Success stories usually come from humble beginnings. If you own a startup business, you might have started in a tiny home office or you used to operate virtually to save on overhead costs of a physical space. So if you’re reading this and planning to move to a physical office space soon, let me be the one to say: Congratulations! That upgrade is one of the clear signs that your company, as well as your team, are growing.
Finding the best office space for your business is one of the most exciting parts of your company’s journey. Even if it’s attainable to do your day-to-day operations virtually, nothing beats the joy of seeing physical equipment, amenities, and people in front of you. You just have to take the time to shop around, explore your options, and evaluate your needs to find the perfect office for you and your team.
Aside from the size and spaciousness of the office for your current and future employees, there are other important factors to consider when finding the right space for your startup. In this article, we uncover 8 of them.
1. Looking for a flexible solution? Consider serviced offices first
How is your startup going? Is the business steady or are some months slower (or busier) than other months? Before committing to a long-term, traditional office space rental, you may consider a more flexible and cost-effective option: serviced offices. This kind of setup is perfect for you if you want the option to downsize your space, expand, or relocate, depending on the unpredictable growth (or decline) of your business.
Serviced offices allow you to reap the benefits of a physical office space without worrying about long-term contracts and the expensive overhead costs of furnishing a blank space. It is a modern, plug-and-play office that’s already fully furnished with workstations. All you have to do is show up with your laptop and get things done. You’ll also have access to shared facilities like reception, meeting rooms, pantry, and coffee dock areas.
Serviced offices are managed by an office provider, which then rents these spaces to other companies for a shorter period, with a more flexible option. These flexible rental terms are perfect for companies that would prefer to keep their opportunities open.
2. Find the right location
Finding the best location is a good starting point, whether you’re opting for serviced offices or traditional office spaces. Think about your employees, how convenient their daily commute would be, and how satisfied they will be during their lunch breaks. Think about your clients, and how accessible your business is to them. Lastly, think about how the location can boost your reputation and prestige.
Depending on your business type and needs, you may consider the following criteria for your office location:
- The office should be near and accessible to where you and your employees live
- It must be easy to find and commute to/from
- Go where your customers/clients are
- Find a business district or an area that’s growing with like-minded businesses
- Survey the area for nearby cafes, restaurants, shopping centres, parks, and other leisure amenities
3. Work with a fair and friendly landlord
Just when you thought running your business is exhausting enough, imagine working with a wicked landlord who makes your long-term rental even more unbearable. To avoid such a bad fate, you may investigate and talk to some tenants in the building you’re planning to rent. Your best bet is to go with landlords who play fair, communicate professionally, and are helpful with your concerns.
4. The price tag shouldn’t hurt your business growth
It’s a no-brainer to go for an office space you can afford without stretching yourself too thin. Think about how your business is going. Will the price tag of your office space slow down your startup’s growth and profits? Will it force you to cut down costs on other key aspects, like hiring a new employee or upgrading essential equipment? If it will, then you may look elsewhere.
5. Watch out for hidden costs
Okay, so you found an office space that works well for your budget. Before signing on the dotted line, read the contract carefully and make sure you’re not omitting some hidden costs. There might be other sneaky costs attached to your standard rate, like internet access, utility bills, parking, and maintenance.
6. Include everyone in the decision process
If you’ve been in the industry for a while, you might already have a small team. Since you’re concerned about their productivity, convenience, comfort, and overall satisfaction, it just makes sense to include them in the decision process.
Ask everyone’s input. Know where they leave and come up with a central location that’s suitable and convenient for everyone. Ask about their space needs: do they want a shared, collaborative space or do they prefer individual tables and cubicles? What are the in-office amenities and nearby commercial areas (like restaurants, cafes, parks) that matter most to them?
7. Explore the building amenities
There’s more to an office space than a group of desks — it’s great to have a few amenities like a receiving area, couch, or lobby, pantry, printing, and office supplies. Luckily, you can find office spaces that come with these built-in amenities. Other buildings even have a cafeteria or food court exclusive for tenants and a roof deck for smoking and unwinding.
You can also survey the building and look at other tenants who may be offering products or services your business needs.
8. Think about your company culture
What’s your company culture? Are you a laidback team, which accommodates breaks, pizza Fridays, and other relevant team activities? Is your team quirky and unconventional? Do you plan to set up bean bags and hammocks, or paint the room with eye-popping hues? Or are you okay with clean, modern office setups that foster productivity?
Whatever your company culture, it’s important to find a space that can accommodate the needs of your brand. Not only will it impact your employees but it can also make a positive impression with clients who’ll visit you.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a web content writer during the day and a foodie, musician, coffee connoisseur, and plant mom when her day shift is over. She enjoys sharing her insights about career and workplace. To know more about virtual offices, you may visit Premier Business Centres.