How to set up a satellite office
Companies create satellite offices as an extension of their headquarters when they’re growing into new markets or making strategic decisions beneficial for the health of the business. There are many considerations to take into account when planning this type of expansion; where should it be based, what will the costs be, and how do we keep our teams connected?
We will explore the concept of satellite offices, why they could be a great solution for your growing business, and how flexible workspaces can support this type of expansion.
What is a satellite office?
Usually, satellite offices are set up when a company is going into a new market and a team is based locally to oversee the new territory rather than managing the office remotely, but there are so many other reasons why they are created:
- New market - rather than try to establish yourself in a new market remotely, it can be favorable to decentralize and develop a team to oversee everything locally. Residing within the market itself provides local insights that could otherwise be missed when working from a different city or state. It also gives you ‘address reputation’; having a recognizable location can help raise your profile to potential customers, investors, and other stakeholders.
- Overflow - when businesses grow rapidly, it can make sense to take on flexible workspace rather than moving your entire operation to bigger premises, which will incur significant costs and disruption.
- Recruitment - there are locations that are well known to attract talent in specific sectors, such as Silicon Valley for tech and venture capitalists. By creating a satellite office there you’re able to recruit more from this pool of skills and set up an offsite skill-specific team.
- Convenience - for service-related businesses especially, it can be advantageous to set up a satellite office near pockets of customers so that they travel less far to visit you.
- Cross-pollination - an emerging trend in businesses, particularly startups, is skill sharing and collaborating by creating mixed satellite offices, combining their knowledge and building connections for mutual gain.
What are some of the drawbacks of a satellite office?
One of the difficulties of a satellite office is coordination between your satellite office and headquarters. Being in a different location can make it tricky to maintain smooth communication channels, with each team feeling as though they may be missing out on important information. In this case, employee engagement is key to remedying this by setting up regular meetings on Zoom, Google Meet, or Microsoft Teams. Also, using chat programs such as Slack with different channels can keep each other informed quickly on projects, ideas, and initiatives.
Satellite offices also sometimes feel as though they are entirely separate from headquarters, impacting morale. Adding branded touches can reduce the feeling of distance, instead helping the office feel more like a regional extension. Office spaces at The Square can be fully personalized to help bring more of the corporate ambiance to the satellite office.
Considerations when setting up satellite offices
Budgets are going to be a primary concern when looking into satellite offices - they can be costly and take time to set up from scratch. By opting for flexible workspaces you can reduce your costs and avoid long leases while having everything that the team needs to get going straight away.
Deciding on a location can be a big decision, and there are a few factors to bear in mind. Firstly, what is the goal of the satellite office? Is it to immerse yourself in the local market and start gaining traction there, or to be near the pool of talent that will be imperative to growth? Do people need cars and is there a lot of traffic, or is the public transport system efficient? By identifying the goal first and finding a location that satisfies your most crucial criteria, you’ll be able to find a place that’s suitable for your team and the business itself.
Technology and business tools
As an extension of the main office, it’s vital that the satellite office is able to seamlessly integrate itself with headquarters. Tech will play a huge part in this - choosing the right tools and having processes in place will support and nurture relations between all the sites. At The Square we have secure, fast WIFI and onsite support teams to ensure you’re fully connected all the time.
While research will provide intelligence as to whether the potential market will thrive, there can be unforeseen events that affect growth, which can be problematic if you have committed to a long lease. Taking on a flexible workspace provides peace of mind by allowing you to explore and test your new market without worrying about fixed contracts.
How can The Square’s flexible workspaces help the setup?
At The Square, we have a number of flexible, furnished workspace solutions that can accommodate small or large teams. From coworking spaces, dedicated desks, private offices, flex suites, and enterprise suites, each one can be rented month to month, with access to our other amenities such as the fitness center, wellness room, meeting and conference rooms, snacks and treats, coffee, business tools and happy hours. As business needs you can also flex up or down, allowing you to be agile in the face of changes.