Renting your first office space is an exciting time for any business, but finding the right office for your needs can be a challenge.
It’s not always an easy step to take and, with so many financial and strategic decisions to consider, making the wrong move can be a costly mistake.
With that in mind we look at five things to consider before renting your first office space.
Is it the right move for your business?
It doesn’t matter what type of business you operate or what size of company you have, the location of your office is extremely important.
You need to find somewhere that is convenient for both employees and potential clients at a price you can afford.
City centre locations are usually more expensive than rural offices for good reason.
Their central location, ease of access and proximity to other shops and services make them attractive to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Whatever locations you choose to look at you must consider how easily accessible the location is by car and public transport.
Then look at what amenities are nearby. Is car parking important? Will your team appreciate nearby shops and restaurants? Do you need easy access to a bank or other services?
Once you’ve narrowed down a location you should next consider how much space you need.
It can be a delicate balance between finding a space large enough for all of your team to have a space to work without having too much space that you’re paying for rooms that you’ll never use.
That said, never rent a smaller office than you’ll need in an attempt to save money as this can negatively affect productivity – and you may find you outgrow it quicker than your lease.
You should also consider the layout of any space you’re looking at renting. Will it work for your current and future needs? Or will you need to make changes in order for it to satisfy your requirements?
The location or space you’ll need are irrelevant if you don’t have the funds in place to secure an office without stretching your business’s finances.
Therefore, it’s essential that you find a budget first that will allow you to operate comfortably.
Unfortunately, when it comes to renting an office space the actual rent is only part of the full cost to your business.
So, always account for extra expenses such as service charges, business rates, maintenance costs, insurance and the day-to-day running costs.
It’s also wise to ask what is included in the quoted rent so that you avoid hidden costs further down the line.
Will you need to pay for utilities? Who is responsible for repairs? Make sure any of these provisions are clearly spelled out in your lease to prevent being unexpectedly charged for them later.
Now you have a budget and location in mind it’s time to decide if you are truly in a position to commit.
You must consider the length of your lease vs your business’s plans for growth.
For your first office, you might not want to get tied into a really long-term commitment.
The future of your business can be unpredictable and you never know when you might have to break your lease.
So, always consider the terms of your lease and have provisions in place should you need to make an early exit if your business folds, sells or simply outgrows the space.
Make sure that you are comfortable with any fees or penalties that you might encounter.
5. Do you really need one?
Potentially the most important question you need to ask yourself is do you really need one?
Whilst it used to be the norm for businesses to have a dedicated office in order to survive there is a growing trend for businesses to use coworking spaces or shared offices in order to reduce costs and save time and resources.
Shared office spaces usually provide office furniture, kitchen and toilet facilities, Wi-Fi and other important office essentials so that you don’t have to.
This allows you to quickly get settled into your new office and concentrate on running your business without the headache of finding and paying for all the facilities you’ll need.
Plus, coworking contracts are usually shorter, more flexible and often more cost effective than those for conventional office spaces, allowing you to quickly and easily adjust your workspace according to your needs as your business evolves.
For more of the benefits of utilising a shared office space take a look at these pros and cons.
Or, if you’d like to learn more about coworking offices, why not come and take a look around SO Fourteen?
You can book a tour now with our dedicated community manager, Oksana, and discover whether coworking could be the right solution for your business.