Creating That Cool Startup Office on a Budget
Launching a startup of your own is thrilling, especially if you are personally connected to the products or services you wish to provide. Once you decide to launch a startup and you have found the office layout that is right for your business, designing the interior of your designated office space is the next step. Even if you are working with a startup budget, implementing modern and branded interior design is possible with a bit of brainstorming and creativity.
Collaborate With Partners and Team Members
Before you begin investing in paint, furniture, and decor for your office design, make sure to collaborate with your partners, investors, and any original team members you plan to work with upon launching your startup. Host a collaboration and brainstorming meeting to gain valuable insight from those who are working alongside you to develop your startup. Receive input and opinions while determining the best layout for your workspace. Ask those who are working with you about their working preferences and the type of amenities they would like to have in the space once its complete. Review your current budget together and designate set amounts for various items such as furniture, desks, electronics, and even kitchen appliances (depending on the size of your chosen office space).
Visualize Your Entrance and Reception Area
One of the first steps to take once you begin working on your office layout and design plans is to visualize your office’s entrance and reception area. Do you intend to host prospective clients, investors, and associates in your office? How do you plan to greet those who visit your office? Is it important to have a dedicated reception area for those who are waiting for appointments, or do you intend to immediately gather with those who arrive at your office? The entrance and reception area of your office space is where most visitors and potential clients get their first impression of your business and brand. Consider hanging an official sign of your logo along with various awards or achievements you have received in the past in your entrance area or reception space.
Compare types of furniture that are most comfortable for your visitors but also affordable with the budget you have available. Ordering multiple chairs or sofas in bulk or through a wholesale retailer is a great way to reduce overall spending when designing new office space for a startup.
Choose the Right Color Scheme
Choosing the right color scheme is essential when you are designing a layout for your startup’s new office. Without a proper color scheme, the aesthetic and environment of your office may feel incomplete or simply not professional enough. Consider the colors used in your brand’s official logo. Use a neutral color such as a modern grey, white, or beige for main walls and select one to three bold colors that are used in your logo to help bring your office space together. Use a bold color on one of your main walls to accent the rest of your space, hanging your company sign over the wall to draw attention to the area.
Accents and Decor
Once you have selected the color palette you intend to use in your startup’s office, choose decor to match. Potted plants with pots or vases that utilize your preferred color scheme help bring spaces together, especially if you are using an open and modern layout. Invest in pillows or choose fabric for your own pillow designs that mesh with your brand’s colors to place on sofas, chairs, and in the reception area for visitors and prospective clients.
Designate Conference Room Spaces
Hosting conferences and meetings play a major role in running any sized business, including startups. Having designated conference rooms and meeting spaces helps with focusing and honing in on projects and tasks at hand. Consider the size of the office you are interested in renting or purchasing. Are there closed off rooms and spaces to implement a working conference room, or do you need to build and create one of your own? How many people do you want to fit into your conference room at once? Does your conference room require soundproofing (due to working with a larger group of employees)? How will you access your conference room? What types of amenities are important for your conference room?
Some of the amenities and necessities to consider for the conference room you implement into your new startup office while sticking to a budget include:
- Conference Table: Consider the length of your preferred conference table based on the number of individuals you intend to host at max capacity.
- Chairs: Choose chairs that are not only comfortable, but also ergonomic and designed for long-term use (especially during longer conferences and meetings)
- VOIP/Phone System: Choose a speakerphone or conference phone system that is optimal for you based on your preferred method of communication with clients, employees, partners, and business associates.
- Television/Monitor: Consider mounting a large flat screen television or computer monitor onto the wall of your conference room to easily share slides, presentations, and other materials relevant to your business and brand online. Additionally, using a mounted television with a webcam is a great way to video chat with others while all of your team members and employees or associates are present in the conference room.
Consider an Open Layout
Today, cool startups pride themselves on offering a more relaxed and open environment, promoting conversation and better communication in the workplace. Rather than installing traditional cubicles, consider the following possible setups:
Glass Offices: Use glass offices to avoid shutting off employees and those you work with during the day.
Open Desks: Eliminate the traditional office cubicle layout by removing dividers from desks, allowing employees more opportunity to work together while communicating with ease.
Unique Seating: Offer employees the opportunity to choose between traditional seating or exercise balls, as exercise balls are affordable and have proven to increase blood flow while providing individuals with better posture support.
Implement a Modern Break Room for Downtime and Relaxation
Long gone are the days of stuffy office spaces that appear dingy and closed off. Today, it is now more prevalent than ever to include a modern break room along with amenities that help employees decompress and relax during their break time and even after official work hours. When you are on the budget, consider these amenities when you are just getting started with your startup business:
- Video Games: Implementing a video game system with a mounted television or designated computers is one way to provide affordable in-office entertainment.
- Ping Pong/Air Hockey/Foosball: Invest in a mini table to play games such as ping pong, foosball, or even air hockey while employees are on their breaks.
- Vending Machines: Rent or invest in a vending machine to offer delicious and healthy snacks and beverages, helping to keep employees from leaving the office for extended periods of time.
- Comfortable Seating: In addition to designing your reception area, consider the type of sofas or chairs you want to include in your employee break room for maximum comfort.
Working to create an office design that is modern and suitable for the aesthetic of your brand is essential when launching your very first startup. With the right interior design, use your current office layout to your advantage while implementing office design techniques that are modern, fun, and relevant to the type of work you do each day.
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