Choosing your first office is a big deal. It’s an exciting time for any business. However, it’s also a little scary! The office you choose will have a big impact on the growth and, ultimately, the success of your fledgling enterprise. So, it’s essential that you 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 on the dotted line on a lease or rental agreement.
#1 Do I need an office?Before you rush out and lease, rent, or buy an office space, be sure that you need an office of your own. Office space is not cheap 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 coworking spaces. For small businesses that are just starting, one of these options might be a better solution in the short term.
#2 Is it the right location?“Location, location, location.” How many times have you heard this expression? Probably lots, right! However, it’s not just a cliche. Location is 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 to be 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 reputation of the neighborhood.
#3 Does the office give the right impressionFirst 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 true for employees. It is hard to attract top talent to your business if the office space is not 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 obviously 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. Having to move office after a year, because you have outgrown the space, can be very costly, and also disruptive to your business operation.
# 5 Does the infrastructure meet my needs?Modern offices have high-speed broadband connectivity, ample phone lines, plenty of power outlets, air conditioning, etc. But, if you are considering an office space that is not so modern, then assess the infrastructure to ensure it meets your business needs.
# 6 Can I afford it?Most businesses starting-out have limited budgets. And although you want a nice office, it should not be at the expense of growing your business. So, before you look for an office space, know precisely what you can afford. However, knowing what you can afford is not just about the price of your rent or lease. There are other factors to consider, such as building maintenance fees, insurance, parking fees, and utilities. These can add up pretty fast.
#7 Can I make changes?It a massive bonus if your office space where the layout and design suit your needs and make for a pleasurable working environment for your employees. However, if not, then you might want to make some changes to the interiors. If this is the case, then you want to ensure that you are aware of any restrictions regarding interior design updates and construction.
#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, 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 a shorter term of two to three years. This means if things don’t go to plan, you won’t have a long-term lease nose hanging around your neck. Besides the length of your lease, also ask the landlord about subleasing options. This way, if you have to vacate the office before the lease is up because of unforeseen circumstances, you can sublease to another business.
Over to youCongratulations, if you’re a business owner planning to make the step and get your own office space. It means that your idea and dream is about to become even more of a reality. However, don’t let the excitement of the moment cause you to make a rash decision. Ask yourself the above question, for every potential office space you view.