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Top 5 to-do list for startups

Flexible offices: Top 5 to-do lists for startups

No startups are alike - and startups are also very special companies. You drive innovation, new thinking, tomorrow's solutions for society. For you, constant change is a fact - and flexible offices are an absolute necessity. But this is about a lot more than just leases and monthly costs. A coworking community should benefit you in terms of networking and development beyond modern facilities and a workplace that suits your business. Here we take a look at the five most important things you should keep in mind when choosing flexible offices as a startup.

1: Why do you want to work in flexible offices?

This may seem obvious. There are tremendous financial benefits to choosing an office contract that provides more leeway for development. Still, you may want to dig a little deeper than just your budget. The market for and demand for coworking and flexible offices proliferates in Norway and is likely to explode. With competition also comes a sharper focus among the various providers, which has consequences for you as a startup, especially regarding the direction the office community is moving in the coming years. Therefore, you should also be clear about what kind of development path you want to be part of.

Make a list of the five most important things for your startup when you think of a coworking community. And then we mean beyond the obvious everyday needs. Are you interested in building networks? Maybe you need more spread around your ideas; the opportunity to build a following where you are? Do you want access to entrepreneurship programs? Incubator-like office communities are becoming more common abroad and will probably reach Norway to a greater extent soon. And finally: What kind of environment do you want to work in? Is the social or developmental most important to you?

The more you know about yourself, the easier it will be to find an office that suits your startup and the direction you want to take the business.

2: What other companies/individuals work in the office?

The environment is, of course, about culture and what the individual office community focuses on. But beyond this, the environment consists of the members in the individual office. Finding new HR resources in employees with unique cutting-edge competence is very important for a growing startup. And the future can bring many unforeseen business needs. Therefore, it is vital that you think through what kind of diversity you want from the office you choose. What resources do you already have on the team - and what can you envision that you will need? Is this a diverse community, or does it consist primarily of people in specific sectors? Does it suit their needs?

In addition to thinking about particular resources for the company, one of the most significant advantages of flexible offices is that they allow you to build networks uniquely. You meet people from many different backgrounds, and as a startup - especially in the beginning - this is both rewarding and positive from a strategic point of view. But then there must also be people in the network that can be beneficial to get to know. Be sure to inquire about the types of companies and professionals who already work in the offices you are considering. A good network with relevant contacts is invaluable as you grow bigger.

3: What is your time horizon for growth?

Flexible offices are particularly advantageous for startups precisely because they allow for the rapid development of the individual company. In a startup company, a single meeting or event can change everything. There are two things you should pay special attention to when choosing a workplace with regard to expansion. This assessment should begin with you thinking through what is a real-time perspective for your particular startup. Is it a month or a year before you are going to hire more people? The faster you work, the shorter the lock-in period you should look for in your contract.

It is also a good idea to inquire about their opportunities to grow more prominent in the individual office. If you find the perfect community in terms of network and environment, it is awkward to move because there is no physical space that can accommodate your growth. There is significant variation in what kind of private solutions the different providers have. If you come prepared for a tour with a timeline for your growth, it will be easier to look at the options for expansion and growth in the various coworking communities.

4: Does the office have an international connection?

Most startups, especially in tech, think long-term and internationally about their expansion. This is, of course, about networks, as we looked at in the previous point, but an international connection comes with more benefits than just the people you meet daily. First and foremost, contact with other communities around the world will potentially build networks with relevant people in markets other than Norway.

This can thus have a direct impact on their growth outside Norway.

Furthermore, global investment is a fact today. Although an investor will look at demand and market factors on a national basis in the first instance, they usually think internationally in the long term. If the office you choose to settle in has a network that extends beyond our borders, it significantly increases the chances of getting in touch with the right investor, no matter where in the world he or she is.

5: What facilities do you need practically?

Finally, one should take status and assessment of everyday life as well. What facilities do you need? It is easy to look blindly at the offers of the various providers of flexible offices, especially as the competition in the market intensifies. In this process, it is therefore wise to go through what their everyday work looks like. What things are you utterly dependent on for the business to move forward efficiently and quickly? What things could lift your workflow?

Again, we encourage you to make a list that you can take with you on a tour of the various offices. Remember to divide this into things you must have and things you want. Talk to us about how your needs look today and how you envision them changing.

A startup is trying to achieve something incredible. But if you are to succeed, the conditions (read: workplace and environment) must be well adapted to the development process.