December 8, 2015
Tech startups don’t need much at first. A basement or garage with a few computers is where many tech giants got their start, after all. Innovation and work ethic still reign supreme over workspace at brand-new startups, but as a tech startup begins substantial growth, an office space becomes essential.
When moving your startup into its first office, you’ll need to consider several things. Pre-planning with consideration to the areas below will result in a smooth startup-to-office transition that can save your business substantial time and legal headaches in the long term:
Inspect Nearby Infrastructure
Every startup needs network capabilities. Unfortunately, some locations suffer from limited internet connectivity due either to a lack of providers in the area or some unavoidable digital interference like cross-wiring or nearby radio transmissions. Whatever the reason is, verify that a prospective office space has reliable network and wireless capabilities. Check your phone’s service levels whenever checking out the location and contact local internet providers to ensure that they serve the address.
Walk the Neighborhood
Tech startups typically don’t have customers coming in and out, but that doesn’t mean that being in a nice neighborhood isn’t important. Anyone from potential investors to clients can frequent your office space, which means they’ll be seeing the surrounding neighborhood. A neighborhood that feels dangerous will not provide them with the best of impressions.
Before signing a lease, walk through the surrounding neighborhood a few times to get a feel for the area. If you feel safe, clients and investors likely will as well.
Analyze the Lease
It may seem hard to stifle your excitement after finding the perfect office space, but there’s still work to be done. For instance, thoroughly looking over your potential lease is essential. Your best bet is to hire professionals that can help you with your first corporate real estate. They may be able to help you avoid hidden fees as well. Be sure to verify what-if scenarios and certain contractual clauses with the property owner.
Look Into Insurance
A business without insurance can go bankrupt in the case of a natural disaster. Paying for insurance is necessary. A general liability policy is usually the go-to route, as it’s negotiable with your landlord and can effectively save a business if something beyond their control occurs and damages their property. Other types of insurance are also recommended — like personal injury insurance, which can help prevent unnecessary lawsuits and keep employees feeling safe.
Define Your Office Climate
As the startup’s owner, you have the responsibility of establishing the type of office culture you feel will drive your business. The degree of conventionalism is up to you — some businesses work great with casual attire and others with professional wear, for instance.
Whatever vibe you choose, be sure to value consistency. Ideally the office culture will permit freedom and flexibility to keep employees from feeling over-worked. Making room for a casual area with a TV or gaming system might help.
Additionally, considering various workplace design trends to maximize efficiency and collaboration will help create an office space that’s easy and fun to work in. The transitional period of working in an office, for both your longtime employees and new ones alike, is an important one. As your startup’s leader, you have the power to guide your team through this transition into a workspace that embodies productivity, flexibility and niche-relevant charm.
By considering your startup’s potential infrastructure capabilities, surrounding neighborhood, lease specifics, insurance possibilities and office climate, your team will be fully prepared to make the transition into their first legitimate office space.
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