Category Archives: Start Ups

7 design hacks to make your startup office stand out!

Starting out in business is tough – but it’s not without its perks. For a lot of people the building space they work in is one of the first things they stamp their personality on. Say goodbye to the boring corporate offices you used to drag yourself into every morning and say hello to 7 designer inspired hacks that will make your new startup space uniquely yours!

  1. Clear the way!

Have you ever tried to move your bedroom around only to find that there’s literally one practical position for the bed and that’s it?! Frustrating isn’t it? Don’t let your office layout or current furniture constrain your office plans, think outside then box, you may even want to consider a steel framed building from https://www.steelbuildinguk.com/ Also, when it comes to the insides – clear out everything you possibly can and look at the space with fresh eyes.

Now, the extent to which you can do this will depend on your tenancy – but if it’s practical you can take down doors, lose window coverings, remove office divides – and so on, until you’ve got a totally blank space.

Then when you do…

  1. Use the space unconventionally

The quirkiest startup offices do things a little differently – and that often begins with the layout. Think about what you want to see when you walk into the space – should this be a vista of your hardworking team? Or should it be a breakout area that keeps guests from stumbling into important business areas?

Do you want open space? Or would you prefer defined working areas? This is your office, so go with what you like and remember you don’t have to rely on the usual elements to divide the space – why not use book shelves to create areas? Or rugs to differentiate one space from the rest.

The best designers don’t rely on walls and doors to define spaces!

  1. Make the space about your company

If you’ve ever been away from home for business you’ll probably have stayed in a few budget travel hotels. The reason the colours, layouts and decorations are all exactly the same is to give a feeling of familiarity regardless of where you are geographically – familiar equals comfort. However, familiar also equals forgettable…

If you want people to remember your company you’re going to want to stamp your brand on the space. When we say ‘brand’ – we don’t mean your logo, we mean giving a feel for what your company is all about. Take for example Instagram’s startup offices…

The designer behind their initial space wanted to reflect the fact they were all about photographs and technology – while still giving a hint of the retro style filters that everyone came to love so much. They did that with clean white walls and sharp contrasting vintage style furniture – and as for colour, accents of pale and mid browns gave a sepia feel that made gave the space an unquestionably vintage photo feel.

Have you got colours that would work for accent walls? What’s the feel of the product you provide? Are you cutting edge tech or wanting a more relaxed vibe? Reflect it in your space!

  1. Let the light in

If you want a productive workspace it’s important to let as much natural light in as possible. The reason natural like looks unlike anything that comes from a lamp – is because it covers the full spectrum of light – not like fluorescent tubes or light bulbs that offer only a small range of colour.

Giving a full range of light triggers the parts of the brain that encourage wakefulness and energy – meaning your workforce is going to be as bright and switched on a possible.

Controlling the light in the office is as much about organising furniture as it is about windows and skylights. Those typical U.S. office ‘cubicles’ are a crash course in how not to do things – take a big spacious office with lots of light and surround everyone with opaque artificial walls. Not ideal!

It might be tempting to put big plants or feature items in your windows – but try not to – and you can boost the amount of light with carefully positioned mirrors around the place too.

  1. Pick some colour carefully

When you had your logo and website designed you probably went with a colour palette that involved some black, white, greys and one or two accent colours. Try to do the same with your office space – if you throw a bucket-load of different statement colours in there you’ll start to diminish your brand and design – and start to look a little hotchpotch.

  1. Consider some wall-art

If you’re looking for a bold statement that really tells the world who’s occupying the space, you might want to think about putting some art onto the wall. We’re not talking pictures, we’re talking full wall murals that reflect your company, your message, the vibe of the room – or whatever else you want to shout about!

Even if it’s just a generic pattern, you’ll find that a team feels more stimulated when they’re surrounded by more than just plain walls.

Not sure that your landlord will appreciate an 80s New York graffiti mural sprayed onto his freshly rendered wall? No problem, there are plenty of companies who’ll create custom removeable wallpapers that are almost indistinguishable from the real thing.

  1. Mix old and new

If you’ve shaped and coloured a stunning space only to fill it with crisp catalogue-fresh office furniture you’ve fallen at the final hurdle! The best office spaces try to mix old and new to give a classy and well-thought-through feel.

