Moving your small business into an office space is a great indicator of success, even if you’re starting small—Google’s first office was a garage in Menlo Park, CA. New office spaces can carry big start-up costs; knowing which elements provide a good return on investment can help you maximize your new business’s efficiency and give you an edge in those critical first years.
In today’s economy, efficiency and frugality in business operations can often decide whether or not a company survives. To maximize your business’s chances of success, efficiency needs to be a critical component of your new office space. Today’s entrepreneurs are thinking big by keeping things small.
Cushy corner offices and sprawling boardrooms are quickly becoming obsolete—today’s modern offices are smart, space efficient, and collaborative. Research by Harvard shows that “maximizing chance encounters” between employees is a key indicator of success. With this new office space paradigm in mind, look for these cost-saving attributes when you get ready to make that big move. These cost-saving tips provide the most bang for your hard-earned buck.
1. Think small.
When you make the jump to brick and mortar, it can be tempting to invest in a big space to match your ambitions. Surprisingly, many of the most successful start-ups are choosing smaller spaces, reflecting a shift in the way people work. Look for open spaces that can double as collaborative, shared office spaces with open floor plans, and be cautious about renting any space that goes over your budget.
2. Plan for remote work.
Increasingly, telecommuting is redefining small businesses. A recent Gallup poll found that 43% of adults work remotely at least part of the time, and companies are reflecting this change in their office layouts. Web conferencing, shared document editing, and teleconferencing all help to increase productivity at a distance and particularly support employees with young children. Remote work can make daily trips to the office unnecessary, which allows for smaller office spaces and less profit lost to your rent bill and equipment costs.
3. Invest in your internet.
Don’t compromise your internet connection to cut costs. Most businesses rely on their internet connection for just about everything, making reliability and speed essential. Before deciding on a space, use an internet speed calculator to make sure there’s enough capacity for your operations. If it’s available in your area, a fiber-optic internet connection will provide the maximum benefit per cost, outperforming traditional cable internet packages. Investing in your internet will pay off in productivity, and it supplies a key link when conferencing with contractors and remote employees.
4. Go paperless.
Moving into a new office space is the perfect opportunity to start green habits in the workplace. Going paperless can cut costs and improve your business’s efficiency. You can reduce storage costs, save time and money with faster organization, and access critical information faster. A paperless office is all upside—your employees and clients will be happier, and you’ll be cutting costs over the long-term.
5. Invest in a productive space.
The aesthetic of your office should reflect where you want your business to be going. When it comes to productive and innovative spaces, the details matter; everything from workstations to floorplans is directly correlated to the productivity of your employees. You may even want to consider hiring a professional space planner to maximize the ergonomics of your new office. Investing in an enjoyable and energizing workspace will pay dividends as your business expands and grows.
6. Location, location, location.
If your business model includes bringing customers into your space, location may be the most important factor in your investment. Your location is a reflection of your business, and even businesses without a storefront can benefit from choosing their location carefully. Consider your neighbors as an asset as well. Many newer office buildings are incorporating shared conference and break rooms to encourage productive interactions between companies.
When it comes to workspaces, today’s top start-ups focus more on “work” and less on “space.” Your new office might be the biggest investment you make for your company today and into the future. Having the right space and sticking to your budget through cost-efficient decisions gives you a perfect foundation for a successful launch.