Are you a new business owner? You won’t want to miss this guest post by Shane Mac over at Venture Beat. Shane bucks the trend of “experts” telling everyone that the days of the physical office space are coming to a close. He argues that, while a remote workforce may be OK for well-established companies, it’s usually the wrong choice for a startup. That’s not good news for entrepreneurs who were hoping to save money by forgoing an office lease and simply having all their workers e-commute. But Shane has some valid points. Here are just a couple:
- As a startup, you have no established company culture and no sense of being a team yet. Your employees need to actually interact with each other at this stage. Plus, they need to be inspired by your passion and energy. That doesn’t happen as readily via email or Skype.
- You don’t want to spend more time fixing communication breakdowns than on actually getting things done. With a business model that’s constantly changing and growing, you need to be able to communicate once and get things done right. Everyone must be on the same page during a time when mistakes can be fatal. Face to face meetings ensure everyone’s up to speed.
Startup Office Planning on a Budget
If you’ve realized that you can’t afford to forgo office space during your startup phase, how do you make this decision fit your budget? Here are just a few ideas to consider:
- Choose a very short term lease on a fully furnished office space if you’re unsure of the future of your startup. You can terminate with no strings attached most easily in this type of arrangement.
- If you have an existing, unfurnished space you can use (or a space you can lease cheaply), consider leasing the office furniture for it. This gives you a chance to figure out what type of furniture best supports your workforce.
- Look into “coworking” spaces if you have only a handful of employees. The membership fees are usually very affordable and you can use the space on an as-needed basis – ramping up as your company takes off.
- Choose used or refurbished office furniture when you’re ready to purchase this equipment. You can save as much as 70% compared to the price of new for very high-end furnishings. Your employees will appreciate the quality of their furniture and know that you’re going to treat them right over the long term.