Starting a business is difficult, especially in this current climate so anything that can help a business save money to put towards more profitable areas of your business can help.
One of the biggest investments a startup can make is investing in office space. But as a startup do you need one? Well, the answer is, it depends.
First, let’s look at some of the benefits an office gives a business.
Having physical spaces shows to potential clients that you are a legitimate business that can be trusted. In some industries, it also gives your customers peace of mind knowing that they can have face to face meetings with you if something ever goes wrong or they want to catch up on how a project is going.
In 2021 with the global pandemic working from home has become the new normal so it will be interesting to see how future interactions will take place. Using software such as Zoom and Skype has allowed meetings to continue as normal as possible but in the future, I would expect us to go back to face to face meetings as it seems more natural in my experience.
2) Footfall and networking
Having a physical space also allows you to gain customers from people who would walk past your business. If you also work in another building where other offices are you could also pick up potential clients or at least have some networking opportunities.
Having the opportunity to network with other businesses is great as a recommendation from someone is very likely to convert into a paying customer.
3) Monitoring your staff
As you may be aware, CEO’s and managing directors can be very protective of their business and want to be involved with as many of the processes as possible. Their need to manage their staff is made easier by having everyone in the same building.
If you like to man manage people then having an office space is a good option for you.
But what are some of the disadvantages of having office space?
The cost of office space is one of the main disadvantages to having one. As a startup funds could be low, so having to spend thousands each month is a drawback. There are alternatives to having a fully serviced office though and depending on your business you could try one of these alternatives.
For example, if you still want the opportunity to network, while having a physical space you could try a shared office space. You don’t get all of a building but usually pay by the desks that you need. This gives you ample networking opportunities while keeping costs down so you can grow your business and add to it as you grow.
Other businesses may save money by getting a smaller office space while hiring business storage units. If you are a company that has stock in their offices this could be a solution for you as business storage containers cost much less in terms of space than office space.
For some businesses who have a product that sells online, you may not have all of your staff in one location anyway so having an office that your staff don’t visit could be a waste of your money. If you do require your staff all to work in an office then you are limiting your team’s expertise potential.
As many of us have had to work from home this year will know, commuting to an office is overrated and being at home while working has given many of us much more happiness in our lives and its also given many of us hours back each day.
Working from home has many benefits and keeping your staff happy is one of them. Forcing your staff to go into the office every day can cause them to resent their jobs and if their commute is a long one it can also cause them to look for employment elsewhere closer to home.
Deciding if you need an office.
After reading the advantages and disadvantages of hiring office space you should now have more of an idea if your startup needs office space, but if you are still on the fence answer the questions below and you will have more of an idea.
1) How will you meet with clients?
If you plan to physically meet with clients then an office space is a good choice. If however your clients are national companies anyway and meeting over the internet is an option may be an office space isn’t needed.
2) What do you want?
Having a busy office place where potential clients can come and meet you or having a small room in your home dedicated to work where you can be left alone to work are both options for you. One isn’t better than the other it just depends on what you want your business to be.