It’s not easy to figure out what you need for your first office. Where would be a good base for commerce or meetings? How much room will you require? Will you be able to expand later on? All of these questions can be mystifying to start-ups and new business owners. Here’s how to determine your office needs before you find the perfect office space.
Count your heads
Firstly, let’s look at how much room your office needs. Count the heads of the people that will need to be in it at any one time. You will probably be there, and you may have some employees too. But don’t just think about the people that will be working there every day. What about guests or visitors? If you plan to regularly meet with clients in the office, you might need room for one or two extra people at any given moment. That means more chair and more room, perhaps a separate sectioned-off meeting area. If you will have customers walking in to buy things directly from you, then you might need space for up to 5 people at any given time. By calculating the space in this way, you can see how much room you will actually need during the workday, rather than just adding up how many desks you want.
Know your procedures
Next, you need to think about the kind of equipment, storage space, and utilities you will need in your office. You can do this by considering the procedures that you will be following. Do you print out a file for each client and keep their transaction records in folders? Do you require a machine to help make products, create prototypes, or package goods? Will you be using the internet every day, or is it strictly phones only? Understanding this will help you to see what extras need to be within your office. If you have lots of files, you will need extra space for storage cabinets. If you have machinery on a large scale, you need extra space as well as plenty of power sockets. If you need the internet, you will need to get it hooked up at an extra price – and if you don’t, you might just want to get a business phone. Offices can often be given flexible packages which reflect only what you need during your business procedures.
Understand your budget
As a start-up, you might not have exactly the budget that you would like. If this is the case, then you may need to go for a smaller office space with the intention of sizing up once your profit starts to come in. on the other hand, you might have received an investment which gives you plenty of cash to play with. In this case, there are two options. You could go with exactly what you need right now, and plan to upgrade in six months or a year as you need it. You could also get a space that is slightly bigger than your current needs so that you can grow organically and expand whenever you need to. Both options have their issues. With the first, you might slow down your own growth while you look for a bigger space, and moving quickly could be confusing for your clients. With the second, you will be spending more than you need to for the first little while. It’s up to you which way you take your business.
Find the opportunities
As to where you put your office, you need to think about the locale that suits you the best. Being near or in a city is usually best for business, especially if you are expecting customers or business partners to travel to you. There can be a lot of benefit to having an office inside a larger space, which gives you access to neighbouring businesses who might want to work with you or use your services. This can give you a kick start to finding those first few sales, and an also increase foot traffic.
Once you consider all of these factors, you should have a much clearer picture of the kind of office that you need.