. This goes for employees as well as clients, competitors, and investors.
When you’re looking for an office, think in advance about which style you want to associate with your brand. Then, be sure to find something that already incorporates the design you’re aiming for, or that provides a blank canvas that can be easily adjusted.
5. Possibility for Growth
Finally, consider the possibilities for growth that potential office spaces offer.
As your start-up expands, you’ll add more team members and more equipment. Relocating is a stressful, disruptive, and expensive process. That’s why it’s better to keep an eye on opportunities for growth as you’re picking an initial office space.
If you plan in a little extra space from the start, adding a few team members is fairly simple. You could also check if you can rent more space in the same building.