You’ll have to begin to consider what kind of message you’re sending to potential recruits if you’re still occupying a coworking space.
By Jonathan Wasserstrum
As a small business owner, you have to grow comfortable with and accustomed to change. You have to assess and reassess what headcount looks like as you work on projections and evaluate how to spend marketing dollars on the right platforms and with the right distributions to predictably lead to new customers for your business. But one of the often overlooked areas of growth of a company is when and why it’s time to change office spaces.
For many companies, coworking spaces come with a one-of-a-kind solution. You don’t have to worry about any of the details of setup or ongoing support needs. However, these spaces come with some known limitations, too. Below are three ways you know it’s time to start thinking about moving into an office space of your own:
In the earliest stages of your company, there is always a lot going on that needs to be addressed. People, especially CEOs, are busy. That pace of the startup might not change for a while, if ever, yet the assignments and operations taking up your time will shift. As you begin to speak to investors with some regularity, and also to potential strategic partners and advisors to help you grow, you’ll likely increasingly feel a burning desire for more privacy. Coworking spaces can be great when it comes to cranking through the daily churn, but they can also be constraining when factoring in the conversations you’ll want to have on the phone, video, and in person.
On the contrary, even within a small office space, you can build in a couple of small meeting rooms or arrange for phone booths to be put in to enable more secure 1:1 interactions. As your company grows in size, additional headcount doesn’t only mean more people to work on projects. It also usually means more conversations happening with more vendors and other companies, and you’ll want to ensure ahead of time that your team doesn’t feel cramped or restricted by their surroundings.
When you first started out your company, you didn’t really have a clear vision for what it would look like years down the line. Nevertheless, once you reach a certain level of success, and you want to expand what you (can) do and who you bring aboard, you’ll have to begin to consider what kind of message you’re sending to potential recruits if you’re still occupying a coworking space. As an alternative, give some serious thought to whether it’s worth investing in an office space of your own to raise both your profile and possibility. You can hand-select the look and feel of your chosen office. See it as a status symbol to leave a shared space and move into one that is solely yours.
It could save you money
Because coworking solutions offer so much assistance for areas of office design and office culture that small business owners like you don’t want to fret about, it can be very appealing. But that freedom comes at a cost, too, which enables shared spaces to charge a premium for the corner of the floor you’re inhabiting. For some time, that additional cost is worth investing in because it removes so much of the burden and any barriers in the way of getting started with the work right away.
However, once you get into a stronger position with your company, and you can breathe a bit easier day to day, you should explore the options available in your preferred area of the city to work in. Even if it’s a busy, popular area, there are bound to be smaller spaces that accommodate you and your needs; it just requires your asking what else is out there. Once you tour a few spaces and get a sense for what the market allows at your budget, you’ll be happy to see, in comparison to what you’re used to spending on office space, what great value you can get. And if you’re willing to take on a longer lease, you can usually save even more on a per-month basis.
SquareFoot Founder and CEO Jonathan Wasserstrum has worked for over a decade in commercial real estate. SquareFoot is a new kind of commercial real estate company that helps companies win at finding their next (and next) office, providing transparent access to inventory, brokerage services, and a flexible space offering. SquareFoot brings together technological innovation and human expertise to solve clients’ needs.