Procurement 8 February 2018

How to know when you’ve outgrown your first workspace

First workspaces can range from the kitchen table to offices in the garden or loft

For businesses that have outgrown their owners’ first workspace, there are major benefits to be had from joining a co-working space. Here, Complete Office Search identifies some of them.

A vast number of startups begin in humble dwellings. The term “homepreneur” has arisen in recent years from the number of small businesses now started sat around kitchen tables.

Most famously, Steve Jobs started Apple from his modest garage space, whilst global giants like Amazon and Disney also began life in lowly garages.

In the UK, we have a lot to thank the (quintessential British) garden shed for. The founders of cosmetics retailer Lush, for example, started making their famous bath bombs in their back garden. meanwhile, the Dyson vacuum cleaner was invented in James Dyson’s (dusty?) garden shed.

When you are starting your business, your first workspace arises out of necessity – usually tied to a tight budget and the need for any profit to be ploughed straight back into the business.

A business owner’s first workspace in their home can range from the kitchen table to offices in the garden or loft, kitted out with every amenity.
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However, demands grow quickly for successful businesses. Your first workspace may begin to stifle you and prevent your business from growing.

Small businesses are especially vulnerable to the undulating economic and political climate – you need to enable growth, set some roots and anchor your business to give it a competitive advantage.

New members of staff are a crucial investment. You need your business growth to be sustainable and there comes a point where you have to delegate workload to expand.

It is also vital to employ other people with different skill sets to enable your business to develop and offer more. It isn’t practical to have employees joining you at home, or have clients visiting your home for a business meeting.

As an owner, your work-life balance is also an important consideration. If your first workspace is at home, and it begins to encroach on your home life, then it is time to move the business out.

Working from home can also be lonely, as you don’t have colleagues to brainstorm with and to hit ideas back and forth with. This can also restrain business growth. After a kitchen table, a co-working office space is often the next step for small business owners.

The advantages of a co-working space

For businesses that have outgrown their owners’ first workspace, there are some important advantages to be taken from joining a co-working space.

(1) It’s economical

Only paying for the space you need is cost-effective for a small business owner

(2) There are opportunities to network

Socialising with a peer group has been proven to Increase intellectual performance, reduce stress, boost memory and alleviate depression.

Co-working offices also allow you to network with other business, potentially providing access to opportunities, new talent, clients and skills.

(3) Office perks

Many co-working spaces have a coffee shop, canteen or gym for staff to enjoy.

Eventually, it will be time to take your business to the next level and to move away from the co-working office to your own private premises.

What to for in private premises for your small business

(1) Branching out

Make sure that the office space you rent can accommodate future growth. Serviced offices often provide room for expansion, with extra desks and furniture.

(2) Your business brand

You can personalise your own private premises so choose an office style and location that reflects your own brand.

(3) Easy access

Make sure that your office is easy to get to by public transport and road. Parking is desirable.

(4) Affordability

Factor in lean periods and make sure you have a financial contingency plan. Stick to your budget and try not to be so wowed by an amazing view, extravagant furnishings and state of the art lighting that you over commit yourself to expensive rent.

Fast broadband is vital to any business, as is a good mobile phone signal and high security, so you should prioritise those factors.

Finding the right office for your small business is a key step towards developing, expanding and growing your venture.

Make sure you publicise your move to larger premises –  it’s a huge achievement, and clients will want to see that they are putting their trust and money into a business which is going from strength to strength.

Complete Office Search are providers of serviced offices across London and cities across the UK.

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