I dropped my formal education after completing school in order to build my own startup. Sounds cool, right? It sure does, but for me, it's sometimes quite daunting. There were thoughts like — what if this all just collapses and I am left with nothing?
Because I devoted 100% of my efforts and hard work into this and never had any plan B. I always believed that having a “back-bridge” reduces your chances of actually succeeding in your actual plan.
But, looking back now, I feel that I did the right thing. I've learned more from my startup than what my friends have learned from their colleges. In colleges, our brain learns from textbooks and lectures, however, in real life scenarios, our brain learns from analyzing, blows and such things which have a solid impression in our brain.
Talking about blows, I am sharing what I learned after losing my rented office space.
How Did I Rent My Office Space?
As a teenager, you're always filled with zeal — and so was I.
I first figured out how much would I need to rent an office and did the maths, and come up with a ballpark figure. I presented what was in the plate to my parents and they didn't invest! It let me down for a week or so, but I figured out that being sad isn't going to get me funded.
So, there was this job portal. I registered on it, filled up my profile. Now, I've been writing for 3 years, and it was only matter of hours after filling my profile that I got called for a writer's position.
I was getting a decent income from my writing gigs but there was no fixed income and I needed one fixed income source in order to handle rents. I also had a partner. So, initially, I thought that rents would be divided and it appeared affordable.
So, I got the job, the pay was fair, I managed to make them allow me to work from home and I rented a space. It was right behind my house. On my first day at the office, my partner declared he couldn't contribute to startup because he wanted to focus on college. It was, of course, a solid blow, but I didn't react and continued in office space.
Although my job made me more than enough to pay rents, but I was exhausted at the end of the day. I had no time left to focus on my startup.
Good Things Come to an End
It was hell of a run, But all good things must come to an end – Brad Kern
For four months, I managed everything fine. I did a good amount of business and paid rents timely. I had my job to pay rents, but no time to scale my business.
And, even when I had time, I worked from home instead of that rented office because it had nothing — no proper sitting place, no power backup — nothing ! and I hadn't hire anyone at that time.
In my mind, I took office space for starting a content marketing training institute but for that, I needed funds as well.
If we leave my salary aside, I was making almost my rent from my writing gigs. Seeing my efforts and hard work, my parents told me that I should leave the job and focus on building my business. They told me, that if I run short of rent by a small amount, they'll help.
I believed it, and quit my job. Which was a bad decision. Next month, I needed a very small amount in order to pay rent and parents didn't help. And, I lost my office. Another solid blow.
Things I Learned After Losing My Rented Office Space
1. Have at least 6 months of running capital ( rents + expenses ) in your account before renting any space.
2. Figure out methods through which you can pay rents without using your reserved money.
3. It's okay to dream of a big office space, but it's foolish to think you can afford it in the start.
4. Start with bare necessities and scale it slowly as your business grows.
5. If your office has to do anything with computers and people working on them, get a good chair. It will help you work for long hours
6. Don't partner with someone who is fresher in business management. Now, I am not saying fresher in what work you do, people can be highly skilled in graphics design but without proper management, they can't be in business for long.
7. Rent an office when you actually need an office. If you can manage work from home and co-ordinate with your team online – it's fine. Do whatever works for you.
8. Use BYOD ( bring your own device ) model in the start. Don't spend on computers.
Bonus tip: Don't get an office which is right behind your house. Because if you fail to save it, it will stand as your “fortress of shame” and would be the first thing you see in the morning.
After the office was gone, I had two options – to be a cry baby and regret it, or to be an entrepreneur, learn and move on. And I chose the latter!