Choosing the right space to operate your business is an important part of building your company. Your office space needs to be large enough to create an environment for your staff to work in comfortably, without exaggerating your overhead costs. To make sure you build the perfect working environment, here are a few things to consider in choosing the right office space for your business.
1. Do your homework
If you’re looking to buy commercial real estate for your business, you’ll need to inform yourself first. Scope out the area, find out why the building is for sale, and be sure to do your due diligence before you complete a purchase. If you aren’t sure where to begin, enlist the help of a seasoned commercial real estate broker to help you navigate the market before committing to anything. If you are looking to rent an office space instead, the same logic still applies. Be sure to find out why the space is for rent, ask to see the previous lease, and do your homework on the landlord.
2. Location, location, location
As with any other property, it’s all about the location. You need to pick a spot that your employees can travel to easily and is close to suppliers or customers you need to work with. The location of your business should simplify working conditions for you and your staff. Location is more important for some businesses than others, especially if you depend on walk-in clientele. But it’s always a good idea to find a location that is convenient for your staff, as well.
3. Look for meeting space
Before you settle on a location, make sure there is adequate meeting space. You will need conference rooms for privacy. The number of conference rooms you need will vary based on how large your staff is. Consider how many meetings go on simultaneously each week to ensure there is enough time for all of your staff to continue to thrive without interruption. If your office requires shared meeting spaces and media rooms, this is another thing to look for before you sign anything.
4. Ensure adequate parking is available
If there is no space for your employees to park, you may lose employees or have a hard time gaining new ones—especially if the location is not within walking distance for most of your staffers. The location you choose should have sufficient and affordable parking for your staff on the premises or nearby. If your location is in the downtown core, you can also try to make parking arrangements with a local parking lot to ensure your staff can park. If parking is a big issue, you may narrow your pool of candidates.
5. Make sure there is recreational space
Choosing an office space is all about work. Your employees need somewhere to unwind during break time. This is especially important if your location isn’t near local restaurants or cafes. A break room should be large enough to host your staff at lunchtime. It’s an added bonus if the office space has enough room for a couch, too. Find the best couch for you and your employees to relax on. This much-needed break time can actually make your staff more productive.
6. Ensure room for growth
An important part of selecting the right office space is choosing a location that offers your company room to grow. You won’t be moving your business once a year and you want your staff to grow healthily so your business can expand along with it. Account for some growth and ensure the space you choose will fit your team for the next five to 10 years, at least.
7. Consider costs
Whether it’s local taxes, rent, or other fees associated with the building you choose, ensure the costs of the space you move to are reasonable. You want to maximize the space you can get without exceeding your budget. If you are overpaying, you may end up having to downsize your staff or even your service offerings to keep up. To avoid this, set up a budget before you look for office space and be sure to stick to it.
8. Consider your business needs
Each business is unique. You may require a sample room whereas another business may need media rooms or conference rooms. To select the right space, you need to choose an office space that works for your individual business. Before you start the hunt, make a list of what your business needs most and look for these qualities in every space you visit. If a space doesn’t check all of your boxes, move on to the next one.
9. Check the facilities
If the building has common areas or common restrooms, verify them before you make it official. Ensure the facilities are clean. Your staff will appreciate having a clean and safe space to use. Facilities should be clean and up-to-code, as well. If the facilities are not in the best shape, move on to another office space.
10. Check the infrastructure
Does this office space you’re looking at accommodate the IT needs of your business? You will need a solid Wi-Fi connection for all of your staffers, phone lines, and other capabilities. You should ask the landlord about connectivity before signing a lease. If you are purchasing a building, have the building inspected to ensure it is safe and sold and that it can handle the electrical needs of your business.