So, you’ve decided to launch a startup. While it can be easy to direct your attention towards your product, your customers, recruitment and resources, location is one of the most important factors to consider when in the setup phase. This is something that you definitely should not rush, as a decision made with little thought can end up impeding your success.
Finding the perfect location is challenging to get right the first time around, regardless of how much research you conduct. We now have offices in the U.S., UK, Australia, the Philippines and Poland, but this took a lot of ground work, changes and mistakes along the way to find the best spots.
We didn’t stumble upon our New York City office first try (oh, how I wish!). In fact, we initially set up our U.S. office in Santa Monica. However, we soon realized that this wasn’t the right location for us and sought out NYC’s heart of business. I learnt a lot through this experience, which will definitely help when choosing future locations to come.
Here are some tips to help you nail your location choice the first time around.
Be strategic in your approach
You could have the most attractive office space and innovative product in the world, but you’d go nowhere without a great team to back you up. If you’re based somewhere that simply doesn’t attract the best talent, you’ll likely have difficulty finding the people you’re after.
To attract the right talent for your startup, think like your prospective employee – place yourself in their shoes. For example, areas like San Francisco and San Jose are renowned tech epicentres so, logically, talent would gravitate towards these areas. What are you offering and where are you most likely to find that talent? Working backwards can be a great way to get ahead.
Factor in outsourcing
Before deciding on your location and how large your office space should be, ensure that you factor in outsourcing. Although having employees in a physical office is great, as policies are changing, more people are starting to work remotely.
This can be a great way to reduce your office size, therefore making it cheaper for you (win!). Another cost-cutting measure is to compare money transfer providers if considering outsourcing, or utilizing global freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr, which take care of the possible stress of financing staff working in remote locations.
Affordability is key
Not only should you consider areas attractive to potential employees, but also areas that are affordable. There’s no point starting up in an area with long-term leases and sky-high rent – it’s all about balance. Your first few years will be accompanied with significant costs to get off the ground. Think: recruitment costs, accounting and filing fees, and utilities, just to name a few.
Do your research to reveal which locations will really fare best value for you in the long-run. Although starting up in a place like Silicon Valley is an attractive option, a realistic dream, like a startup that still exists after the initial uncertain stages, is much more ideal. So, what are you waiting for? The future is in your hands.