Startup to scaleup: What to do when you outgrow your office
Not all startups will scaleup. In fact, according to Forbes, 90 per cent will succumb to the many pitfalls involved in starting a business and end in failure.
But that’s another story.
How can those who do make it through those shaky first throes facilitate rapid growth? Or more specifically, where can they go to grow?
Successful scaleups are built upon the foundations of robust startup ecosystems; a scaleup is seen by many as the second, more established stage of innovation whereby companies begin to live out the business model defined in their startup phase. Scaleups seek to stimulate growth in terms of market access, revenue streams and employee count, with the financial aim of rewarding investors by being acquired by an M&A or IPO.
How do businesses go about achieving these things?
First and foremost, they need a space in which to grow, as well as access to business support.
Moving on up, moving on out
These days, many startups begin their journeys in coworking spaces (shared offices), accelerators or incubators. These spaces act as catalysts for business growth, helping fledgling enterprises to get off the ground by providing investment, mentoring and technical skills. Across the UK, 205 incubators and 163 accelerators support an estimated 3,450, and 3,660 new businesses a year respectively, according to research by Wired. But what happens once the ‘incubation period’ - usually anywhere between 3 - 12 months - is up?
There are a few options available.
Move into a private office in a coworking space
Coworking spaces are no longer the sole domain of startups.
Speaking to SmallBusiness.co.uk, Adam Blaskey, founder and CEO of the flexible workspace operator The Clubhouse explains, ‘The perception is that co-working spaces are just for boot-strapping, start-up entrepreneurs in their twenties.
At The Clubhouse, our members are very different – they are not first time entrepreneurs but those leading growing SMEs and larger corporates who are now realising they can also work flexibly and in a more cost effective way. Furthermore, their employees are becoming increasingly demanding when it comes to the location, design and environment of their workspaces.’
Many workspaces that fall under the 'coworking' category also contain private offices for SMEs and scaleups requiring a secure area, like this one near Bloomsbury Square.
The flexible nature of coworking means companies who need to take on more desk space can do so at short notice.
Find an incubator for scaleups
Established incubators and accelerators now offer services across the entire innovation life-cycle. The focus isn't just on startups, but helping businesses to sustain growth by offering leadership and entrepreneurship development programmes.
Search Office Space recently visited Plexal, a collaborative innovation centre located in London's Olympic Park that unites startups, scaleups, enterprises and academics.
Visitors can find their way around and see what's on using the interactive board.
On-trend design and innovation elements make the space an exciting place to work.
Different workspaces accomodate different ways of working.
Consider the serviced office option
Serviced offices experienced a record year of growth in terms of popularity and investment last year. The total number of centres offering flexible workspace grew by 11 per cent across the country in 2015/6, and the UK remains the largest and most mature serviced office market globally.
Flexible workspace has earned its position as an attractive sub-sector within the commercial real estate market and has emerged as a distinct asset class for investors. Why? Because serviced offices are well-designed, highly convenient and offer flexible tenancy agreements - great news for scaleups who want to minimise risk.
It’s not just startups and SMEs getting on board with flexible workspace. Larger organisations are making the switch, enticed by features such as large meeting rooms and client concierge services.
Learn more about the benefits of a serviced office.