Starting a business that gets large enough to need its own office is exciting! However, it can also create high levels of stress and anxiety as you take the next risk in building your brand.
If you’re getting ready to rent your first office space, here are some tips to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
1. Start with the Location
It helps select a location for your dedicated office space somewhere close to where you and your team live. By keeping your commuting costs low, you’ll have more capital to expand the business.
If you don’t have a team yet, consider choosing an office location where known talent is available. Creating an attractive workplace space will attract potential candidates when you’re ready to expand.
Your location should be easy for clients and customers to reach on top of all that.
2. Think About Extra Expenses
Cost is a primary concern for a first office space. You might have build-out costs to consider on top of the monthly rent, but the expenses don’t stop there.
The actual rent is only part of the equation. Will you be paying part or all of the utility costs? What about any phones, computers, or Internet connections you’ll need?
Do you plan to move everything yourself, or will you want the help of professional movers to get everything moved and set up in the new office?
Every expense spelled out in the lease will need to be part of your budgetary expectations when moving into your new office space.
3. Repair Responsibilities
You’ll want to find out who is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of your new office space. These details should be outlined in the lease. Since it can be a significant expense, you’ll need to verify that your landlord is willing (and capable) to handle events.
If you’re responsible for maintenance and repairs, it helps to know in advance so that your budget can include those costs.
4. Leave Room for Growth
When selecting your first office space, the first goal is to get enough room to handle your current needs. Each person needs approximately 100 square feet of functional space to be productive without being overly distracted.
Once you accomplish that goal, you’ll decide how to have the office laid out to maximize efficiencies. For example, do you want an open concept design, or would it be better to have closed-off spaces? Again, every team and owner has different preferences to consider here.
It helps to leave room to grow once you’ve found the right spot, especially if you plan on this outcome happening within the scope of your lease. Even if it’s enough space for an extra meeting room or a few cubicles, you’ll have ways to expand if it becomes necessary.
5. Know the Condition
It’s not unusual for office spaces in NYC (and everywhere!) to not come as advertised. That means you could have some work to do before having employees report for duty. Ask the landlord, broker, or property manager what to expect before signing any paperwork.
If you need improvements, even if it is only painted or new carpet, the party responsible for those costs should be explicitly mentioned in the lease.
6. Storage and Parking
Parking is critical for some businesses, especially if they serve customers. There should be enough space for your team and those who visit that location. If you can find a building with a secure area or free slots to use, you’ll have a natural benefit to the market to the community.
In NYC, it helps to have a place for bicycle storage. Many people commute this way, which allows them to cut down on costs and save time compared to public transportation. In addition, a rack inside the office or secured space in the building where workers can lock their gear is a helpful asset.
7. Plan an Early Exit
You might plan to be at your new office for several years, but life might have other plans. If the time comes when breaking your lease is necessary, you should know the consequences of that action. You’ll want to be comfortable with the different penalties and any fees the landlord might charge.
Renting your first office is an exciting time! However, when you keep these tips in mind, you’ll find that the process doesn’t have to be super stressful. If you need any help moving into this space, let our experienced team know so that we can get a competitive quote your way!