March 25, 2016
One of the biggest decisions a new startup must make concerns the type of workspace that will be the best fit for them. It's a much bigger decision than one may at first realize.
You'll find that there are several choices for offices for small businesses and startups. As is common with startups, value for money can be a determining factor. Here are the different types of offices that startups may want to consider.
A home office
This is often the easiest and the most economical of choices. Most startups begin in home offices, so this may be the natural choice for many to go with until the business grows. One of the drawbacks of the home office is that you often have to share the space with your family or roommates. This can mean only one thing: distractions abound. From little children running around wanting to play, to a roommate who spends hours planted on the couch playing video games.
Another issue with home offices is that they can become cramped as the business grows.
A virtual office
Virtual offices are convenient when you prefer to have a formal office in your city's prime business district, but you have no desire to physically have to go there everyday. This is becoming a popular option for businesses that desire to have a flexible way to work. Especially useful when your startup operates internationally.
Co-working spaces are becoming more popular with startups every day. They give you the same feeling that you might get from working at your local coffee shop – you can lounge longer, be around other people, enjoy a cup of coffee and work as long as you like.
Technically, the term co-working space simply refers to the practice of sharing a workspace with workers and business owners from different backgrounds and industries. The advantage of working out of this type of space is the flexibility it offers. You can work the hours you want, be around other people and even use common meeting spaces to meet with potential clients or investors.
When it comes time for your startup to consider renting an office space of your own, there are many options that you can consider. Of course, renting your own space gives you much more flexibility but also comes with a higher price tag. Search online at sites like Gumtree for the best prices and locations on office rentals.
You'll have to decide how big of a space you require, whether that space should be open, in cubicles or in offices. Do you require additional amenities like a common break room or meeting spaces? What parking requirements do you have? Do you need a location near public transportation or in a particular neighborhood?
Leased offices can come with fixed terms of six months, one year, or even five year contracts with an individual landlord or a management company that runs the building. So that is something to be mindful of when looking around. You definitely don't want to acquire a small transitional space with a lease term of five years when you know you'll be outgrowing it well before the lease is up. Breaking a lease can be costly.
In the end, it is best to not rush the decision. Take your time and find the space that is perfect for your needs. Try more than one in order to find the right fit, just don't get locked into a long term lease if that's not right for your startup.
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