Choosing your first office space is a big deal. It’s an exciting time for any business. However, it’s also a little scary!
The office you choose will significantly impact your fledgling enterprise’s growth and, ultimately, success. So, you must make the right decision.
To help you make the right choice, below are some crucial questions you should ask yourself before choosing an office space and signing the dotted line on a lease or rental agreement.
#1 Before choosing your first office space, do you need an office?
Before you rush out and lease, rent, or buy an office space, be sure you need your own office. Office space is costly and comes with a host of other potential headaches. However, there are other options.
In recent years there has been an explosion in shared and co-working spaces. For small businesses that are just starting, one of these options might be a better solution in the short term.
Here`s a list of co-working and shared office spaces that might meet your needs and save you a ton of cash:
- WeWork: A global co-working giant providing flexible workspace solutions for individuals and businesses of all sizes.
- Regus: A well-known provider of flexible office spaces with a vast network of locations worldwide.
- Spaces: Offers vibrant and creative workspaces designed to foster collaboration and innovation.
- Knotel: Focuses on providing customized and scalable office solutions for companies, offering flexibility and design.
- Impact Hub: A global network of co-working spaces that aim to inspire and support social entrepreneurs and innovators.
- TechSpace: Specializes in providing flexible and scalable office spaces tailored for technology and creative companies.
- Workbar: Provides a network of coworking spaces with a focus on fostering productivity and community.
- MakeOffices: Offers shared office space solutions focusing on startups, freelancers, and small businesses.
- Hera Hub: A women-centric co-working space providing support and resources for female entrepreneurs and professionals.
- The Farm SoHo: A co-working space with a rustic aesthetic and a focus on fostering creativity and collaboration.
- LaunchHouse: A community-oriented co-working space that supports entrepreneurs and startups with resources and events.
- Convene: Creates flexible workspaces designed for meetings, events, and co-working, with a focus on hospitality.
#2 Is it the right location?
“Location, location, location, location.” How many times do you hear this expression? It’s not just a cliche. It’s about everything, regardless of the nature of your business. It can be the difference between success and failure.
Depending on your business, you might need the location in a busy downtown area or close to banks, shops, and restaurants.
Other considerations include the availability of public transport, parking spaces, accessibility for deliveries, local ordinance regulations that impact your ability to operate, and the neighborhood’s reputation.
#3 Does the office give the right impression
First impressions count, and your office will speak volumes about your brand and business.
For example, if your office is old and run-down, this would not send out a good signal to potential clients. In addition to clients, the same is valid for employees. Attracting top talent to your business is only possible if the office space is up to scratch.
While many new businesses and start-ups forgo creature comforts when choosing their first office, you can’t afford to send the wrong impression.
#4 Is there enough space?
Space is an important consideration when choosing an office.
However, when assessing if an office space is big enough to suit your needs, don’t just think about your current business needs, also consider growth and how fast you think you will grow.
Moving office after a year because you have outgrown the space can be very costly and disruptive to your business operation.
# 5 Does the infrastructure meet my needs?
Modern offices have high-speed broadband connectivity, ample phone lines, power outlets, air conditioning, etc. But, if you are considering an office space that could be more modern, assess the infrastructure to ensure it meets your business needs.
# 6 Can I afford it?
Most new businesses have limited budgets. And although you want a great office, it should not be at the expense of growing your business. So, before you look for an office space, know what you can afford and set your budget.
However, knowing what you can afford is more than just the price of your rent or lease. Other factors to consider are building maintenance fees, insurance, parking fees, and utilities. These can add up fast.
#7 Can I make changes?
It`s a massive bonus if your office space layout and design suit your needs and create a pleasurable working environment for your employees.
However, if not, you`ll need to change the interiors. In this case, ensure you know of any restrictions regarding interior design updates and construction and get the necessary permits.
#8 Are the terms of my lease flexible?
As a new business, you expect a lot of growth. However, building a business is now always a bed of roses, and although you plan for growth, you must also allow for setbacks and cutbacks. And one way you can do this is through a flexible lease agreement.
The most common length of a lease is five to ten years. However, during lease negotiations, try to agree on a shorter term of two to three years. If things don’t go as planned, you won’t have a long-term lease hanging around your neck.
Besides the length of your lease, also ask the landlord about subleasing options. If you must vacate the office before the lease is up because of unforeseen circumstances, you can sublease it to another business.
Over to you
Congratulations if you’re a business owner planning to make the step and get your office space.
It means your idea and dream will become even more of a reality.
However, don’t let the excitement cause you to make a rash decision. Ask yourself the above questions for every potential office space you view.
And if you need other ways to reduce your start-up costs, check out my other post on streamlining your business to reduce costs and increase profits.