There are numerous steps to opening a new business: from creating a business plan, to finding investors, to making your first sale. But opening the doors to your new office space is one particularly exciting and momentous step in the process.
Before you get ahead of yourself, when it comes to moving from your home or garage to actual office space, there are some important details to consider. These few tips can help you find the appropriate space and avoid some potentially costly disputes.
Location, location, location
They say that location is everything when it comes to real estate. But it's about more than just the physical location of your office that you should consider. As this article notes, also take into account:
- Safety of the neighborhood
- Parking accommodations for employees
- Ease of access for customers
- Nearby restaurants, hotels, stores and other amenities that employees and customers may value,
while at the same time being considerate of your budget.
What you need and what you get
Once you find the right location, make sure it has the features and amenities you need to run your business. This might include:
- On-site security
- Open floor plans
- Covered parking
- Kitchen space
- Conference rooms
A location that's lacking in amenities may not be worth considering, or it could be the basis for negotiation on rent. On the other hand, a space with everything you need could warrant serious consideration, even if it's slightly outside your desired area or budget -- as long as it doesn't stretch you too far.
Signing a lease is more than a formality when it comes to office space. There could be terms and conditions of which you were previously unaware, so it is crucial to scrutinize real estate documents yourself and with an attorney before signing. Pay close attention to things like:
- Lease terms
- How rent is calculated
- Expectations for repairs
- Limits on renovations
- Late payment penalties
- Restrictions on space usage
- The ability of the landlord to move you to a different space
Taking all these factors into account when looking for your first office can help you find the right space to run and grow your business.