If you are a new business owner and thinking of taking that next step of working in your own office space then your next decision is likely to define the medium term success of your business.
Searching for your first office may appear a difficult task as there is lots to consider. Meanwhile you also want to make sure you have time to maintain a grip on the ‘bread and butter’ of your day-to-day business.
Before you can go out and visit potential units it is important to make a list of the amenities and types of location you require. Proximity to public transport and major roads are probably major considerations, particularly if you are looking to increase your workforce over the coming months and years. However, service industries and those that do the majority of their work off-site may favour cheaper units further out of town.
Financially it is also important to make business growth forecasts and plans using your business model to decide how much money you can spend on your move. This will also give you an indication of the cost and length of lease term that will suit your new business best.
Letting agents will differ in the types of contracts they provide. While traditional commercial property contracts will tie a tenant into a property for a set amount of time, some landlords may be able to offer more flexible rolling contracts that are far more low-risk for fledgling start-ups.
Depending on your budget, you may want the option of customisability for your new premises. Many premises can be leased ready to move into and work in from the word go, or you may spend less on the initial cost of the unit and spend more on revamping the interior as you expand. Finding the right balance is essential.
Make sure that the on-site facilities of your chosen commercial property fit the demands of your industry. If light industrial space is what you’re looking for then three-phase power, roller shutter doors and loading bay facilities will be particularly useful. Similarly serviced based industries will benefit from broadband, meeting and conference call facilities and on-site cafés or restaurants.
The golden rule of finding the right business space for your start-up business is not to be rushed into making a decision, especially if you are not totally comfortable. If the lease negotiations don’t work out in your favour then be prepared to walk away and find another work place within your parameters.
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