Renting an office is a big decision for your company. Particularly if you are locked in to an annual contract, or something even longer, it’s something that you want to take care over. The wrong decision could mean you are stuck with an office which doesn’t suit your needs. In order to avoid this outcome, consider these five points before you decide.
1. The space
How much room do you need? It might not be as much as you think – and then again, it might be more. Consider the number of desks you need, whether you need storage such as cabinets or filing systems, and so on. Try to find a size which will fit everyone without feeling cramped, yet without leaving lots of empty space. This will ensure you are paying exactly the right amount for your office space. You may also consider looking for flexibility if you want to expand later on.
2. The location
Where do you think your business will thrive more: in an area where lots of other businesses are already established, or out in the middle of the countryside where no one drops by? It’s always better to be in a commercial area, but of course you have to balance this with finding an affordable rate. Look for excellent transport links such as main roads, train stations, and airports, and consider how many other businesses will be nearby. Remember, they could become your clients too. Finally, consider your staff: will they be able to get to work every day?
3. The extras
What else can you expect to find along with your office space? Are there toilets that your customers or visitors can use? If you are upstairs, is there a lift? Are there facilities on site where you could get something to eat? How about somewhere for children to play? Is there a free car park? Are the offices monitored by a security presence? You ideally want all of these things – without having to pay hidden fees.
4. The rates
This brings us neatly to the rates. You want to know up front what you will be paying, with no hidden fees or surprises at the moment of signing the contract. You don’t want to pay above the odds for your area, so make sure you are being given a fair deal. It’s also important that you are paying for quality: look for offices that are newly refurbished and have all the mod cons you would want.
5. Your neighbours
You do want to have businesses around you, but what kind of businesses? It’s important to consider this as carefully as possible. Imagine that you found a space to rent in a jewellery quarter. Surrounded by all those jewellers, a gym clothing brand might not do so well. A printer or a web marketing company would probably find lots of customers amongst their neighbours, however. It’s all about who you surround yourself with. It’s a good idea to go to a diverse area with businesses from a lot of different sectors, as these will provide different opportunities for networking. You may also find that their customers become your customers when they walk past your office and see your company name.
There’s a lot to take into account, but it’s all necessary if you want to find a place that really fits. Once you have ticked all these boxes, you just have to worry about when you can move in and how to get everything organised. Once you’re in, you will know that you have made the right choice.