Office Space from Incubator to Nest!
Chattanooga has recently been dubbed one of the best places to start a business due to low startup costs. Places that offer these low costs and business help or coaching, such as a business incubator, may require you to have and submit a business plan, limit your terms of occupancy and may want a piece of your business earnings for having supported your company from start-up. What about growth and sustainability beyond start up? Incubators are solely interested in your beginning, which is perfectly great.
According to the SBA, “Seven out of 10 new employer firms survive at least 2 years, half at least 5 years, a third at least 10 years, and a quarter stay in business 15 years or more.”
Growth and having consistent growth is imperative to make it beyond these business milestones. With all the hype about startups and new businesses, what about places that sustain and provide continued support for business “tweenies,” businesses that have made it beyond the two-year milestone, or established businesses? When you’re generating profit and have a significant customer base and reputation, what’s next? What if you want to move your established business to Chattanooga? What’s important for maintaining that high level of success in the Gig City? It’s about:
Location, location, location!
How does the purchasing public perceive your business? It’s about where your business is located. Consider being located in the central business district versus a strip mall in burbia. The location is part of branding your company as well as making it easier for potential clients to find your business. Location influences what your customers experience. The location can establish buying credibility, especially if you’re selling services or intangible goods. Business examples that offer services or intangible goods could be writers, website developers, marketing firms, attorneys, business coaches, investment or financial services.
Consider all the expenses to operating an office space.
Why not walk into an already furnished office that includes a staffed lobby, private meeting rooms with Wi-Fi, convenient parking, maintenance, housekeeping and utilities? There may be even more business support services offered in a full-service office space.
Having a welcoming, staffed lobby for your clients to wait.
Give guests or your buying public a great first impression. Make office access simple and direct with a covered handicap accessible parking garage. Guests stay dry in the rain and don’t panic trying to find parking on a busy street.
Virtual staff on request.
Virtual staff are here when you need them. It’s costly to maintain a full-time or even a part-time support person. This service option is great as your business is in growth mode or emerging into a new geographic location. Most full-service office spaces offer virtual staff support. You have a meeting and forgot about making 10 copies of the handout? They’ve got it. Just ask. You need some research done? They are pros. You need an important document mailed quickly? Sure, no problem. How about a pot of coffee made when you walk in the door? Yep. Experienced, virtual staff in a full-service office space become familiar with your company and company culture. Don’t stress over hiring/firing/training/sick days/vacation schedules or office equipment. Virtual staff can provide relief for project support or to leapfrog growth without the commitment to permanent support staff expenses.
One vendor for all of your needs and comprehensive billing with a full-service office.
There’s no need to place orders with five different vendors and have to pay five different invoices. Time=money.
When your business has achieved its growth potential beyond a business incubator or ready to grow into a new geographic location, consider carefully where to position it. The next office space will speak to your clients and buying public beyond words. Choose prudently how to spend your business dollars so your business can leverage itself for expansion with less time managing the real estate, less time managing staff, less time bookkeeping.