As the owner of a start-up, renting your first office space is a rite of passage.
While the process undoubtedly signifies a momentous occasion, it can be easy to get bogged down in the stress of finding the perfect space to house the business you’ve worked so hard to create.
Not only do you have your own experience to consider, but that of your staff’s too. And with one study showing that a well thought-out office space can make workers 33% happier, there’s a lot riding on getting it right.
That’s why we’re here with a quick step-by-step office rental guide to help get you through the process. Read on for all you need to know.
Choose a good property advisor
As this is your first time looking for a commercial property to rent, it could be helpful to use an experienced property advisor to help guide you on your search. Carry out some thorough research online to find one who’s impartial, knowledgeable and trustworthy – looking at client reviews and getting word of mouth recommendations can help with this. It’s also worth looking for an agent whose fees are not based on a percentage of your rent, as this could incentivise them to look for pricier places when you may be better off starting with a cheap office space.
Decide what type of office is right for your business
Now it’s time to decide on the type of office your business needs, including its layout and design. Are you looking for something that’s predominantly open-plan with a selection of meeting rooms and just a few private offices? Or will you need something where most employees can have their own closed off space?
It’s also important to assess whether you plan on growing your staff over the next year and how much by. If you’re not planning on growing your team, a serviced office or even a coworking space could be a great option for now, but for those whose business is going to undergo a rapid expansion, you may be better off looking for a short-term or long-term lease. Bear in mind that longer term leases are ideal for those who are looking to invest in their office’s interiors, fitting them out exactly as they want them, while shorter term leases are better for those who plan on saving those sorts of investments for the distant future.
Consider how much space you really need
It’s important to calculate the actual size of your office accurately, as this can be easily over or underestimated. Read our article on determining office size here.
Think carefully about location
When thinking about office location it can be easy to jump straight to the area you envisioned when you first started out on your business journey – perhaps a cool spot down by the river or one among your city’s chicest bars. But it’s essential to put romanticised ideas to one side when it comes to the crunch, and consider things like proximity to transport, staff parking needs, and client needs too (if you have international clients, for example). Having said that, it does help to recognise that location may have a significant impact on your ability to attract talent, so considering places that are popular with your employee demographic is also important.
Scrub up on your technical knowledge
Last but not least, it’s time to do your research and really get to know the ins and outs of commercial property jargon. Use reputable resources like this A-Z of commercial property, and pick your property advisor’s brains to get to grips with the technicalities of your lease or membership agreement.
Searching for your first ever startup office space can feel daunting and stressful, but don’t let that detract from the good stuff. With some careful planning and consideration you’ll be able to see the search for what it really is – a huge milestone for your business, and a clear indicator of its success.