Looking for your first office is a bit like finding your first home. There is a lot to consider and oftentimes the process can feel daunting and overwhelming. The best thing to do is work out exactly what your needs are and tailor your office space to suit. Depending on your type of business, you may require a multi-level high-rise, or something more low-key in a local shopping strip. Either way, here’s what to consider when hunting for your first office space.
How much space do you need?
It can be hard to predict how much your business will grow, and the size of your business will affect how much space you need. However, you’ll be pleased to know that with a shared office space you can tailor the lease terms and office facilities to suit your growing needs. The trick is to find the right amount of space for what you currently need, then assess how much flexibility your prospective office spaces provide for the future. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck and don’t want to commit to a long term lease, shared offices are ideal for startups.
What type of space?
Knowing how much space you need is important, but so is the type of space you require. The office layout affects the way it functions, so you’ll need to factor in any potential renovation and improvement costs. The decisions are endless, but here are a few things to consider:
- Is there ample space for equipment and IT infrastructure?
- Will you need your own furniture, or does it come already supplied?
- Do you need space for meeting or conference rooms?
- Are there kitchen and bathroom facilities, or can you go without?
- Depending on the lease, these can all be included in the costs. Otherwise you will need to
- factor them into your budget.
Finding the right location has a big impact on your business. You will need to consider who your clients are and where they’re coming from, as well as what suits your own personal needs. Some factors to consider when choosing a location include:
- In what area will your business thrive the most?
- Is it close to clients, potential clients, or other businesses?
- Is it in close proximity to your competitors?
- How will employees get to work?
- Is there sufficient parking for both employees and clients?
- What are the potential networking opportunities like in the area?
- Is there reasonable public transport nearby?
- What kind of a surrounding amenities are there? Shops, cafes, parks etc.?
The location of your business is very important. Get it wrong and you risk putting clients off coming to the area.
Read the fine print
It should go without saying, but reading the fine print could save you a lot of hassle and headache later. A commercial lease is very different from a residential lease, so it may take some getting used to the procedures. Costs can vary depending on issues like maintenance, repairs, utilities and fit outs. And rent is often charged as gross or net, so you’ll have to check the specific details the contract incorporates. Depending on the size of the commercial agreement, it may have rent-free periods and incentives. But you should always read the fine print to know exactly what you’re paying for and avoid any costly surprises down the track.
Think outside the box
Sometimes you need to get creative when it comes to finding the best deal. Forget what you think you know; try something different. Many startups are choosing a shared office space for their first office, simply because of the huge benefits they offer. They provide contract flexibility, communal facilities, and inexpensive rates. You also have the option of leasing equipment, from IT apparatus to furniture and decorations. Just remember that not every property is perfect, but try to find one that best suits your business and personal criteria.
- Anyone with experience in entrepreneurism will tell you the importance of networking, and the secret is out that shared office spaces are highly effective networking environments (just read our Pros and Cons of Leasing a Co-working Space). So how do you network in a shared office space? It requires more…