If you initially operated your business from your home, there will come a time when you would need to move on to renting your first office space. Moving to your first office space can be an exciting experience, but you have to remember that you can be prone to making mistakes. To prevent this, here are some tips:
Ascertain Your Need
Back then, dedicated office space is a requirement for a business to prosper. With the advent of technology and communication, office spaces have become expendable. That said, it is crucial first to determine whether you really need to rent your first office space. Say, if you are often working alone with no employees, having a home office set-up can be a better choice. If you need a business mailing address, it is also possible to get even if you are working from home.
However, if your business now requires employees to report to work or you need a space to meet your client, and your home is pretty crowded already, then renting an office space is indeed an option.
Make sure that you really need an office. You have to remember that it would be an added expense for your business, so you should make it justifiable.
If you’ve ascertained that office space is a requirement for your business, consider a location where it is accessible to both you and your team. Make sure it is near transportation hubs and that it is within an area with high traffic where your target market is. It would also be helpful if you would consider an office location that features parking and bike storage. Even if it is close to where most of your team lives, they may choose to bike or drive to work. Make your office convenient for your organization.
If you are still building your team, choose a location where there is a good pool of talent that can help your business grow. It would also be nice to have an office that has a wealth of nearby amenities.
Work on Your Budget
As mentioned earlier, renting your first office space is an added expense. Keep in mind to have a budget that would not sacrifice your other projects. It would be pointless to invest in an office space if it would force you to give up on other business projects and stunt your business’s growth. In short, your office should be something you can afford to have and would make the company improve its revenue.
Be Smart on Furniture and Equipment
Since this will be your first office space, it can be tempting to fill it with new equipment and furniture. Don’t do that yet. If you don’t have old ones, you may want to try leasing them in the meantime. This way, it is cheaper if you are only planning to have your office for a short period.
Check Lease Period
When it comes to lease periods, don’t sign a multi-year lease yet. You have to make sure that you won’t be locked into a contract. Keep in mind that your business may not go as planned – it can go under, or it could take-off faster than you expected. Either way, you may need to look for a different space to sustain your needs. That said, it is essential to know what are your possible options for an early exit.
Know Your Responsibilities
Go over the contract before you sign the lease. Make sure that you understand what is included in each clause. Know what your responsibilities are in terms of repairs and maintenance. See if you would need to secure a renter’s insurance. Most importantly, check whether you have the budget for these additional expenses.
It would also be useful to see what are your potential liabilities should you default on your payment.
Customize Your Office
When you are renting your first office, identify areas that you can customize. Designing your office in a way that would make it easier for you to carry out your and your team’s roles. But, before making any significant upgrades or renovations, check with your landlord first. Some commercial properties allow for some customization, but it often comes with several conditions, such as insurance.
You also have to consider how your office will appear to your clients and customers. Your office can say a lot about your business. Say, you chose to have an office in an old building, your clients may think that your business is struggling and cannot keep up with the economy. Similarly, making your office appear too posh can send the wrong signal. They may think that you may be charging them too much for you to afford such lavishness. You have to balance it somehow.
Work With a Broker
If you are still on the lookout for your rental space, you can ask help from a broker to get you the best deals possible. A real estate agent has a broader knowledge of the market, and they can make the process more manageable for you.
If you are renting your first office space, make sure that it can accommodate your business in terms of size, location, and budget. Consider these three as the most important of all. As much as possible, never sacrifice any of them so you can have the assurance that your business will function the way it should while allowing some room for progress.