3 Things you Need to Know About Renting Office Space
Office space represents so much more than simply a place for you and your employees to work; it can dramatically affect the image of your business, employee morale, and a host of other factors which greatly influence the potential success—or failure—of your company. As such, it’s vital to consider the following three things prior to renting office space, rather than simply grabbing the cheapest space you can find and leaving the rest to chance:
Most people only really consider location when actually buying a property, as doing so is part of assessing the long-term value of said investment. When renting a space to do business, however, the “location, location, location” rule needs to be part of the equation. If the rental space is located in a downtrodden area, that will reflect upon your business. If the location is hard for you to find, you have to ask yourself, how likely are your customers to find it? Will they bother to try, or is your competition more accessible?
You should also factor in how easy it will be for your employees to get to the space—long, difficult commutes have a deleterious effect on employee morale and employee performance (no one performs at their best if they have to get up at 5 or 6 in the morning, while also being up late at night because the drive home eats into much of their evening). Likewise, make sure there is affordable parking available nearby.
A property that looks like a great deal may have hidden fixed costs (maintenance fees, desk space rental), and these costs—even if they are not enormous sums—can kill a business if they are not planned for. Remember that most businesses fail not due to one dramatic loss of revenue, but due to many smaller losses that add up over time without being properly accounted for. Make sure you know exactly how much you will be paying monthly for a space before committing to it.
Also be wary of properties that look like a great deal at first glance, but which lock you into a long-term agreement that leaves little “wiggle room” for your business to grow. Make sure your lease allows you to upgrade and/or exit relatively quickly and easily; if your business begins to take off—as they often do after finding suitable office space—you’ll want to be able to access more space and services. The last thing you want is for your office space to actually hold back your business!