How to Transition Into Your Startup’s First Office Space
October 6, 2021
One main benefit of working out of a coworking space is the flexibility it affords for early stage companies and entrepreneurs to get started. While there are some who are ready to sign up for a private office as soon as they step foot into Bamboo, the vast majority of people we see at the front desk are better off starting at an open coworking desk or dedicated desk until it makes sense to invest in a private office.
Nikki Wisniewski and Dawn Poteau are two members at Bamboo who recently upgraded to a private office after starting out using day passes and an open coworking membership. This is how they made the transition work for them.
Identify Opportunities for Collaboration
Nikki Wisniewski is the Founder and CEO of NMW Unveiled, she offers intuitive readings, coaching services, and a series of classes to help others on their personal transformation journey to find authenticity.
Prior to starting her own company, she worked in the automotive industry for 20 years and conducted technical training with a consulting firm. A furlough from the COVID-19 pandemic provided Wisniewski with the opportunity to dig in and build her business, officially leaving the corporate world to start her company in March 2021.
Dawn Poteau is the Founder and CEO of Talent Activators, she specializes in helping her clients make successful transitions. It can be during the first six months in a new role or when they are looking to transition into something completely new. She worked in corporate talent management and leadership development for over 20 years, helping develop leaders and their teams.
After her corporate experience, she dabbled in entrepreneurship, working with Manoj Bhargava, the founder of 5-Hour Energy. While Poteau initially planned to return to her corporate career, her entrepreneurial experience made it hard to go back. It didn’t feel like the right fit anymore and she jumped into building her business in May 2020.
Both Wisniewski and Poteau are on a mission to help people in transition to transform their lives. This made for a perfect business match. They’ve been friends for 27 years after working together at RWD Technologies. Sharing a private office with a friend and/or a business that offers complementary services is one way to make getting your first office more affordable.
Test the Waters with Open Coworking
Poteau initially heard about Bamboo through a Lunch and Learn event. Itching to get out of the house, she decided to try out a free trial day with Wisniewski. Coming in once a week seemed feasible for both of them, and they decided to use the in-office time to intentionally work on their businesses as thought partners.
Similarly, Wisniewski found that having an office space outside of her home helped her get into work mode. For those who are working from home, having a change of space both physically and mentally can make a huge difference in productivity and mindset.
Wisniewski had worked from home prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. After coming into Bamboo once a week, she realized how much she had missed the random interactions that occur in office settings. Despite the connections that virtual technologies can provide, they cannot effectively replicate the casual connections and water cooler conversations that occur in-office.
“...So much happens there. Someone shares an idea, that’s literally just a thought, and then that becomes a conversation and then that becomes an initiative”
These types of interactions are often lost in 100% remote work environments. For entrepreneurs, these opportunities to network and share ideas are important for developing strategic partnerships and growing a business.
Both Wisniewski and Poteau made natural connections with other members in the space. They met two other female entrepreneurs, Christina Fair and Jan Griffiths, by working in the open coworking space. This chance encounter led to opportunities for collaboration that drew on synergies between their businesses.
Mark Important Milestones with Dedicated Desks
After taking the time to work in Bamboo and meet other members, Poteau and Wisniewski were ready for an upgrade. The anniversary of Poteau’s business in May marked an important milestone for her, the point at which she could first pay herself. Getting a dedicated workspace was an investment for Poteau into her business.
Comfortable and familiar in the space, both Poteau and Wisniewski decided that it was time to stop lugging all of their office supplies back and forth. They wanted the opportunity to leave some of their stuff at the office.
Grow Your Businesses with a Private Office
The move from Dedicated Desks to an office was quick as their businesses took off and they gained more clients. Moving to an office allows them to have a business address separate from their home addresses, giving them the security to host clients outside of their home space. This was important to help them set boundaries and maintain a healthy work life balance.
Since upgrading to a private office on the main floor in the downtown Royal Oak location, Poteau and Wisniewski have been able to meet and host their clients in person. The office provides an additional level of privacy and allows them to design their own space.
“I realized that I need space. For the work I do, there’s a personal element to it, so while I can use a conference room, it just doesn’t feel the same...we each have space to do our one to one work”
The office space in Royal Oak was a perfect fit, centrally located, and easily accessible for clients who live in the surrounding suburbs. The space, amenities, and aesthetics all aligned with what they were looking for. Getting a private office in a coworking space can give a sense of legitimacy for small business owners and their clients, marking an important milestone in the growth of a company.
Finding Solutions to Match their Needs
Wisniewski and Poteau worked closely with the Community Managers to upgrade their membership to match their business needs. The different levels of membership provided affordable solutions at each stage of their business growth. The flexible membership options also reduced the risk as they could try out the office without a big commitment.
The support and advice that the Community Managers offered also helped Wisniewski and Poteau feel comfortable making the transition from open coworking to a private office. If it’s something that you want, there is a way that we can help you make it work.
As an ecosystem builder, Bamboo can serve as a partner to help you figure out how to make getting your first office easy and accessible.