How to find the right premises for your start-up

Four questions every business owner should ask to ensure you choose an office or workspace that’s cost effective, flexible and attracts the right talent

For any new start-up, finding the right premises is key. A start-up environment can be full of uncertainty, so it helps to be prepared where you can so you can grow your business in the most cost effective way.

When looking for new premises for your business, there’s a host of elements to consider, including: good desk space, flexibility, a good location and good internet access. Keeping the budget as low as possible is also ideal so you can put all your finances into your new product or service.

So, when finding the ideal premises, there are a few important questions to ask yourself:

Could you work in another company’s premises?

Your first few weeks, months or even longer as a start-up will typically consist of two or three people so you don’t necessarily need an entire office. You can look at partnering with another company whether that be your web designer, your accountants or your friend’s office. If you have a particular business where your work is crucial to another company’s success, such as a broker, why not ask to use a desk in their office as well?

For a new start-up, you can get away with having a desk in the corner of someone else’s office, provided that you stay low key. As long as you have access to their Wi-Fi, some toilets and can help yourself to some tea and coffee, you’ve got everything you need to get going. You can decide to contribute to the monthly rent or if you have a good relationship with the owners, you may be able to work there for free for a few months, perhaps as part of a contra deal where you’ll offer something back when you can.

Can you add an additional five people as you grow?

If your new start-up business starts to take off, do you have the capacity to add another five people to the team? You may require extra people in sales, marketing, IT or admin to meet the demands of the business. You can potentially add people onto your desk but having that extra space available will be crucial as you grow.

Co-work offices are a good option if you’re looking for a solution that will allow you to add desks as and when rather than committing to a whole office that quickly becomes too small.

Can you move easily?

If you find that your start-up needs to grow or go back a step, how easy is it to move offices? When looking for a new place to launch your start-up, you need to be aware of a contract tying you down for a long period or charging a penalty if you want to leave early. Be realistic in how long you think you will need the office for so you can plan ahead.

Have you set up servers in the office? Did you purchase a lot of furniture and computers? The more stuff you have accumulated, the harder it will be to move. This is why it makes sense to start your business at home or in a local business hub to limit your overheads. Also, you can think about putting all your IT in the cloud so that you don’t have to set up or move any physical servers and can work effectively from anywhere.

Can you get the right staff?

Sometimes a business is as good as its staff. Do you need to attract top developers? Do you need University interns? If so, you may need to find a workplace in a central location such as a city or find a location near a major university.

Having good internet access is also key so being in a busy commercial area will probably provide better signal than a rural location.

This piece was provided by Call Wiser, a start-up that launched in April 2015 and offers an easy way to get car insurance quotes over the phone.


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