Pitfalls to Avoid When Looking for Office Space
In the United States, several young professionals, freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners prefer renting shared office spaces because of its cost-effectiveness. However, not all companies have moved towards the shared office direction, and there are those who still, go for the conventional office spaces. There are certain pitfalls that any business owner, freelancers, professional or entrepreneur who is looking for office space should avoid. Some of the dangers are unique to the kind of office space. Here are the risks and tips on how to avoid them:
Failing to Consider Your Options
Settling for the first plan you come across may not be the best choice for you. If you want to get a suitable office space, go through various options and options here means the types of office spaces and plans. When you fail to analyze options, you are likely to pay more, settle in the wrong location and lock away your negotiation chances. Evaluating options is an easy task to do, you only need to identify a minimum of five properties, thoroughly assess the provisions and pick what suits your business most. For example, if you are a professional looking for office space, you need to think towards a shared office space whose terms include temporary renting on an hourly basis so that you only pay for the time you use the office and for the facilities you use during that period.
Another important factor that is associated with options analysis is the character of the property owners. Try to have conversations with the operator and look at how open he/she is about the office spaces and plans they offer and how enthusiastic is he/she to get a new tenant. A property owner who responds coldly, inattentively and in an uncaring manner is a warning sign that the kind of business relationship you are about to enter, will be troubled. Go for office providers who are open, can be easily approached and are considerate.
Getting the Total Cost Wrong
Many small business owners put a lot of focus on the rent as the primary or only cost when looking for office space. That is not the case; there may be other costs like maintenance fee and utilities which add on to the monthly rent making it bigger than the first office rent people see on advertisements. For many co-working spaces, the amount you pay to the operator includes other costs such as receptionist services, emailing and telephone answering services plus repairs and maintenance. That does not mean that there may be no additional charge. You must still inquire if you will be charged separately for using extra rooms such as the meeting and conference rooms, or if you will pay more if you need more internet bandwidth.
For the traditional office spaces, you are highly likely to pay for the utilities and their maintenance separately. That is why, it is important to assess various options, ask questions about other costs and be satisfied with the total monthly payments before settling for a particular office space. You also need to leave some room for unexpected costs especially when renting older buildings.
Misunderstanding the Needs of your Company
As a business owner, you may fail to notice the needs of your business or just miscalculate your moves when looking for office space. One area that is mostly miscalculated is business growth. Some business owners project a faster business growth which fails to happen while others anticipate a slower growth but gets surprised by the speed at which the company grows. When you expect a faster growth, you will rent an office space that is big and end up wasting money on space that does not profit you. The best option for you is to rent a serviced office space that fits the size of your company and move to a bigger one when you need larger space. The advantage of renting a serviced office space is the flexibility of moving in or out. You only need to give a one-month notice and move out to a bigger office. However, should you already find yourself in the big office, you can sublease the extra space to other companies or individuals to cover the rent.
For those whose businesses grow faster than anticipated, serviced office spaces remain the most suitable plan because you can make an easy, quick and less costly relocation to a bigger office. When planning for the larger office, go for 100- 225 square feet for each person in the office. Enough working space enhances employee productivity.
If you are specifically seeking to rent a co-working space, put into consideration the type and need of the operator company. It is better to choose a co-working space where you can work and network with businesses and people with related type of activities. For example, a freelance journalist would work best in a co-working space with several other freelance journalists. That will enable the journalists to so to share ideas, contacts, and even plan joint events like conferences or meetings with the major stakeholders in the media industry. Besides, you must also examine the office style presented by the office operators and pick a design that will help brand your business as well as make an impressive image of your business or work culture.
Failing to Give the Office Location a Thorough Assessment
The location should be one of the primary aspects to consider when looking for office space.
Your employees, clients, and vendors do associate a business with its location. You should not just stick to an area because that is what your mind tells you. Go to go to a place which is flexible to commute and is in a safe vicinity. Other things to consider include adequate parking are plus nearness to social amenities like hospitals and eateries. The bottom-line is to have your business located in a place that fits your company and contributes towards increasing the profitability of your business.
Ignoring the Outer Look of the Office Space
It is possible to get impressed by the interior smartness of an office space and the high-quality furniture in there. However, the exterior also matters a lot especially if your business involves bringing clients to the office. A clean parking lot, neatly kept lawn and lobby are signs that there is consistency in the overall maintenance of the offices. A littered and dirty exterior is an indication that the seemingly nice office space might just degenerate to a similar situation. It is also important to check the status of other common areas such as the break rooms, hallways, lobbies, and bathrooms. If those places are dirty, go for the next option to save yourself the shame of being perceived as a poor manager by clients who may visit your office.
Misunderstanding the Lease Terms
When you are just starting up, you come across lots of advice both online and from people close to you. The notion that longer contract terms are the best for a business still exists, and you may fall victim of believing that. On the contrary, modern office spaces provide lease terms that are suitable for all kinds of businesses and office needs. You do not have to go for a three to five-year lease term when starting a business since you may not be sure of the changes that might occur within that period. Choose a shorter term to enjoy flexibility in case the business grows or goes down.
Another important thing to do is to read and understand all the policies more so on the conditions attached to termination of contracts because they often come with some penalties. It is also by scrutinizing the lease terms that you will know of any hidden charges. Moreover, it is necessary to find out what you can or cannot do with your office space. Some property owners specify the kind of modifications that can be made on their properties and those that are prohibited. If you do not carefully go through the lease terms, you may be fined for designing the space in a way that is not permitted. Finally, do not over rely on what you know or can do, seek the assistance of brokers, office planers and designers to help you settle for the most appropriate space for your business.