Things to Consider When Renting Your First Office Space
Renting an office space can be daunting, especially when it’s your first time. Compared to previous rental experiences—cars, apartments, houses—this one takes the cake in terms of complexity.
What makes it extra intimidating for start-ups?
Not knowing what your cash flow will look like six months from now. Maintaining flexibility is paramount.
Get locked into the wrong lease, and you’ll risk unnecessarily tying up capital that could have been better used to drive growth. What could only be a minor setback for some businesses could break others.
In this article, we’ll outline the key questions that you should ask before committing to an office space.
1. Do You Really Need the Office Space?
Modern social and Technological advancements currently enable us to work specifically from our homes and still create extraordinary outcomes. Working from home gives various advantages, alongside expanded efficiency. One thing you should consider is: Can my business work in such environment? If it can, you could be saving yourself some time and extra money.
2.Location, Location, Location
It’s important to select the best location not just for your clients, but your employees as well. You need to take into consideration the distance your employees are able and willing to travel to get to work. If it’s too far away from home they may move to seek employment somewhere else. As with your clients, how far will they go to support your business?
Other things you need to keep in mind that how are your neighborhood? What’s the parking situation? Can my employees and clients park comfortably? Is the space easily accessible?
Related Article: Choosing the Best Office Space for Your Startup Business
3. Cost and Expenses
The amount of money you must spend is a major deciding factor when it comes to leasing an office space. It is best to have a budget prepared, and you must be willing to stick to it. Renting comes with plenty expenses and you may be overwhelmed by bills if you are not prepared for them.
4. Is There Room for Growth?
Though it may seem obvious, it’s worth mentioning: you need to know exactly how you will be making money. Objectives must be crystal clear and ultra-specific.
Do you know what your customer acquisition cost is?
Will you need to partner with an marketing agency or are you going to depend on someone?
Understandably, start-ups are notorious for overvaluing themselves early on. However, when it comes to signing a lease for office space, companies would do best to stay on the conservative side of projections.
Related Article: 7 Ways to Prepare Your Business to Scale Up
5. What Facilities Are Nearby?
Another thing to consider is the proximity of the needed facilities to your space. It would be quite convenient to have post offices, banks and other businesses that your company may depend on, nearby. Your employees may also appreciate the fact that there’s a coffee shop next door.
6. Is the Lease Clear and Straightforward?
You need to know precisely what you’re getting and what you’re accountable for. When renting a space, you need to ensure that all provisions are clearly identified in the lease. You don’t want to end up at the end of your lease and find that the landlord is kicking your rent up by 50%, or signing the lease over to someone else. Be sure to discuss the length and other terms of your lease with the landlord.
Related Article: Negotiating commercial lease: Don’t give post-dated Cheques
7. Does the Building Meet Local Regulations?
Before choosing your space, make sure that the landlord is keeping the building in compliance with local laws and regulations. Basic amenities should be offered including some level of security.
8. Who Do the Repairs?
Repairs are expensive, and depending on its magnitude, it can put your company at a disadvantage. If your landlord is in control of handling repairs, and their expenses, ensure that they are taken care of in a manner that does not inconvenience your business.
Related Article: 3 Things To Do Before You Rent Out Your Commercial Space
9. How Will Your Office Look?
Your office space will be one of the determining factors of what clients think about your business. You want to ensure that your space portrays the image you want it to. You can control this by the building you select and your ability to renovate or customize the space. Some landlords may not allow you to paint or knock down walls, so be sure to discuss that before signing the lease.
10. Should You Consult an Expert?
After going through this list, you may think that the process of renting a new office space may be too overwhelming for you. Given the constantly changing real estate climate, the sobering reality is that hiring a commercial real estate agent or broker is your best bet against losing large amount of money. you’d likely spend by making potentially costly mistakes or missing out on solid investment opportunities.
Related Article: 9 Benefits of Hiring a Commercial Real Estate Agent
Related Article: 5 Mistakes Small Businesses Make When Leasing Office Space