From Startup to Business: A Step Up
If your startup is up and running, and doing well, there will come a point when you have to think about turning it into a full-fledged business.
Not everyone gets to that stage, and some prefer to keep their business relatively contained and compact, working from home and dealing with others on the phone once in awhile. In the age of technology, where everyone has access to powerful marketing tools in their own pocket, online meetings are viable, and the mail can be checked when sipping on a latte in Starbucks, it is easy to be happy keeping things small.
But, at the end of the day, every entrepreneur has to consider the benefits of truly trying to make it big, and take a moment to evaluate all their options. Once you have quit your day job and fully want to take the plunge into the deep end, you will have to consider a few things when chasing your dreams.
Moving into an office
As comfortable and flexible as working from home may be, some things which are provided by a fully fledged workspace simply cannot be replaced. Not only is the workplace atmosphere and sense of industry contagious, but also it is a new vessel to host your ideas. No longer will the fridge and television call out to your at your weakest moments, distracting you from concentrating on the task at hand; and no more housemates or family members who simply cannot grasp the concept of a closed door. Many people work better in isolation without family distractions, and sometimes your brain needs some thinking space to truly thrive and perform at its peak.
Aside from the psychological benefits, moving from a home office into a proper office building opens up numerous doors to growing your business. Having a location separate from your house allows you to hire onsite staff, a secretary or assistant who, in time, will know your business inside out, meaning they can take care of things while you think of the next big step to take. With a rapidly growing business, you will most probably need all sorts of equipment which might not fit in a typical home office scenario, too. Large office printers, industrial-sized scanners, cutting mats, guillotines, faxes, server racks and just about anything else you can think of will now have their proper place in the office.
In the end, you are trading the minor convenience of being able to stay home and the lack of a daily commute for professionalism and a space to grow. Being able to move to a location with better internet, a more modern interior, possibly a car park for you and your employees, and good transport connections to and from the office are some perks which any successful business should have. If you think a perfect space rarely exists or is never available at the time you need, check out Business Parks – built for those exact reasons and providing an existing community of businesses, who may even be potential business partners.
Getting others on board
When your business starts being more than just an upstart, you suddenly find that there are so many things to take care of – and yet, you don’t grow an extra pair of hands (unlucky, that). Hiring staff and providing them with a proper workplace will not only take a load off your own shoulders, but also boost productivity. Hiring locally is very advantageous as it allows for much easier vetting of candidates for the position available. Seeing a person face to face just cannot be replaced with anything else; anyone can get a fancy CV written, however not everyone gives off the same air of refinement as their CV when you meet them in person. Being able to clearly distinguish, judge and pick employees first hand allows for a much more personal relationship with your staff. Without an office space to house them in, this would not be possible and any further growth of your business would be dependant on you outsourcing tasks rather than getting them done in-house by your trusted employees.
That said, you should not entirely limit yourself to locally hired staff, as outsourcing work to others can prove to be much cheaper and even convenient for more niche projects. After all, designing posters, logos, various graphics and other such projects might not be the strong point of anyone in your company. That is perfectly fine, as not many companies allow themselves to have an in-house graphic designer or similar, and you should not feel terrible about having to hire freelancers to perform such tasks. Keep in mind the advantages of hiring freelancers or outsourcing tasks to other companies, and look to build a core team consisting of locally hired professionals and trusted employees who you interact with on a daily basis.
An online counterpart for your business
The need for an online and social media presence is extremely apparent in this day an age. It plays a key role in staying on top of the trends, as well as interacting with your target market. Social media provides free exposure to billions of people around the world, and not taking advantage of it would be an insult to your entrepreneurial mind. Opening proper company accounts across all forms of social media, from Twitter to Facebook and even YouTube, and regularly updating them, will prove to be an incredible asset to your company, but also quite the hefty task. Making your company more likeable through posting humorous and casual content will outshine the smaller flaws in your customer’s eyes due to previous positive connotations. But if you genuinely hope to properly run two accounts or more, with relevant updates that actually captivate your audience in some way rather than just being scrolling fodder, then chances are you will need to hire someone to run those accounts as a full-time job. With a camera, a sense of humour and some creativity, an account interesting enough to pay attention to can be run with relative ease. Give that person the creative freedom and space to post vague sneak peeks of upcoming projects, or just a morning coffee in the office – the perfect casual Twitter or Instagram content.