The kitchen table or the garden shed are the birthplace of most start-up businesses, but where do you go from there?
If you’re at a stage where you’ve outgrown your home and are looking to take your business to the next level, here’s a few examples of where you can go now.
One of the most popular yet more expensive forms of workspace is commercial property. If you’re at a stage where you want to make the leap and invest in your own premises, there are two types of lease available for rented offices.
Conventional leases give you an empty office space which you will need to fill with office furniture, an internet connection and other facilities yourself. You’ll also need to factor in insurance and maintenance fees and leases usually require you to commit to the property for at least five years.
Flexible leases are, as their name suggests, much more versatile. You can rent an office space for just one month if you wish. This type of lease also means that the property comes equipped with desks, computers, photocopiers and usually internet and phone lines. However, the downside is that this type of lease can prove costly in the long term.
A relatively new alternative to office space is the concept of co-working, which is now available in almost every city across the UK.
The idea is that groups of entrepreneurs and small businesses can all share a workspace, slashing the costs of renting office space.
Co-working spaces tend to offer computers, internet and basic office utensils and are cost efficient with clients paying no utility or repair bills.
Another benefit is that tenants tend to be surrounded by like-minded small business owners who can bounce ideas and problems off each other.
Business incubators help new and start-up businesses grow by providing services such as management training, mentoring or office space.
Different business incubators have different criteria. Some will take equity in a start-up in return for office space, finance and professional support, others are free.
A great example of a free business incubator is Entrepreneurial Spark , a business incubator and support programme launched by RBS/NatWest in partnership with KPMG.
Entrepreneurial Spark has ‘hatcheries’ all over the UK and most recently opened up a hatchery in Newcastle.
The idea behind Entrepreneurial Spark is that start-ups pitch their business idea and compete to be awarded office space and business support.
Universities also tend to have their own incubators where they provide office space, labs and R&D support to graduate start-ups and spin-outs.
Before deciding to invest in property, it may be worth considering the concept of remote working.
If one of the reasons you’re looking for office space is to house your growing team, there are a variety of tools on the market which could help you and your team work remotely.
Tools like Skype and CRM systems such as Salesforce can help businesses manage their staff, monitor their work and host meetings from all four corners of the globe.