Procurement · 17 February 2017

The business lifecycle: A platform for your business idea to flourish

The business lifecycle
The business lifecycle

It’s one thing to have an idea for a new business, and quite another to bring it to life. There will be hurdles on the way, but don’t let office space be your stumbling block in your business lifecycle.

It can take a lot of planning to take a new business idea from concept to reality – and if you’ve never started your own business before it can seem daunting.

There’s a lot to take care of and, when you’re just getting started, office space is probably one of the furthest things from your mind. A lot of new small business owners are happy to work out of their bedrooms, getting together with co-founders in coffee shops and projecting an image of the fledgling business solely online.

There’s nothing wrong with this, it’s the classic image that springs to mind when you think “entrepreneur”. But it’s worth considering, if your idea takes off, where will you go next?

With any employees, you’re going to need more space and more formal arrangements. You’ll need furniture, heating, internet, meeting rooms, and the costs start to pile up.

The last thing you want is to be thinking about these mundane matters – you should be at the helm, steering your business to success. It is for this reason that startups are increasingly turning to managed offices to take these everyday troubles off their hands.

The perks of managed offices

A managed office will typically handle the basics for you: heating, electricity and broadband, and a space to work in that you can select according to your needs.

You don’t need to have launched your business before setting up shop either, they can be a good place to lay the groundwork as very little commitment is required and very short-term contracts are often available.

“This offering is great for entrepreneurs as it requires less commitment. They can react and adapt to change which may be difficult to foresee in the first few years of setting up a business,” said Darren Rogers, regional manager at Basepoint Business Centres.

“We can also set up and manage all of their office requirements such as telecoms, broadband, electricity, heating and even office furniture if required – and therefore manage any problems associated with these services if they arise. This ensures that a business does not need to worry when problems occur with services or the centre as each are managed by the centre team.”

The virtual offering

For some businesses, especially those in the very early stages, it may be a rare occurrence to need a physical space. If you have a small team and are content working from home, you may only need space for occasional meetings.

Fortunately, there are virtual office services out there which can offer you a business address and phone number, and this can be a good way of giving your business stronger reputation and the appearance of being more established.

Virtual packages can include access to networking events, business support, and meeting room space.

“Virtual office services can assist a new startup business to gain a business presence, enable them to utilise the facilities to meet potential new clients and help to establish and assess the need for potential office space as they experience growth,” said Rogers.

Don’t sell your business short, make sure that from day one of your venture you’re thinking about the future. While it’s always important to assess growth options as you go, it doesn’t hurt to look professional from the start – after all, first impressions count for a lot.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Letitia Booty is a special projects journalist for Business Advice. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of East Anglia, and since graduating she has written for a variety of trade titles. Most recently, she was a reporter at SME magazine.

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