So, you’ve been running a business from your garage or spare room… Now it’s starting to take off, it’s time to move into an office and start employing staff.
This is an incredibly exciting time for your business and signals the start of a brand new chapter! But, with the average length of commercial property lease being between 5 and 10 years, it is also a long-term commitment and a huge expense. So, you need to ensure you rent the right space…
Location is important
Location is incredibly important when choosing your office space. Is it easily accessible? Are there good transport links? Are you based near competitors – and if so, is this a problem?
Consider the length of the lease
The length of the lease is also important, particularly if you are a relatively new business and this is your first office. You don’t want to be tied into a long-term lease until you know the business is going to be a long-term success, so only commit to a lease with a tenure you’re comfortable with.
Is the space safe and secure?
Your employees won’t want to work in an environment where they don’t feel safe. Choose somewhere secure unless you want to worry about your expensive equipment still being there in the morning.
How much space do you really need?
You need a space that fits your team. It needs to be big enough for you to grow, but not too big that you are paying for entire rooms you never use. When working out the space you need, don’t forget that there are ways to make a small space feel more generous with the clever use of storage in and outside of the office.
Can you put your own stamp on it?
You may be renting, but you are also in it for the long run, so you want to make your own mark on the building and make the space your own. This may not seem particularly important, but your office space is a reflection of your company to clients and potential employees. So, find out how much you can do!
Be clear on costs
Did you know that you will need to pay agency fees when securing your office space, and that they could amount to 10% of your first year’s rent? You need to budget for them! However, remember that while there are far more costs involved than just the rent, there are many aspects of your move that can be negotiated to save money, such as rent free periods.
You need more than just space…
What does the office provide you other than space? Is there an on-site café or gym? Is there a stationary cupboard or printing room you will have access to? Is there parking? Are there perks for your employees (relieving you of the responsibility of personally providing them) and is there the possibility you can purchase more space if your company grows?
If you’re worried that there’s too much to consider, try not to be put off. Take a look at this checklist: it will help you to compare, evaluate and negotiate the office space that is right for your business.