Advice for Renting Office Space


Whether you’re moving to a new office or occupying one for the first time, renting space for your business can be a complicated and intimidating experience. Start with these tips to secure a location that makes sense for your needs, aspirations and budget.

Stick to a budget

As you look into renting space for your business, it’s crucial that you make a budget and stick to it. Committing to an office beyond your means could have serious consequences for the financial health of your business. Writing for Small Business Trends, Annie Pilon recommends determining what you can afford before you start your search. Keep in mind that the costs of your office space are likely to go far beyond the rent. You may also need to budget for utilities, cleaning, internet service, office supplies, signage and more.

Prioritize your needs

As you look into renting office space, think about your business’s primary needs and prioritize them. As SquareFoot CEO Jonathan Wasserstrum tells Nicole Fallon in an article for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, it’s important to know what you’d like to have and what you absolutely must have. A clean, safe and properly functioning building is obviously a must. Just as crucially, you’ll need to figure out how much space your business requires and how much room you’ll need to grow. It’s important to know the type of space and layout your business needs, too. Does your business require a traditional setup with cubicles, offices and conference rooms, or do you want a different approach? You should also consider the professional image you want your business to present. Will space in a strip mall or office park be sufficient, or will you need something more upscale?

Consider your location

Even if you find the perfect space for your office, you’ll also need to think about the suitability of the surrounding area. Pilon notes that you’ll want to consider whether your new location will give your employees a manageable commute, whether it will be accessible to clients and whether it will be close to banks, restaurants and other places you’d want to have nearby. You’ll also want to take into account traffic, parking and whether the area is safe.

Understand your lease  

When you’re ready to commit to a space, make sure you know exactly what’s in your lease. Along with the rent, the lease should clearly state all your responsibilities as a tenant — and everything you’re entitled to from your landlord or rental company. Are items like parking, snow removal, repairs, maintenance and utilities included in what you’ll be paying? If you need the space to be customized with new paint, new decor or a new layout, will these expenses be covered? In an article for The Balance Small Business, Sherry Gray points out that you should also keep in mind how long you’ll want to stay in your space. Make sure the lease length isn’t too long or too short, and understand the consequences of breaking it if you end up needing to move.

In your office-space search, make sure you control your costs, prioritize your needs and read your lease carefully. When you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to finding a location that meets your requirements and helps your business achieve its goals.

 

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