This is part of my ongoing series of articles about setting up your own software publishing business (cause FileMaker is very good option for doing that). This was originally published by me in a guide called FileMaker Software Publishing back in 2002. .
YOUR OFFICE SPACE
The software industry can be a very rough and tumble business. You can invest considerable time and money in building a product that has slow acceptance in the marketplace. We all know the stories of the glorious dotcoms that had extravagant offices, luxurious promotional events and high profile programmers but they failed to produce a single reasonable product that the consumer basis wanted.
I would recommend living within your means until your company image is established and your software products are in demand. There is no shame in having your office in
a spare bedroom, a floor upstairs or a modest location in a business park. The main requirements will be a phone line, a fax line and high speed broadband access to the internet. You may be able to get by without a fax machine, if you do not accept any consulting or custom design opportunities. You will have customers that will want to fax to you flowcharts of their business objectives, data entry forms, reports and such. If you provide consulting services as well, it will make your FileMaker design skills more sharp. However, it will also fragment the amount of time you can invest in building and refining your product line.
It’s possible that your office space could become your biggest expense, at least until you start having paid employees. Being a software publishing company, it will be rare that you will have walk in customers. The main objective is to find a place that lends itself well to productivity but yet reasonable in price. If you are going to be working out of your home, I strongly suggest setting up barriers between your personal life and your business life. I’m not talking barb wire and security guards but you do want to avoid a blending of the two. It’s best if it’s a place where you can shut a door and be in the business world … or … shut the door and the business world is isolated away from your personal life.
If you have partners or investors, you may not want them to visit your home office at their whim. You could have business meetings at a location as a restaurant, meeting hall or other general location. You might be thinking that you will have to have an office if you have employees or contractors. In this day of age, this is not the case. With broadband internet access, there are a number of tools that allow you to do almost everything you normally would do in an office setting. Having remote employees does present it’s own set of problems but it’s a reasonable alternative if you want to maintain a better bottom line.
If you have to lease an office space, try to make sure that it is a place that allows you to operate your computers safely. A place too hot or too dusty would be bad. These can become the enemies of computers systems. It would also be best if the office location was already network ready or easy to run network cables and connections. I've heard that some larger companies will rent out an unused office in their building or floor. This can be a very good deal and I've even heard that some of these setups allow the tenant to use the secretary, conference rooms or kitchen facilities on a a limited basis.
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2008 - Dwayne Wright - dwaynewright.com
The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.
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