Finding your office space is usually a good sign, it could mean that your business is beginning to grow and develop. You are ready to move forward and find a more effective setting for your business.
When leasing an office space for the first time, there is a lot to think about. The process can be complex, and several components could influence your final decision. Just like looking for an apartment, office space hunting can be exciting yet stressful. Don’t leap into the process without having a distinct knowledge of what your business needs and can provide financially. You need to ensure that your workspace will help your team to grow and be more productive.
Here are eight questions to ask yourself when looking for an office space for rent:
1. Do you need and office space?
Before you move any further, ask yourself whether this is the right action, and the right moment to rent an office space. If you’re currently in a setting in which you and your coworkers are working from home or in a shared office space, be sure that renting is the right move at this time. Make a list of benefits and disadvantages both for working remotely or renting your own office space.
2. Can you afford to rent an office space?
There are a lot of expenses that go into renting an office space that will tie you to a recurring monthly cost that you may not have had to think about until now. These expenses usually include property rent, business rates, maintenance costs, insurance, and daily costs. Make sure to also understand what is included in your monthly expenses (utilities, phone, and internet fees). Of course some office space providers are ‘full service’ and all of these costs are included in the rent. However, you should be very attentive to all of the costs from the get-go and that you are financially capable. Check your financial status before budgeting so you could operate without unnecessary stress. Always consider renting a space that is on your budget and will not affect your company’s growth in the future.
3. Where is the best location?
One of the main aspects to consider is the location of your potential office. If you've decided that it is essential for your business to rent an office space. You may want to look into a location that is near your employees to commute and around populated areas for business growth. When searching for an office, one thing to look into is the space of the building. Make sure that it is spacious and large enough to accommodate your business but not too big that you are paying for space that you will not be able to use.
4. Is the lease on your terms?
Almost all office lease guidelines are usually drafted in favor of the landlord. Make sure that those lease terms are also beneficial for you as a tenant; discuss issues about rental increases, lease length, renewal fees, etc. Pondering on these issues early on will save you distress at the negotiation stage. You need a complete understanding of all of the terms on the lease and in what you are acquiring and what you are responsible for. You don’t want to end up at the end of your lease and find that the landlord is increasing your rent up, or signing the space over to someone else. Be sure to discuss the duration of the lease and other important terms with your landlord.
5. How will your office look?
Your office space will be one of the major elements of what clients perceive about your company. You can manage this by the establishment you choose and your capability to revamp or modify the space. Think about what design would fit your business's core values and choose a space that provides your preferred layout since many offices for rent don’t always look as advertised. Some landlords may not allow you to repaint or replace the walls, so be sure to discuss that before signing anything. Do you want an open area or workspace with cubicles? Different employers have different branding and different priorities. Some might need a bit of handiwork before you actually move your team in. Make a list of all of the factors you would like your office to have. It may be size, lease duration, bathrooms, a meeting area, etc.
6. Who is responsible for repairs & maintenance?
Repairs also represent a vital expense. If your landlord is in charge of maintenance and repairs, make sure that they are responsible and can take care of them on time that cannot be a nuisance to your business. But if it is not included in the lease, estimate and allocate a budget separately. You can either employ a maintenance person to take care of your building or hire a maintenance company to provide you with cleaning personnel, either way, it can pose another problem with finances.
7. Should I get professional legal advice?
Hunting for a new office space for rent can be very stressful for a newbie, it is time-consuming, labor-intensive and a complicated process; you should never try this new journey on your own. Hire a property solicitor or an agent who specializes in commercial property to help you throughout the process and understands the market inside out. A lease covers many terms, sometimes with complex terminology, and you would need someone who will clarify and explain everything you don’t comprehend to ensure a profitable outcome for your business.
8. Is this my final decision?
Don't rush into making a decision right away if you're not fully committed and comfortable. And if the lease negotiations are not what you are aiming for, be prepared to let go and walk away. Many properties may suit your needs more. Don’t sign those papers immediately, study and observe first. This decision can affect the future of your company, and it is in your hands how you would like it to play out.
Growing your business is an exciting but grueling journey. Moving to an exceptional executive office space can be the most significant breakthrough of any business. But it’s not a breakthrough to be forced prematurely. Make sure that you understand the consequence of this major decision before you sign that lease.