Choosing an office space can be a lot more complicated than it sounds – mainly because the space you chose will have so many repercussions for your business. For examples, the wrong location could put off clients, or make it difficult for you to find employees. Your business needs might change, making a 3 or 5-year lease quite impractical. So before you rush into signing on the dotted line, here are a few questions you should ask yourself – and the landlord – about your office space.
Most commercial leases are for either a 3 or 5 year period, so you need to make sure the space is right for your future needs, as well as right now. Luckily, if you have a 3 and 5-year plan, you should have a good idea of what your business will look like in the future, and what it will need. If you can’t afford the extra space you believe you will need in the future right now, then you can try to negotiate a shorter lease term, or add a clause that allows you to upgrade your space, or gives you the option to rent any adjacent space that becomes available.
Your employees should be a key consideration in choosing your space. After all, they will need to get there every day, so you will need to make sure your location is in a convenient place for them. A long commute or frequent heavy traffic during travel hours could push employees to seek employment elsewhere. If you can, ask your staff to weigh in on your choice of office space to ensure you won’t lose anyone in the transition.
You also want your office to be easily accessible to any customers who will be visiting you. This may vary depending on the kind of business you run. For example, a solicitors firm may want a public, high street location to advertise their presence and encourage walk-ins. But a private military contractor whose customers aren’t the general public, they might want a more out of the way office location. You also need to bear in mind that as travel costs continue to rise, people may not be as willing to travel to patronise your business. If you decide to leave an urban area for a cheaper space in the country, be prepared for a dip in custom.
The office space you chose sends a lot of messages to both your employees and your customers. After all, your office space will be much more than a collection of offices and cubicles. It will be a sign to others of how much money you make, what your priorities are as a business and what your values are. If you take out a huge, lavish office space, your customers may wonder if they are paying too much – choose something too frugal and they may start to wonder about the financial health of your business.
Leases can be tricky, and office leases are no exception. So before you sign, make sure you have a solicitor look over the lease agreement to ensure there are no hidden costs or fees involved. You will also need to calculate the full cost of renting your space – not just the rental amount. Take into account utilities, moving expenses, construction costs and much more. That way, you won’t get caught short on funds.
This might seem like a simple thing, but it can make or break it for some businesses. If you don’t have adequate parking for your employees, you will quickly find them moving on in search for somewhere that doesn’t have them scrabbling for street parking or paying for car parks. Similarly, if the parking is difficult for your customers, it may put them off visiting you. If you have to spend time explaining a complicated parking arrangement, you will likely get far fewer visitors to your business.
At Blue Box Storage, we know that some business owners prefer not to permanently rent our office space for all of these reasons. Instead, they look for somewhere they can hold meetings that fulfil all of their needs but doesn’t require a permanent residency. That’s why, at select facilities, we offer an office space rent-by-the-hour service, as well as space rental for those looking for a permanent base. To find out more, just get in touch with us today.