Start-up is a delicate and fraught stage. You must practice frugality in all things. Ask yourself, do you really need a flashy office? Could you work from home or a virtual office or under the kitchen table? Money saved here is money spent elsewhere on business critical processes. Remember, even at the very peak of their powers Microsoft executives flew economy.
The good news is that in these dark days it’s perfectly possible negotiate a very good deal on your offices.
It’s good practice to negotiate anyway but in these times, with a surfeit of empty offices, landlords are hurting too. They’d rather have a space filled at a knock down price than empty offices generating nothing at all. They’d rather take a punt on you and your start-up to ensure regular rental income down the line. The likes of Regus regularly do deals such as first month free. Get in touch with your local start-up space. Build relations and maintain communications.
Sure, we’d all like picture windows looking out over the bay and electric scooters and glistening chrome fridges, but do they matter to the core of business? Admit it, the answer is ‘no’. Put aside your fanciful notions until you’re generating revenue.
Location is key. You need somewhere you are happy to spend long hours. A cut price locker in a business park miles out of town is not only going to eat your travel time and costs but it’s unlikely to be somewhere you want to spend all your time so the saving may be a false economy.
Similarly, a lock up on a lonely estate is unlikely to promote good business contacts. Does your business rely on networking and creative collaboration? Consider the advantages of moving to an enterprise hub with like-minded people. Startup Britain maintains a comprehensive list of affordable spaces