It's a bit daunting when your startup reaches the milestone of needing its first office, both logistically and financially. However, having built out a few offices in my day, I assure you it will be an unforgettably rewarding experience as well.
As long as you…
Invest In A Router That Will Last
Before I make a specific router recommendation, let me point out that more companies than you'd realize fail to check with their future landlords about internet connectivity options in the area. Don't be one of them, or risk getting stuck with only DSL to power your growing business.
Once you're sure your new office is wired properly though, you'll want to invest in a wireless router that'll last you at least a few years — and hopefully a few future offices. The Nighthawk X8—AC5000 from Netgear not only has an awesome name, but it will reliably do the job, and then some.
Settle for a Whiteboard
This is obvious, but I wanted to bring it up in order to emphasize that under no circumstances should you buy anything like “idea paint” or any other coating that lets you ‘magically' write on your walls. I was pressured into including this in one of our office builds and even with professional contractors prepping the surface before application the results were dismal.
Instead, get a traditional whiteboard from ULINE and save writing on the wall for your children.
Get a Large Display
Bigger is always better, especially when you're using a display to present and collaborate. Not to mention, large displays are usually the de facto focal point of any serious conference room, where you'll presumably be pitching clients and discussing all things digital, so it's best not to skimp here.
In my opinion, Sony makes a massive 4k display that's reasonably priced.
Indulge In Comfortable Chairs
You already know that you and your team will be spending hours upon hours sitting in front of a computer, so do everyone a favor and make sure to invest in comfortable chairs.
AmazonBasics offers one that won't break the bank and should last you awhile.
Get a VOIP-Compatible Polycom
I've run through just about every conference call setup you can imagine, and every time I attempt to buy something other than Polycom it ends up getting sent back to Amazon.
Don't waste your time like I did, get a Polycom SoundStation so your clients and investors can actually hear you when your on important calls. And if you don't have a VoIP provider yet, you're in luck, as we happen to have recently published a list of some of the best VoIP services available.
Buy a Nintendo Switch
If you're going to self-identify as a startup, you might as well embrace the culture (and the stereotypes) by keeping a Nintendo Switch on hand.
It will give you a great way to (virtually) escape during those early days when you'll be living in your office, and I've always found Mario Kart to be a very effective method for solving office disputes.
Bonus: Hire a Real Estate Agent
People often wrongly assume that enlisting the services of a real estate agent is too expensive or the business you'd generate for them wouldn't really be worth their time making it hard to find an agent. But a good real estate agent will invest their time into helping you knowing that you'll then stick with them as your company grows (and, of course, tell all your startup friends about them).
If you live in an aggressive market (e.g. SF, DC, NY, etc.), I strongly recommend finding someone who knows the lay of the land and working with them to find your new home.
If you're in the middle of acquiring an office, let me be the first to congratulate you — and wish you luck. The exciting ride we call entrepreneurship is just about to get going, and you'll remember this experience for the rest of your life.
Read more gear and gadgets for your office at TechCo