Finding an office for your small business can be an incredibly daunting challenge, especially if you have never done it before. With an increasingly large number of options available, how can you ensure you are making the right choice for your business? In this article, we’ll take you through the essential steps that will help you find the right office space for your small business.
The first step you need to take is to get a clear idea of how much office space you are going to need. While the number of employees is the most obvious factor in determining the size of space there are also other things that you should consider prior to picking a location. These can include everything from the availability of parking and closeness of public transport to the potential for expansion and location to public amenities, shops, coffee shops and cafes.
In addition to the amount of space you need you will also want to decide whether you want to lease your own office space with a traditional lease, are looking for a more flexible easy-in, easy-out lease or even a shared office space or coworking space. A final consideration is whether you want a traditional office space or serviced office space. A serviced office, managed office or business centre is one that is fully furnished with office furniture and fully equipped with phone and internet already installed.
Once you’ve got an idea of the type of space that you’ll need, it’s important to start getting an idea of the budget that you will need to rent the space you want. Look at the locations you are thinking of renting office space in and see what the average rental cost is per square foot. By working out the square foot cost you will be easily able to compare different buildings, spaces and locations. When working out your budget remember to add in any service charges, utilities, and any maintenance fees to give you a rough budget to work from.
With a good idea of your budget and your criteria it’s time to start looking for office space that matches your needs. Particularly since the pandemic there has been a huge surge in demand for flexible office spaces that offer easy-in and easy-out leases, this means that should your requirements change, you won’t be tied into a long lease.
Check out commercial estate agents, local business centres, co-working spaces and managed offices in your desired locations.
Found the perfect office space online or via an agent? While it may look great on paper it may not measure up when viewed in person which is why you should arrange viewings of all office spaces that you are thinking of leasing.
Things to check on a viewing:
• Advertised facilities and benefits
• Condition of equipment if a managed office space
• General condition of the building
• Parking and public transport options
• Restaurants, coffee shops, cafes and bars nearby
• If building repair costs are added onto service fees
When you’re confident that you have found the right office space then it’s time to speak with either the commercial estate agent, the property landlord or the property owner and begin negotiations. Remember to check the details of leases and agreements carefully as these will set out the terms of your office space and break down the fees that you will be paying. Generally speaking, the longer your lease the cheaper your rental will be as landlords will be looking to fill office spaces with guaranteed tenants.
Those looking for the most flexibility will appreciate easy-in and easy-out leases which make it easy to leave a lease if circumstances change. At Harlow Business Centre we have a range of fantastic office spaces available to rent that are suitable for start-ups, small businesses, medium and established businesses with locations available in Harlow and Bishop’s Stortford.