Choosing office space can be very challenging because your decision will have so many repercussions for your business. With many different people to please and dozens of options to consider, you may not know where to begin. By asking the right questions from the very beginning you’ll be able to find the office space that is inspiring, cost effective and right for your business. Here are some important considerations to be aware of when choosing a new office.
Price is probably the most important factor to most businesses when they’re choosing a new office. If you spend too little, you’ll either end up with an office you’re not happy with, or you may find yourself moving out after a few months. Spend too much, and you might struggle to pay the rent or have to move again to downsize. Rather than focusing on rent per square foot, determine beforehand what your budget is for rent and office related costs including but not limited to parking, utilities, cleaning, relocation, improvements, insurance, furniture and other office fees. Focusing only on the alternatives that don’t exceed your budget will help refine your search to a manageable list of alternatives. Be firm in your requirement to stay within a budget that suits you.
The location is likely your next most important consideration when renting your office space. Consider where your key employees live and whether the space is convenient for them. A long, expensive commute may push them to seek employment elsewhere. You also want your office to be accessible to clients, as transportation costs continue to rise and people may not be as willing to travel to patronize your business.
Obviously both of the factors mentioned previously – Price and Location – will influence the size of the commercial premises you choose, but it’s an important point to mention. As a very general rule, it’s normally recommended to have 70 square feet per person. However, you know your business best. If your employees need bigger desks or more storage, then up this figure appropriately. There’s also the issue of meeting and rest space. You’ll need an area to meet with clients, and your colleagues need somewhere to eat their lunch!
There is a direct correlation between the lease term you are willing to commit to and the quantity and quality of options you will have. The longer your lease term, the more choices you will have. Landlords typically ask for three to five year lease terms but if you can’t make that commitment some landlords have more flexible lease terms and may accept a shorter than 5-year term on a direct lease. A good tenant representative will have relationships and direct communication with the landlords, property managers, and leasing agents to identify the buildings and spaces that may have more flexible lease terms. Be steadfast in your need to lease only for the length of term that suits you.
This is a more important feature for some businesses than others. Nowadays however, there aren’t many businesses that can function efficiently without a reliable internet connection. Some offices, particularly managed or serviced offices, generally include internet access as part of their rent. The quality and reliability of the service matters too. There’s no point paying for a service that is being interrupted constantly or cracks under the strain of a particularly busy day. Infrastructure doesn’t just mean internet, either. What about postal services or telephone connections? With mobile phones so prevalent these days the latter might not be that important to you, but postal services are still crucial for signed documents or other physical items.
The ability to rent space that suits all your needs takes some skills. But the more research you do, the more comfortable you will feel. It does not have to be difficult to rent space, however, if you do not perform the due diligence to find an appropriate-size office in a good neighborhood, you may end up frequently encountering problems that you don’t need. We hope these ideas will assist you on your way towards finding affordable and quality office space.
What factors influenced your business’s choice of office space? Do you have any questions about how to find the right space for you?