Life is full of firsts, especially in business. Once you’ve set up your first company, turned your first profit and signed your first contract, you’ll want to rent office space. Finding the right corporate building is daunting because it’s a massive step and you’ve never done anything like it before. Get it wrong, and you’ll sign an iron-clad contract that ties you into a terrible deal for decades.
You want to get it right, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t. As long as you consider the essentials, your first time doesn’t have to be an experience to forget. Here’s what to remember.
You Might Not Need One
Just because you feel as if it’s a good option doesn’t make it one. The key is to look at your business plan and compare it with your figures. If growth seems steady across the board, it might not be too much of a risk. However, sales should be pretty spectacular to ensure you don’t bottom out as soon as signing the deal. Also, there are ways to make a startup with a residential address appear professional. P.O boxes are cheap and effective, for example, as are short-term office leases (for a day or a few hours).
Location Is Non-Negotiable
You won’t find your dream office space, so it’s crucial to rank features in order of their importance. Number one on the list is and always will be the location. Without the right spot, you won’t be able to appeal to foot traffic. There’s a reason every city has a CBD with the biggest brands in the world fighting for office space. Remember that reputation is a consideration you can’t forget. Also, it needs to be accessible for employees, or else it will be difficult to attract quality workers. Look for parking and public transport links.
Agents Aren’t Trustworthy
Not to slander the good name of estate agents, but they have skin in the game. Their commission, a hefty slice, is on the line if they don’t sell, so they’ll gloss over a few “minor” details. Of course, the small things add up, which is why you need to use third-party sources. A land surveyor is a useful tool thanks to its specialist equipment. With an as-built survey, you can get to know the plans inside and out. There’s nothing wrong with asking the previous tenants about their stay, too. If the agent is deceptive about them, take it as a bad sign.
You can’t cover every base and there might be a few mistakes that slip through the cracks. As a result, it’s best to give yourself some wiggle room in case one of them comes back to bite you on the backside. Signing a short-term deal with a view to a rolling contract is a smart move in the beginning. That way, you will have the option to opt-out should you find anything wrong or dislike the building in any way.
If a nicer, cheaper office space pops up, you want to be able to move in without any contractual negotiations.