Why it’s right to take the step from garage to office
If you’ve launched your business from your garage you’re in good company – so did some of the world’s biggest businesses. Eventually, though, the time came for them to move to an office. The same thing will probably happen to you.
Amazon. Google. Microsoft. They’ve all got something in common (aside from being phenomenally successful). They all began life in a garage. Jeff Bezos is now putting his gazillions into space exploration. Bill Gates is helping to vaccinate the world. Yet they started out programming computers in glorified sheds. Jeff Bezos is on record as saying that one of the reasons he felt he had to move out was because the amount of power he needed in the garage meant the circuit breakers kept tripping.
For many startup businesses, the garage makes sense. It keeps your costs down at a time when money is tight. The commute to work is pretty short, and if you’re balancing the business with home commitments, it can be the obvious solution.
If your business is going to grow, though, there comes a point where it (and you) will probably need to escape the garage. When should that be? In this post we’ll explore the factors that may influence your move.
When should you move to an office?
Building a team: A growing team will eventually outgrow your garage. A growing team may not be too wild about working from your garage in the first place.
Often, the single biggest reason to move to an office is to create an appropriate space for your people. Even in a hybrid world where staff are more likely to work from home, being able to bring them together remains important.
Growing connections: In your garage, chances are there’s just you. Of course you can start building business connections via LinkedIn and Zoom, but nothing beats the in-person conversation. The friend-of-a-friend introduction. The in-house course or meeting at which you make a vital connection.
All of that is virtually inevitable when you work from an office. Those things happen all the time. It’s far more difficult when you’re trying to grow from your garage.
Dodging the distractions: This is a personal one. Some people find working from the garage peaceful and stimulating. They have no problem knuckling down and getting work done. Others find that being at home creates just too many distractions.
Sometimes, the issue isn’t your ability to focus, but others’ inability not to distract you. If you can’t get work done because of constant interruption, it’s probably time to move somewhere that enables you to focus.
Holding more productive meetings: Simple practicalities can make an office all but essential. If you regularly meet clients in person, is your garage the ideal place to meet them? Even if it is, are you insured for it?
Yes, Costa is an alternative, but an office will give you a variety of quiet, private spaces to hold important conversations without the sound of a noisy barista in the background.
Boosting your confidence: Imposter syndrome (that is, feeling a bit of a fraud) is common among new business owners. Getting out of a garage and into an office can have a powerful effect here. Base yourself in a proper office, and you’re more likely to feel that you’re building a proper business.
Separating work from home: A startup takes a lot of time and energy. You’ll probably find yourself pulling long hours and taking work with you (physically or mentally) in the evenings and at weekends. It’s easier to keep the two separate when your workplace isn’t also your home. When the office is a few miles away, there’s less temptation to pop back and put in a few more hours.
Working from an office gives you the chance to put real space between you and your work. That could be a good thing for your mental health and productivity.
EC2 has a range of 24/7 office space to suit one-person startups and growing teams in Blackpool. You can scale up or down as you need and there are lots of businesses around you to build relationships with.
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