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By Michael Sterling
There are many factors to consider when housing a startup company. Many beginning entrepreneurs are usually too eager to grow their business they often overlook important details within their strategy, usually taking them to an early grave.
Some businesses might benefit more in certain kinds of plans than others which is why, as a business owner, you need to review your plan to make sure you are heading in the right direction. Here are a few factors you’ll need to know during the developmental stages of your startup.
For the driven entrepreneur, startup accelerators can be one of the greatest things you can do for your company during its developmental stages. Its structure is to create rapid growth for all the companies they house. They give an entrepreneur access to technology, office space and a plethora of innovative people within their community.
Typically these programs last around 90 days and the accelerators receive a nice chunk of the company’s stock in exchange. Y Combinator was the original accelerator to have created this kind of system, sprouting the billion dollar companies Airbnb and Dropbox since its inception in 2005.
Tip: Be careful when choosing accelerators who take too much equity. A typical percentage is anywhere between 5% – 10%. Some programs are said to take up to 50% which is way too much as it will be more difficult for you to raise another round since you’ll have less equity to offer other investors or programs.
#2) Virtual Office Space
A virtual office setup is a great tool for a startup company to have, especially if they require employees to be in many locations across the country and the world. Since the office exists in cyberspace, the only thing an employee needs is a laptop or smart phone and internet access.
Not only can virtual offices provide significant savings and flexibility compared to renting physical space, but business owners also aren’t restricted to hiring within local cities which means they can find the best of the best elsewhere.
This kind of setup requires you to think about what’s best for your services, i.e. presentation, manufacturing, and deliveries. If your business needs space for clients to come in and out, this may not be the best setup.
If your business requires you to travel continuously, virtual offices might be your best friend. Meetings can be held via teleconferencing services like GoToMeeting.com which makes presentations all the more compatible.
Tip: Barrister Suites, Premier Business Centers, Davinci, and Regus are among the most well-known virtual office services, each with their own pros and cons. But if you Google “Virtual Office” plus your city, you can also find listings of services which might be equally as adequate while also staying aware of the local market.
#3) Shared Office Spaces
If your business requires a physical space with little cost, a shared office space can be a happy medium. A successful environment will have other creative and innovative entrepreneurs working on a buck load of individual projects in one room with many opportunities to utilize each other’s expertise.
One of the greatest things a shared space provides is independence. You won’t exactly have a supervisor breathing down your back, instead, you will have flexibility in creating your own work schedule, unless your business requires a more hands-on approach.
Though there are many perks of a shared space, i.e. cost, there are still some downfalls. If you’re sharing with distracting people, productivity could easily be affected. Think of it like a dorm room. Depending on who you’re “living” with, you can either blossom or shrink into a hole of bad office planning.
*Tip: ShareDesk.com and ShareYourOffice.com are great resources to use when you’re looking for space either near you or around the world. Put together a plan of exactly what you need and investigate the details of each of their listings, and you will be sure to find one that’s perfect.
#4) Must-Need Necessities
The type of space you need is obviously going to reflect on the kind of business you operate, but even a smart business owner can fail to see the bigger picture. Here are a few things to consider about your day to day operations:
- Client Visitations – If your business requires clients to come in and out of the space, make sure it is presentable for your kind of service. Parking, bathrooms, waiting rooms (if necessary) are all important things to consider.
- Employee Space – Whether employees are just assisting you in your work or are delegated to their own jobs, make sure the infrastructure isn’t affected due to their inability to function in a proper environment.
- Work/Manufacturing – If your business requires working space, i.e. for painting or mechanics, it’s obvious that a bigger space will be an investment, however, the work space can be separate from the day to day correspondence space. Try and separate the two if you can – you will save much more money down the road.