Looking for Office Space? Consider these things first.
When searching for a new office space, make sure you are not underestimating how important it is for your business. This is a decision that can affect everything from daily operations to staff morale and even your company image.
Here are 13 things to consider when selecting a new office space.
1. Do Your Homework First
If you’re looking to rent a workplace, you should start planning well in advance so you can be sure to find a space that is ideally suited to exactly what you’re looking for. This should be accomplished without feeling rushed or pressured into signing a rental agreement. You want to leave yourself enough time to spare if the need arises. This way, if you find that the space you’re looking at isn’t to your liking, you’ll have ample time to look at other options.
2. Work With a Broker
One of the first things you need to do when shopping for office space is to learn your market. Leases can have many nuances such as renewal terms, expansions and termination rights that can be confusing if you don’t know what questions to ask. Hire a Commercial real estate broker who is familiar with your market can help guide you through this process and ensure that you don’t get a bad deal.
3. Business Location
If you’re looking for office space for rent, location should be at the top of your list of considerations alongside price. Ideally, your clients and employees should be able to find and reach the location easily. Look at the parking options as well as the accessibility to public transit.
Also consider whether it’s in a good neighborhood or not. Cheap rent could be a good indicator that the area isn’t so safe or is perhaps difficult to get to. You also want to be sure it’s close to other amenities like restaurants, where you and your staff or clients can go for lunch.
4. Don’t Take More Space Than You Need
You don’t want to lease more space than you need or you will end up wasting a good amount of money paying for space that you aren’t using. However, you also want to account for future growth if that is in your plans.
In today’s connected world, an office space with good infrastructure should be at the top of any prospective tenant’s list of desired features. You want to know that the space includes a reliable Internet connection, among other things like phone lines and postal service. Managed office space is another option to consider.
6. Is There Room to Grow?
Keep in mind that lease terms are just as important as your rent. If your business has plans to expand, you may need to double your space in a year or two. Consider signing a one year lease with a three or five year option so that you aren’t stuck in a long term commitment.
Before signing a lease, make sure your office building has all the amenities you’ll need. Is there a kitchen or bathroom? Is there a cafeteria in the building or nearby restaurants? Are the bathrooms well maintained? Is there security on staff? These are all questions you should look into before signing any paperwork.
Most entrepreneurs don’t think to consider style when shopping for office space. While this is not one of the most important things to consider, it can still affect the image of your company’s “brand.” What other business are in the area? Can you renovate the space with no extra cost? Would you publish photos of the office to your website? These are all questions that need to be taken into account.
Pay special attention to the office space’s proximity to competitors. With any business, it’s important to strike the right balance when it comes to competition. Being too far away from your competitors may mean you lose out on a certain segment of customers; however, being too close can create added business pressure and rivalry.
Is your office space accessible? When it comes to accessibility, you need to consider more than your own ease of getting to the office. Employees, clients, customers, and suppliers all need to be able to get to and access your office space when necessary. Does your office space have easy access by car or public transportation? Does it have delivery access for suppliers? Is the office accessible for people with physical disabilities?
One major component of accessibility is whether your office space has parking for cars & Bikes. For many of your employees, customers, clients, and partners, cars and Bikes will be the main method of transportation to get to your office. If your office doesn’t have suitable parking, it can create major complications and accessibility issues.
At some point, any building will need repairs. When you lease or rent an office space, it’s important to determine whether you will be responsible for repairs. This can be a hidden cost that is not represented in the rent that you pay. In fact, if you are responsible for repairs, that can have a big impact on the monthly costs of renting the space.
13. Contingency Plan
Sometimes, even with enough planning and preparation, an office space will not work out for your needs. Unforeseen events may occur, either with the space or your business. Make sure that you are able to leave a space and make an early exit if the need arises. For new or smaller companies, office rentals may be more preferable than long-term office leases. Your criteria for choosing office space should always include an exit plan or contingency plan.
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