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Top Tips for Renting Your First Office Space

October 5, 2019

Renting your first office space can be an exciting and terrifying turning point for your business. On one hand, you are taking on an additional expense which can impede the growth of a small startup. On the other hand, with fewer distractions and professional appeal of an office, you stand to gain a significant boost in your productivity which will spur your growth and allow you to employ more staff. However, just choosing any office would be a dire mistake. If you are looking to rent office space, you need to make sure that it can support your team, your objectives and allow you to thrive and grow within your means. As such, here are the top things you need to consider before you can rent office space for the first time.

Leasing a Dedicated Space or Coworking?

For a person working from home and just needs to get out of the house, or if you have a small team, Coworking spaces are a better fit. They are turnkey ready with furniture, décor, Wi-Fi, among other amenities such as coffee and snacks. They are also more convenient, affordable and are available.

On the other hand, leasing an office requires more time and effort that most startups and small businesses cannot afford. You will need to budget for the lease itself, furniture, connectivity, electricity among other amenities.

How Much Office Space Do You Need?

Before you embark on the process of looking for an office, the first decision you must make is on how much office space you actually need. You must also determine the mandated space requirements if you are in a franchise agreement. This is a particularly difficult decision for a growing business. Not only do you need to estimate your current space requirements, but also anticipate the future space needs. If you find yourself in a situation where you need more space before the end of the lease, you can consider remote workers and flexible schedules which will even allow you to attract better talent.

Selecting the Right Location for Your Business

There is a lot of value attached to choosing the right location to rent office space other than rent or mortgage payments. Having the right location, in the long run, will minimize your costs while maximizing your value. Before choosing a location, study your prospective employees and customers, the area and demographics in general.

While finding the right office space in rural areas can be a challenge, it is more expensive in the cities. With that said, if you already have a team, find a central location for convenience. City centres tend to be ideal as they are upscale, prestigious, offer more social life and tend to be central. At the same time, it is important to ensure that your employees and customers can easily access the office and find ample parking space.

Figure Office Expenses

When you are looking to rent office space, particularly for the first time, budgeting can be very tricky. In addition to the lease cost, you may also need to put up deposits for services and utilities, furnish the office, purchase office supplies and décor. To make it easy, create a spreadsheet of all anticipated expected and explore all possible areas you can cut costs without compromising on standards. Asking questions such as what the lease includes will save you a lot of money in the long run.

Lease Length

As a rule of thumb, a longer lease is more affordable as landlords tend to charge a lower rate over many months. However, you must always balance this insight with the expected growth. Will this space still be enough in a year or before the lease ends? If you are certain that the space will be adequate for your team through the lease, then a long lease is a good strategy in the long run. Alternatively, if your landlord offers attractive exit terms, a long lease makes more financial sense.

Exit Strategy

In the case that your business’ space needs exceed your current office space before the duration of the lease is over, you will need to come up with solutions on how to acquire more space. This might involve breaking your ongoing lease. In this case, make sure you understand how you can legally break the lease. Most leases contain exit provisions. As such ensure you understand and abide by all provisions as well as know how much it will cost you. Alternatively, you can explore other solutions such as remote workers and flexible schedules.

Choose Wisely

Although this is an exciting time for your company, it can also turn to your most regrettable period very quickly. If you are looking to rent office space, take your time – understand what you need and how to get it. Understand what kind of environment your current and future employees would like and thrive in. while younger people like to be in trendy open offices where they can interact and collaborate, older people enjoy more silence and privacy, therefore, prefer to work in separate offices. It is also important to remember that the configuration and ambience of your workplace will heavily influence your company culture. If the workers feel comfortable and at home in the office, they will naturally be happier which will also reflect in the quality of their work and overall productivity of the business.

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