While it is quite common for entrepreneurs to start by working out of the home to save on expenses, some businesses need to have an office from the very first. While renting an office for the first time can be exciting, it can also be daunting because of the added expense and operational hassles. However, for many startups, it makes good sense as they can leave behind the distractions of home and family and give the space to yourself and your staff to be more productive. EJ Dalius, a mentor to many entrepreneurs, suggests the following tips for your first office rental:
Consider Coworking to Keep Overheads Down
If the prime reason to seek an office space is to escape the demands of home and family or you have a small team at the moment, it may help to consider renting a coworking space. You get all the amenities of an office with furniture, internet connectivity, as well as coffee and snacks. These spaces are generally far more economical and you can usually get one to suit your requirements in most of the large cities. Renting an office of your own will need a larger budget as you will need to buy or hire furniture, get phone and internet connectivity, do up the interiors, arrange for copiers and coffee machines as well as people to manage and maintain the premises.
Figure Out the Location
An office in the city is naturally more expensive; however, it is more convenient for both your staff and customers to access it. You also get all the advantages of an upscale environment such as shopping, restaurants and bars, gyms, and entertainment. It is also easier for your sales and marketing staff to reach out to customers. However, traffic, parking, noise, and pollution can be troublesome. Sometimes just by moving a few miles away from downtown to the suburbs, you can find very affordable offices with plenty of parking and easy connectivity, observes Eric J Dalius.
Decide on a Size That Allows Flexibility and Growth, Advises Eric Dalius
While it can be tempting to squeeze into the smallest office space to save on the rental, it is more prudent to choose a space that offers enough opportunity for growth for the next three to five years. Take a hard look at your present requirements and plan for growth as per the projections in the business plan. Be sure to consider enough space for desks, dedicated rooms for meetings, server and lactation area, and a cafeteria. While you will want to customize the space as per your requirement, check the lease agreement to find whether you are allowed to tear down and erect walls and carry out interior décor.
You need to decide for how long you will execute the lease. While a longer lease will save money, you need to be sure that it can keep pace with your planned growth. However, a short lease may require you to constantly move office leading to confusion with customers and resentment among employees, not to speak of the additional expenses. Above all select an office where you and your staff will feel comfortable in and be productive.