Should you spend money on office space for a software start-up?

Should you spend money on office space when you are just starting your business? I asked this question on answers.onstartups.com and got great responses. This post is basically a summary of the answers received.

The benefits of working from an office

When you are building a new business and you are bootstrapping it, it is hard to think about paying rent for an office and all the other costs associated with it. It is also hard to justify the expense of leasing office space when you are a software startup since all of the work can be done from your home or a coffee shop. However, office space is now more affordable than ever, especially when you look at the incubator-like offices because the cost is much less than a regular office and it also offers an environment full of other entrepreneurs which for the most part are always happy to help you in many ways. Sigue leyendo

Build it for you and scratch your own itch. Worry about customers later.

Building a software product is hard, and trying to sell it is even harder. However, if you are a coder or designer you probably enjoy starting and building new projects. As a coder myself, every time I run across what I consider a good idea I immediately get a domain name and start mocking or even coding an application based on this idea. I usually do this because often is a chance to try new technologies, it can potentially solve a problem that I might be having and because it is fun!

When creating these applications, there’s always the thought about building something that not only helps me try out new technologies and scratch my own itch, but also something that can be interesting enough for others to use it. I know what you are thinking now… this is the wrong way of doing things and it goes against the idea that you need to prove your idea before you start coding, blah, blah, blah. You see, I still believe in the idea that if you build something that is useful for you, chances are that other people will find it useful as well. Sigue leyendo

The city of Austin offers help to entrepreneurs / small businesses

The Small Business Development Program (SBDP) offers no-cost services for those who want to open a business and for those who already own a small business and need some counseling and assistance.

The SBDP also offers business classes taught by University of Texas faculty on subjects such as social media, business basics, finances, etc. Classes last about three hours and a lot of them are free while other classes typically cost $35 to $85.

There are also multiple events every month where the small business owners have a chance to meet, network, and learn from area lenders about the loan process for your small business. Whether starting out or looking to expand your existing business.

The SBDP program has about 15 employees and they all contribute greatly to the success of small businesses interested in the program. The SBDP makes its own resources available to small business owners. as well as provide points of contact to outside resources beyond the scope of what they do at SBDP.

The center has a $2 million budget, which is expected to remain flat through the upcoming budget cycle, said Elizabeth Gross, a program business information specialist.

The program does not offer grants, but it is able to help put budding business owners in touch with lenders, Gross said.

Another objective is helping people navigate city processes for opening a business or greasing the skids when business owners encounter bureaucratic snags and other obstacles, she said.

To learn more about this great program for Austin entrepreneurs, please visit their website at:

http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/sbdp/