Whether you’re a one-woman freelancing organization or are launching a new app with several friends, the right office space is an important contributor to your success. Working from home has its perks, but as a business grows it may be necessary to choose a more formal office space for your startup. On the one hand, if you choose a space that’s too vast you’ll end up paying more on monthly rent than your growing business can afford. Yet on the other hand, if you’re expanding rapidly you want room to grow without the need to upgrade in a matter of months. On top of space and budget, you’ll also need to think about how to choose the right layout and theme to boost productivity. It’s a lot to think about, but at the end of the day you’ll have a space that fosters creativity and encourages your new business to grow.
Space and Location
Square footage is one of the first factors to consider. Choose a space too small and you don’t leave yourself with too much room for expansion, yet if you are looking at massive lofts for a current staff of 3, you’ll lose money each month that could be better used on marketing or development. The best rental properties for a new business will strike a balance, offering plenty of space for the current staff with a bit of room to grow. Location is also critical when you’re looking for a space for your startup. Do you meet with a lot of clients? Central locations in an urban setting could make it easier to grow. Yet if the majority of your business is conducted remotely, you can save some rent money and look for a space that’s a bit further afield.
If you think about the typical startup office, an open-plan layout may spring to mind. Rather than boxing workers into individual offices or cubicles, many modern businesses prefer a more relaxed, open environment to encourage open communication. This will depend on the type of business you are running, however. If your employees need to place a high volume of phone calls or develop products individually, some separation is better for privacy. After you’ve narrowed down your search to a few likely spaces, start thinking about the layout that would best suit your needs. If you find a space with the perfect location and price but the wrong layout, you may be able to change this. However, you’ll need to find out if the landlord allows tenant improvement, and if they’ll contribute to the costs. Landlords tend to be more open to sharing tenant improvement costs if you agree to a long-term lease.
Speaking of leases, you’ll need to go over yours with a fine-toothed comb before signing anything. In addition to clauses about renovation, think about the length of your lease term and any fees that you’ll be responsible for. Commercial tenants may be required to pay for common area maintenance and utilities, for example. Does the office come furnished or will you need to pay for desks in addition to office equipment? Can you paint the walls or serve food on the premises?
These are just a few factors to consider as you start your search for a worthy office space for your startup. Striking the balance between your current and future needs can be tricky, but it can also provide you with a great place to expand.