Do you know what Amazon, Apple, Google, and Disney have in common? They all started in garages. But in every company’s life comes a moment to move out of home. Which kind of office space should you use for your startup?
Starting from home-based business
A home office is a perfect solution for early-stage startups because occupancy costs are effectively zero. Many well-known companies started like that, for example DELL, which was at first ran from Michael Dell’s dorm room. However, home provides many distractions - physically leaving it to go to an office may help you to be more effective. Sooner or later you will decide it’s time to take your company to the next level, start hiring people and look for the right office space. The question is: how to develop your business and don’t go broke on rent in the meantime? Which office space will fit your company’s needs best?
Nowadays “the office” doesn’t have to be taken literally. If you are on a budget, and want to use the office space every now and then, a virtual office might be your best fit. It provides fully equipped meeting rooms and private offices to rent, call answering by an on-site receptionist, a dedicated local business number, and you can use the business address as your own. The costs are relatively low, basing on Regus: you can rent a short-term office space for your team from $17,25 per hour, or get your own private office from $239,00 per month. Other services such as phone answering, mail handing etc. start from $49 per month.
Incubators and coworking space
In StartupWorks we believe that ideas grow from collaboration. A good solution for starting-up entrepreneurs is to work among others. Incubators and coworking spaces are the perfect place to find support and boost your creativity. Coworking spaces usually offer different types of memberships - monthly, annual, for teams etc. Apart from a private desk to work, you will get access to high speed Internet, printers and conference rooms. To to give an example of costs: TechHub in London offers 3 types of memberships: For individuals wishing to access a space for a day or two each week for £375 + VAT per year, A fixed desk in a shared workspace with 24/7 access. £275 + VAT per month or Team Membership - contained or semi-contained space by the square foot £8.50 + VAT per ft2.
When it comes to incubators, as they say, they are a “perfect bridge to make the big step from idea to execution”. They offer acceleration programs which connect entrepreneurs with top-level mentors and advisors. Once the program ends, startups get a chance to present their work to top angel investors and venture capitalists at the Investors’ Demo Day and convince them to invest in the project. What is the price for that? For instance startupbootcamp is running accelerator programs and investing €15K in cash per team but In return they ask for 8% equity.
Your own office
When your business is going well, you want to hire new employees and need more space to operate it’s time to start thinking about a commercial space. The advantages of having your own place are countless: you do not depend on anyone, you have a place where you can meet with your clients, you don’t have distractions of family nearby, and your business image become more professional.
However, take into account that renting an office is a long-term commitment. Landlords generally prefer five- to seven-year lease terms, so make sure you can afford it. In London for instance, according to find a london office costs for renting an office vary between: £58-141 (ft2 per annum). You can estimate how much you would pay for rent, using this calculator.
Think outside the box
Stories of famous companies which started small, in home, dormitory or garage are a great inspiration. Even if you are on a budget you can find a great office space for your business. Have you heard about Containerville, a startup office built out of shipping containers? It’s a great example of creative thinking about office spaces. So think outside the box and instead of working at home find a place for your startup where you’ll feel like home.