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  • Writer's pictureCindy Lithimbi-Ondego

Stay lean (and get a flexible office)

Every entrepreneur has at least heard of the Lean Startup. It’s a methodology developed and popularized by Eric Ries starting in 2008 and is built around the concept of a MVP - minimum viable product. Post-MVP, post-existence, post-survival and somewhere in the success stage is the growth phase.

The growth phase looks a little different for every business, but it usually entails establishing more robust internal systems and processes and outsourcing others; hiring more staff and managing larger teams; launching new and improved products and services; and often actual physical expansion – new markets in new locations.


Expansion is expensive. Time and money is taken up understanding new cultures, adjusting to new temperatures and hiring and training new staff. And the biggest expense of all: setting up an office. Enter the cost-effective, furnished offices with flexible rent agreements that will allow you to land and expand into the Coastal market with speed and ease.

land and expand into the Coastal market with speed and ease.

We spoke to Steve Irumba, Team Leader Coast for Echotel Kenya - an innovative pan-African IT company - about their decision to move to a shared office space, MombasaWorks. “Working from a shared office space is a smart move for any new entrant expanding business as it relieves you from all other administrative activities and stresses and allows you to focus on your core business.”

Shared offices and coworking spaces have had the same impact in the real estate industry as technology has had in the communication and finance sectors: everything is faster, easier and more cost effective, making it easier for businesses to access a new physical address at an affordable rate. A business can then focus on driving sales without having to worry about setup costs, administrative and non-core functions. Opting for a shared office space means doing away with:

1. Negotiating lease agreements – and the associated cost of the legal fees.

2. Office fit-outs and costs related to interior design, architect drawings etc.

3. Overheads such as electricity, water and internet.

4. Staffing, of receptionists and cleaners

5. Office repair and maintenance costs.

Irumba explained their decision to move to a shared office was influenced by the flexibility and cost effectiveness it had to offer. “During the pandemic, we made the decision to streamline and digitize our processes. Customer support and payments are now processed online so our clients no longer have to visit our offices in person. This has made it safer and more convenient for them, and for us this meant we no longer needed a large office. So for our Coast region HQ, we opted for a private office suite in a shared office. Now with less administrative responsibilities, we are focusing our efforts on expanding Echotel from Mombasa to Kilifi.”

Now with less administrative responsibilities, we are focusing our efforts on expanding Echotel from Mombasa to Kilifi.”

Staying lean, reducing waste and adopting more efficient processes are all smart moves for a growing business. Looking back, all over the world companies have been doing this since the dawn of the industrial age across their operations. Office space is not being left behind. Closer to home, even global corporates such as Microsoft are choosing to work out of shared office spaces.


In a COVID19 world, offices need to be less dense so that employees can stay physically distanced. As such we’re likely to see far fewer large headquarters. Instead more companies will opt for flexible arrangements in satellite offices. Employee satisfaction will also be a bigger factor in the decision of an office. "Our head office likes the shared office concept space so much that they have sought the same concept in Nairobi. It has a more casual appeal to the clients and employees,” said Irumba.


MombasaWorks offers furnished, fully-serviced private offices for businesses looking to expand within Mombasa and the Coast region. If you have no need for a private office, you can opt for a desk and chair in a communal space, and have access to private meeting rooms when you need them. Watch this video about our space and email us on - we'd love to hear from you.

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