For many young entrepreneurs, starting a business means setting up a computer desk in the spare room. Alternatively, it might mean converting the garage into a temporary office. Others make a special effort to find somewhere outside the home – a coffee shop or creative workspace – where they can head out to each day.
The point is that it is different for everybody. However, the next step should be a common goal, no matter what your industry or business model. Eventually, every small company needs a professional workspace. Traditionally, it has been a standard rental, with a long-term lease, but this has changed in recent years. Entrepreneurs have more choices than they used to.
Keep reading for more advice on how to find a great first office and why virtual office services could be the right option.
You Choose the Timeframe
Bear in mind the fact that long term leases are no longer the only option for young companies. Several high-profile providers specialise in flexible office solutions. They allow tenants to access resources on their own terms. There is no lock in leases (sometimes no contract at all), and service packages can be upgraded or downgraded at will.
If you do not feel comfortable making important decisions based on predictions of growth one or two years in the future, don’t do it. Stick with your instinct and focus on the first six to eight months. It does not have to be a choice between investments in the future and staying on budget; all you are doing is keeping your options open.
Private is not Always Best
Similarly, you do not have to spend money on a conventional, private office, if an open plan co-working environment suits you better. We are slowly moving away from the misconception that every type of business benefits from isolation. It simply isn’t true. Lots of entrepreneurs can afford long term rentals, but they prefer the buzz and creativity in a virtual space.
If it is your first professional office, it is also worth considering the value of starting slow. It is much easier to expand fast than it is to downgrade. Take your small team and see if the freedom of an unstructured setting inspires and motivates. Virtual offices come with the bonus of no logistics; heating, lighting, cleaning and IT support are included.
Location Is a Big Deal
You should not underestimate the impact of location prejudice, particularly in major tech hubs like Singapore and Thailand. Investors have got so many opportunities to choose from that, fair or not; they do not really look beyond central areas. It is why your company needs to be based right at the heart of the action, even if your budget seems like it will not allow for it.
You may not be able to afford a private office in a top spot right away, but virtual facilities occupy many prestigious locations as well. In Singapore, they can be found at Six Battery Road, CapitaGreen, the Metropolis Tower, and the Marina Bay Financial Centre. Just because you do not rent privately, doesn’t mean you cannot claim the prestigious address as your own.
Why Shared Workspaces Are the Next Big Thing
It is true that collaborative workspaces are still a pretty new idea for some businesses. Larger companies are only just starting to realise their potential, while smaller outfits have been espousing their virtues for years. It is easier for start-up ventures and flexible models to jump right into alternative modes of working, so take advantage of your agility and creativity. Embrace opportunities to network, connect and grow in a shared environment.