When your startup begins to take off, you’ll quickly outgrow your current space. Whether you’ve been operating your business from a home office, a co-working space, or even a garage, you’ll soon find that it’s not enough.
Instead, you’ll have to invest in a dedicated business space for your startup. This will be a hub of innovation and productivity for your team, a center for networking with partners and investors, and a haven to welcome clients in.
But how exactly do you go about moving into your startup’s first office? To help you through the process, here’s a step-by-step guide.
Assess Your Needs and Plan
First, assess your business’ current and likely future needs. Keep your long-term growth objectives in mind.
Ask yourself questions about how many team members you’re planning to add, and how many clients you expect to welcome onto your premises.
Then, think about how much space to allocate to each team member, and calculate in common areas, and conference rooms. Don’t forget to factor in sanitary facilities and amenity areas like break rooms.
Overall, this will give you a good handle of how large your office space needs to be, and the first idea of the layout.
Set a Budget and Stick to it
Next, set yourself a budget.
This should include your office space’s basic rent, as well as additional costs such as taxes, electricity, and internet services.
Also consider monthly costs for cleaning, heating, and air conditioning, and various types of insurance – from building and contents insurance to public liability insurance.
Plus, don’t forget to factor in that you’ll probably have to hire a company of movers to transport your current equipment to your new location, and to deliver new furniture.
Pick a Location
One of the most important choices to make along the way is where you want your startup’s office to be located.
Your budget will be your major restriction here. Apart from that, it depends on what sort of business you run and where your priorities lie.
If your startup is B2C selling physical goods, favor areas with high foot traffic or lots of parking space. If you’re B2B, the closer to your clients you are, the better.
If you can, consider moving to an area that’s already a startup hub. Here, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for networking and reeling in investors.
Also,, take into account which local services are available in an area for your team to benefit from. If there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, public transport routes, and a gym or two nearby, it’ll be easier to attract top candidates for open positions.
When negotiating a lease contract, prioritize flexibility. Try to get a rolling, not a fixed-term contract, in case your startup grows faster than you think.
Keep Branding in Mind When Designing Your Office
Finally, you will have to outfit your new office.
Start by organizing essential services, from fast internet access to electricity.
Then, focus on getting must-have office equipment – desks, chairs, and all the necessary electronics. Make sure that any office furniture is ergonomic for the sake of your team’s health.
Additional touches, from greenery and break room furniture, to art and air moisturizers, can be added later on. In fact, this is a great opportunity for your team to become involved in personalizing your business’ space.
Throughout all of this, keep branding in mind. Your office will be a calling card to present to clients and investors. Think about which color schemes and furniture style best reflects your brand identity. A bright, warm palette, and openness? Or brushed steel, sleek mahogany, and professionalism?
At the end of the day, moving into your startup’s first office is a challenging process full of countless crucial choices. By planning, setting a budget, and putting some thought into picking a location and outfitting your office, you will be able to master this challenge.