There are many things to keep in mind when looking at commercial spaces for a new business. The most important thing to do is determine your needs:
How much space do we need?
The amount of space your company needs depends on your industry, team size, and a variety of other factors. A new space should give you room to grow while staying within budget, and feel spacious enough for creativity to flourish — but not so large that it feels impersonal. Sometimes, you have to do a walk-through before deciding on whether a space is the wrong size or just right.
How much rent can we afford to pay?
There’s no set rule for which percentage of income your business rent should be, as it varies widely between industries (anywhere from 2 to 20 percent of income). Obviously, the more income you have, the more rent your business can afford to pay. Be sure to factor in other expenses, such as monthly service charges, when it comes to determining the affordability of a location.
How important is location?
If you’re counting on customers to visit your location, it needs to be considerably more neighborhood-conscious and presentable than if your space is used only for remote transactions, production, or think-tanking. Does your business just need a barebones workspace in an industrial area, or are you looking to be right in the thick of things? Factors like commute time and worker satisfaction (are there any good coffee shops nearby?) also play a role here.
When does my new space need to be ready?
Consider when you need to be up-and-running. Can your business handle the delays that may occur with transitioning into a new space? Find out what steps need to be taken, and create a realistic timeline for your move.
Have I taken into account everything that is needed in my new space (furniture, phones, computers, copy/fax/postage machines, Internet access, etc.)?
Be sure to notify all of your service providers regarding your change of address. Also, determine which equipment can be moved from an old location and what needs to be purchased. Double check your to-do list to make sure you cover all of your business needs.
Do I want to find the space on my own or hire a tenant rep broker to assist me?
Doing your own research can help, whether you work with a tenant representation broker or not. Tenant rep brokers can negotiate on your behalf and they’re especially helpful on larger moves. The landlord covers the tenant rep’s fees, though some leasing agents offer a discount for dual representation.