There can be few tasks more stressful and laborious than deciding upon your business’s new office space. In a dwindling economy there are more vacant spaces than ever before, so without help, it’s possible that you might find yourself on hundreds of site visits before settling on “the one.” There is no need to waste your valuable time this way though—not if you have a clearly defined list of requirements that can be checked off before you commit yourself to a visit.
Below you’ll find a list of points to consider while you’re searching for your businesses ideal office space. Unfortunately there is no such thing as a definitively ‘perfect’ space (and if there was, then chances are it would be pretty unaffordable) but there is such a thing as a perfect office space for YOU and YOUR business.
Utilizing Your Office Space
Of course this depends primarily on how many employees you’ll be accommodating, but being able to fully visualize where everything and everyone will fit in your new space is a valuable asset. Try not to dwell too much on the actual size of the space though as the layout and shape of the space is just as important.
Be Objective and Thorough
Although it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees sometimes when you’re spending so much time looking around cosmetically identical buildings, it really pays to be objective in the office space hunting game. Treat every site visit like a potential “hit,” even if on the surface it doesn’t immediately seem right. On the flip-side, you should also make a thorough list of any defects you find with the property (this can be anything from minor structural damage to damp problems or local noise pollution) since if everything else about the property is a good fit, you could use this information to help negotiate a more affordable lease.
Researching all potential sites is absolutely crucial. Ask around about rental costs in the area and assess the surrounding facilities. It is also worth considering how the location of the site will affect your employees and your clients. If (for example) the property is a perfect fit size-wise and price-wise, but is essentially in the middle of nowhere, then you might want to reconsider. It also pays to research your potential landlord. What about their other properties? Have they owned the building long? And how is their reputation among their existing tenants? With this information in your corner it will make negotiating the lease significantly less stressful.
Accommodate for Future Growth
Always take into account the fact that (in a perfect world) your business will undoubtedly grow over time, so when you’re taking out a lease on new office space it will pay in the long run to consider potential space for expansion. For this reason it is ALWAYS recommended to look for a space that offers slightly more room than you absolutely need.
Commercial Property Consultants
If you are having difficulty, you might want to consider hiring a commercial property consultant, a qualified professional whose job is to source and evaluate potential properties as well as to negotiate the best possible terms with the landlord. Do your research and make sure that you go for a consultant with a strong track record who is local to the area you’re looking to move to (for obvious reasons).
What it really boils down to is a matter of specifics. What kind of business do you run? How many people do you employ? What are your individual tastes? Either way, we hope we have helped you reach an informed, intelligent decision.
What other factors should you consider when looking for office space?
Lauren Roitman is a freelance writer who has been interested in the inner workings of SME’s after working as part of a small team of three for several years. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking and being active.
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