What is a Satellite Office?

What is a Satellite Office?

Every business starts with a vision to grow and expand. In most cases, this may require the business to move to a different location. However, moving the company headquarters is a complicated and costly process.

Also, the company executives and staff may not be comfortable with moving to a different city or state. That’s where a satellite office comes in.

A satellite office is an excellent way of expanding business operations without uprooting the headquarters. It is a small office/branch of a large organization that is in a different physical location. 

Satellite offices are common with various types of businesses including financial services/banking, medical services, retail, and corporate offices.

Some of the Reasons Businesses Open Satellite Offices Include:

  • Inadequate space at the head office
  • Seeking a collaborative environment in a shared workspace
  • Make their brand popular in other locations
  • Reduce costs (construction, etc.)
  • Move a particular department to improve efficiency
  • Exploring new markets

Factors to Consider before Setting up a Satellite Office

Company Goals

Review your company goals and purpose. Do you really need a satellite office? If your current need in a particular location is a customer service representative or a sales consultant, you may not need a satellite office. 

They could work from home instead. The digital possibilities today will allow you to have meetings with them online. However, if you need several staff, you’ll need a proper office.

Location

After deciding whether your office will be in Denver or San Francisco, there are other questions you need to ask. 

  • What are the rent costs?
  • Which neighborhood do your potential hires live in?
  • Will their commute be short?
  • Do they know the local market well?
  • What’s the competition like in the area? Is the location safe? 

If you can answer these satisfactorily, you’ll find the right location for your satellite office.

Calculate the Total Costs

Budget is a huge factor to consider for your satellite office. The most obvious item is the monthly rent and bills which will depend on whether the office is in a suburb or the city center.

Obviously the city will cost more, but if it’s the location with top talent and several high value customers, it will be worth it. Other costs to consider include payroll, office furniture, technology, amenities, and so on.

Technology Needs

With your satellite office in a different location, it’s important to have reliable technology for efficient operations and communication. You need fast internet and top-notch phone and video conferencing equipment.

The facility where you are setting up the office should be able to handle the technology infrastructure that your company requires, without exorbitant extra costs.

Employee Engagement

With employees spread out in different locations, one of the challenges they face is engagement and connection. To promote good company culture, teams across different cities should be connected through technology like video conferencing.

Also, top executives should make the effort to visit satellite offices and engage physically with the staff so that they feel like an important part of the company.

Flexibility

Will you need the satellite office in the next six months, or the next one year? Think about how quickly your business is growing and consider pursuing a flexible office arrangement just in case you have to move to a bigger location.

Instead of a standard lease agreement, you’ll be better off with a monthly rental arrangement. Also, find out if you’ll be able to occupy additional offices or floors in the building.

Legal and Financial Regulations

Every city has its own regulations that businesses owners should follow. It’s your responsibility to know the rules for the location of your satellite office.

When you’re just starting out, it will help to temporarily hire a lawyer and accountant from the area. They will help to keep your business in line with local regulations.

Benefits of a Satellite Office

International Expansion Opportunities

A satellite office gives your business the opportunity to increase your customer reach nationally and internationally. For a successful international expansion, you should ensure that you know the market well and that your product or service satisfies their particular needs.

Efficient Customer Services

With satellite offices in various urban areas, you’ll be able to provide efficient customer services. You’ll be knowledgeable about current events in the area and your customers’ specific needs. They’ll be impressed that you’re attentive to their needs and prospective customers will hear about it.

Increased Sales and Productivity

Employees generally work well in a favorable environment. Your employees will be happy to work in a city/area where they are comfortable.

If you can give them the opportunity to relocate temporarily or permanently to areas of their choice, they’ll be happy and this will show in your company sales.

Easy Recruitment Process

You can easily hire local talent from the area, which also reduces commute time. There’s no need to bring in staff from different states as this makes the process complicated and costly.

Connection to Local Customers and Culture

Operating in your customers’ location will give you a clear perspective of their culture, lifestyles and desires. This will create a strong connection between your company and customers and make you more relatable to them.

You will also be able to effectively meet their needs with your products and services.

Short Commute Time for Employees

When employees take a short time to get to work and back home, it motivates them in the workplace. It allows them to settle in quickly and get their work done efficiently. A short commute also reduces the rate of absenteeism.

Networking and Partnership Opportunities

Partnerships and networking are beneficial for businesses to grow. A satellite office gives you the opportunity to network and even partner with surrounding businesses which may help you expand further.

Is a Satellite Office Right for Your Business?

A satellite office can be in form of a shared space (with other businesses) or a private office space. It all depends on your specific business needs.

Assess your business strategic plan and decide whether a satellite office is right for you. If your operations are growing fast, it might be the right move.

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