What’s the best workspace for your startup?

When my dad started his business 20 years ago, he got an office in our hometown, joined the Rotary Club, and got a hardwired phone system that required a receptionist.

But I’m not sure he would’ve gone that route if he’d started a business today.

After all, our smartphones and laptops allow us to work from the top floor of a skyscraper, underneath a rock, and while we’re scuba diving.

Many entrepreneurs are opting for a life without an office, while others are scrambling to co-working spaces and standard office arrangements.

But, where should you start your business? Should you get an office in a city loft, work from your mom’s basement, or join a coworking space? I’m sharing the deets to help you make a decision.


Go conventional with a standard office space

My dad opted for a standard office space back in 1991. It’s a Victorian home in a convenient location for his employees and clients (not in a large corporate building on the highway, but it’s still a brick-and-mortar office).

Because my father’s architecture firm caters to the local area, it’s essential that he has a conveniently located office space that exudes professionalism, shows off his keen sense of design, and has a large parking lot.


  • If you’re client-facing and often have meetings, it’s great to have an office that is distinctly yours.
  • Maintain complete control, especially if you buy. You can make your own rules.


  • Can get lonely, especially if you’re a solopreneur.
  • Can get expensive, especially as you grow.
  • If something goes wrong, you have to fix it.


  • Get a report on all hidden costs before jumping in. For instance, how much will you have to pay for energy?

Completely Remote or Working from Home

Because there are so many awesome communication tools, building a business from home is an attractive and inexpensive option. You can build your startup from the soft comfort of your bed.

Get yourself a virtual phone system (Grasshopper), project management system (Basecamp or Trello), and chat software (Yammer, Hipchat, or Lync), and you’re good to go. You can stay in touch with employees no matter where you are.


  • Inexpensive
  • No commute
  • Work from your luscious bed


  • Lonely (no colleagues, except virtual ones!)
  • Potentially distracting, hard to have a good work/life balance
  • Annoying family members (will your spouse kill you?)


  • Figure out exactly where you’ll work. Do you have a distraction-free place where you can plug in? Perhaps your own office?

Coworking spaces: work with other entrepreneurs

If the thought of working from your apartment is killing you, coworking spaces are a good option.

In these innovative and collaborative environments, you can get a desk, office, and even conference rooms. You’ll also have the opportunity to work beside other entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Coworking spaces are great for people who need a bit more socialization and want a collaborative community. They’re usually designed well, making you feel like you work in a swanky office even if you can’t afford it yet.

Despite their (often) attractive, urban locations, coworking spaces aren’t that expensive and have very flexible plans and no lengthy contracts.


  • Surrounded by other, like-minded small business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • Affordable but still makes you feel like you have a swanky office.
  • Usually in a convenient and attractive location.


  • The space is not yours and you play by someone else’s rules.
  • Must pay extra for a private office.


  • Go take a tour of a few co-working spaces before committing or attend a few of the space’s events. Talk to some other members about how they like it.

Questions to ask yourself before diving in

Before you get a business loan to lease out an office space, ask yourself some key questions. Having answers to the following will help you prepare to make a decision that will greatly affect how you build your business.

  • How much can I afford right now without selling my children, car, or soul?
  • Is this the right location for my current employees and the employees I’ll wish to hire?
  • Will this office space make me seem professional?
  • Is there parking? Does parking matter to me, my clients, or my employees?
  • Are there any hidden costs? (Computers, electricity, office furniture, parking tickets, etc.)
  • How easy is it to make a change if I decide it’s not right for us?
  • Will I be able to grow my company in the space? How long do I plan to stay?

There are many options available for a new startup, but it’s important to consider what will be best for you and your future company. After all, your workspace is where you will build and grow your company; make sure it’s the right fit.

Interested in workspace? Get in touch.