Congratulations. Things are finally looking up, and your startup is at its peak growth point. You are now making profits and have managed to employ a few people. Your garage office can no longer bear the heat, so, you need to upgrade to a real office.
The process of finding and leasing an office that meets your needs and budget can be overwhelming, especially for entrepreneurs who are only starting. The choice you make will not only affect your daily operations, but it will also market your brand. Check out this office-seeking guide.
1. Understand your needs
A reasonable estimate is to get about 1,000 square feet for every five employees. Depending on the layout, everyone should be able to fit in the space using this formula. So, figure out how much space you require before you start looking for space. Besides the size requirements, look into other needs such as parking space. Will you prefer a place close to a highway to ease delivery? Do you want a front window in a high-traffic area to bring in clients? All these are factors to consider when making your decision.
2. Consider the location and accessibility
Location is a critical factor when selecting office space. Having an accessible place is vital for all businesses because it can contribute to the failure or success of an enterprise. After all, you wouldn’t want the employees to blame traffic for their lateness, and worse still, for their claims to be justified. When your office is accessible by both public and private transportation, employees will not worry about leaving and going to work daily.
3. Consult a commercial real estate expert
Locating affordable and suitable office space within your area might be like finding a pen inside a heap of hay. Real estate professionals understand the local property market and can help you find an office that meets your needs and budgets easily. Although enlisting the expert might bring in extra expenses, it is usually worthwhile. You might also see a need for a real estate lawyer, especially before you sign the lease agreement. The attorney will review the contract and advise you accordingly.
4. Reflect on your growth plans
When looking into options for your office space, consider your growth plans. Do you require a small area that fits your current needs or a large one that can accommodate your plans? If you want to expand the venture in the future or add some departments, it’s wise to rent a place that you can use when the firm grows. However, this is only applicable when the expansion plans are within a year to save on costs. Also, businesses that grow should consider renting space that will fit the growing team.
You should consider facilities nearby such as hotels, shops, taxis, transport and availability of client. Find a location that is likely to attract the preferred level of skills to your organization. Make sure that the situation helps you to capture the potential for growth. For example, if your business aims at capturing international markets, you should consider somewhere close to the airport.
6. How is the interior like?
The office layout is an essential factor with regards to what you need now and your future requirements. Would you like to separate the offices from the meeting rooms? What about the management staff? Do you want them to have classier offices than the rest of the team? Are there any desired wall and flooring decorations? Do you have any neighbors and would you like to have some? Is the temperature controllable? Are all the essentials you need in keeping your team’s stress levels at a minimum available? Make sure internet connection and sockets are available too.
Don’t forget to find out whether the existing furniture will fit into the office space. Measure the desks, cupboards, meeting tables and filing cabinets. Office interiors make a huge difference in staff morale and should reflect on the company’s beliefs and brand. If you haven’t made the furniture yet, measure the office space to ensure the equipment can fit inside the office.
7. What are the needs of your customers?
You should look beyond your needs and factor in the demographics and needs of your customers. Will the clients have to visit the place often? Who are your target clients? How far would they be willing to travel? Who is your target demographic and where do they usually hang out? If they are a corporate client, you may want to rent in a place around other corporate firms to attract your desired customer. Clustering yourself amongst other small businesses might make sense if that’s what it takes to appeal to your ideal client.
The importance of getting an ideal office location can never be overemphasized. There are many factors to look into when making your decision. Do not factor in the price factor only. Also, consider the growth potential.