Your pet project is finally catching some wind in its sails. You and your team have gotten to market, generated some revenue and are ready to expand the team – it’s time to get your own office space. Getting your first office is a huge milestone for any company – it’s a place for structure, comradery and productivity. You’ll spend a lot of time here with your coworkers, working together to build and run your organization and take your business to the next level.
Whatever you choose as your first office space, remember this one critical rule and you can’t go wrong: Make sure you love it, because you’re going to be spending a lot of time there. You can use our handy, printable checklist to review the basics of choose a good office location. With that said, here are our top tips for finding the perfect office space for your small business.
Find a Budget that Fits
If this is your first office space, you’re going to feel a lot of temptation to get the trendiest, most modern, and probably the most expensive space that you can afford. You should probably hold your horses on that. You might be post-revenue with a great burn rate today, but you never know when difficult times will arise and you’ll wish you’d picked something less burdensome to your bank account than the entire floor of a high rise that you rented for six people. You can quickly find out the cost of office space by talking to one of coordinators.
When you sign a one-year lease for an office space, make sure it’s just big enough for your growth projections over the next 12 months. If things don’t go as planned, you haven’t splurged on an over-sized space you don’t need. Be very judicious when spending company money on an office space or executive suite.
Prioritize Your Employee’s Needs
Ensuring that everyone in your business is accounted for fairly when getting an office is critical. A valued team member can really feel unimportant when they find out that the new office is clear across town from where they live, and their commute will now take an extra 45 minutes. Get a map of major bus routes out and start pinpointing where the folks in your company live.
Make sure that when you rent a space, you aren’t leaving anyone high and dry when it comes to making it into work at 9’o’clock every morning. The last thing you want is to show favoritism when planning for the future – make sure your employees know that you’re taking their needs and their input into account when you’re making a decision.
Making Your Business Work in a New Space
Will you need separate rooms? A communal space with desks? Cubicles? Some companies function best in an open setting that fosters collaboration between team members, while other companies need people a little more segregated to focus on individual tasks without distractions. Whatever the case with your company, make sure you get a space that fits your needs. You may also need a separate board room to meet clients in, for example.
If you anticipate clients visiting your office at any point, ask yourself how they will feel when they come in. Where will you greet them? Where will you host them? What will they see? Many co-working spaces come with conference rooms that you can use to meet with your clients. Determining exactly what you plan to use your office for will go a long way in helping you choose the right space.
Many things can be negotiated and it’s your job to get the best deal for your company. What is most important to your growing business? Would it be a lower rent? Access to specific amenities? Security deposit? When negotiating, it’s important to stay focused on a couple of aspects that are crucial to your business as this will increase your chances of a successful negotiation.
While getting your first office is a major source of excitement, it can also be a major headache if you don’t execute on it in the right way. Ultimately, if you’re judicious about how you spend money, you shouldn’t have a problem getting the right space for the right price. Search high and low, work with people you trust, and don’t spend outside your means. Finally, make sure you love it, you’re going to be enjoying a lot of time there!