Q: What’s your top tip for a startup looking to set up an ideal first office space?
A: Put your own spin on it. “Taking ownership of your workspace has an empowering effect, as it leads to an increase in productivity. Don’t get expensive stuff from the beginning. Instead, put your own spin on the surroundings so your employees can connect with you and understand what you expect from them.” Jessica Baker, Aligned Signs
Determine whether you really need one. “Does your startup really need a dedicated 24/7 office? As a New Yorker, I can assure you that office spaces are expensive. Having a part-time plan at a shared office space may very well be the most cost-effective option to go with until your startup’s cash flow is more steady.” O. Liam Wright, True Interaction
Choose the right location. “More than anything else, a convenient location is critical — ideally somewhere central that’s easy for your employees to commute to. Other considerations regarding your office’s location should include proximity to skilled labor, presence of competitors, and if you work directly with clients, proximity to your customer base.” Steven Buchwald, Buchwald & Associates
Consider a co-working space. “The best place to start is a shared office or co-working space. The price of your membership includes utilities and necessities like internet and furniture, leaving you with a low overhead cost. You’re also constantly surrounded by creative and energetic people all working on their own ideas and projects, which creates a unique and collaborative environment.” Sesie Bonsi, Bleu
Keep your costs low. “Think of all the great companies that started in their garages or home offices. You can always upgrade your office space down the road once you’ve made it, so keep your costs low in the beginning. You don’t need a fancy office with a leather couch and saltwater fish tank; you need a desk, a chair and the internet. Spend your money on better employees or bonuses instead.” Ben Walker, Transcription Outsourcing, LLC
Consider a fine arts center. “A great place for a startup would actually be at a fine arts center. Those areas have lots of rooms that you are able to rent at low prices. My startup operates in an art center and my rent is a lot cheaper than that of my competitors.” Ajmal Saleem, Suprex Learning