Don’t overdo it though, aim for around 30% of your office furniture to be vintage or antique – if you have much more you run the risk of looking less shabby-chic and instead just plain old shabby.

There are some things you’ll probably want to ensure are cutting-edge – computer chairs are going to keep you workforce comfy – so save the Queen Anne style wing-back chairs for the breakout areas! Consider vintage where ergonomics matter a little less – storage areas, cupboards and side tables are all perfect for that retro vibe!

The result?

There’s mixed bag here – not only are you going to have an office that’s memorable to the clients who come and visit you there – but you’re going to find that the combinations of colours, light and working space bolster productivity – making your office the ultimate in form and function…

10 Financial Tips For New Start-up Businesses

10 Financial Tips For New Start-up Businesses

10 Financial Tips For New Start-up Businesses

Starting up a new business is a time of mixed emotions you’ll be nervous, excited, proud and confident. However, that last one might not last very long if you don’t get a solid foundation set up, the risk of bankruptcy is incredibly high in your first few years and no entrepreneur wants to experience that. 

According to research from Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 start-up businesses will fail in the first 18 months of their operation. So, the risk of failure and bankruptcy is high but don’t panic because you can improve your chances by following these 10 fantastic financial tips.

Budget Everything

One of the biggest reasons start-ups fail and go bankrupt is because they don’t budget properly, if you want your business to succeed then you need to keep on top of your cash flow. You need to know exactly how much is coming in and how much is going out and what it’s being spent on. Every area should have a budget and you should always stick to it, great ideas don’t pay the bills so makes sure you keep on top of your money.

Avoid Unneeded Expenses

When you start a business, you’ll need to spend money that’s just part of getting your business up and running. But you need to make sure you’re spending that money on the right things you don’t need a huge office with an amazing view when you’re just starting out do you? Or fancy coffee machines for the staff room, remember to focus your money on what matters not on extravagant fixtures.

Have A Business Plan Ready

It surprising how many entrepreneurs start setting up a business without a plan, you should always make time to set-up a business plan first. With this you can better work out exactly what you want your business to do and better evaluate your ideas, it also gives you a way to track your goals and work out all the costs involved. So, before you do anything else get yourself a business plan drawn up.   

Check Out The Competition

Yes, it might seem sneaky but this is business we’re talking about everyone does it! So, don’t be afraid to check out your competition and see what they’re doing remember your business is trying to outdo them so look at what they’re doing and see how you can improve on it.

Get Ready To Promote Your Business

Despite what Hollywood might show us not all entrepreneurs are confident, extroverts with a talent for showmanship. That’s OK but no matter how much you hate it you’re going to have to tackle that problem a get ready to promote your business yourself at least for a while. PR firms are not an expense most start-ups can afford so you’ll be doing the promoting on your own.

Use Social Media

Social media is an amazing tool for all kinds of purposes especially promotion, but it can also be used for marketing research and much more. So, get your business on social media as quickly as possible and remember to try and update regularly.

Research Your Customers

Just like researching your competition getting to know your customers will help your start-up business gain a huge advantage. You need to know how to attract customers from your key demographics and understand how they operate. You should be researching your customers all the time, while your business is still in development and after it’s been set-up.

Know What You’re Getting Into

Setting up a business is hard, now you might be thinking “tell me something I don’t know” but few entrepreneurs will be ready for what exactly that means. It will likely mean many late nights and long working days, so say goodbye to your social life for a while because you’ll be putting all your focus and effort into running your business.

Start Out Slow

If you’re setting-up a business you don’t have just jump in, you can start out slowly in fact till you’re ready you should take it slow. You don’t have to quit your job straight away after all, while you’re getting your research done and setting up your business plan you can keep working. Many start-up businesses fail because entrepreneurs try to rush things leading to higher costs and big mistakes when it comes to starting a business slow and steady does win the race.

Don’t Micro Manage

In the early days of your business, you’ll likely be doing many different jobs, that’s why being a jack of all trades will give you a great advantage. However, when you have the time and money to hire employees you’ll have to learn to let them do their own thing. Micro managing will take up too much or your time and won’t create a good working environment. It will be difficult for entrepreneurs to take a back step but if you want your business to succeed then you’ll need to learn to do it.