Big Fish in a Small Pond (or office)

 

When you begin the search for office space many things may come to mind such as deposits, utilities, or location, but one aspect of the search that may easily be overlooked is finding the right amount of space for your business needs.

Perhaps you’re an entrepreneur who’s been working from home and you’re tired of the dryer signal interrupting your work day reminding you that clothes need to be folded. If this is the case, then it’s possible that you don’t need to invest in a new office, but rather need to find a solution to a minor inconvenience.

However, maybe you’ve found yourself outgrowing your home office and the lack of space is stunting your business growth. Maybe your business has already expanded beyond what you initially envisioned and you’re not able to keep up with client demands working from home. You know what’s best for you, you deserve a work environment that fosters creativity and keeps you productive instead of holding you back.

You should start off with a list of “deal breakers” taking into consideration the max amount of rent you’re willing to pay, business location, any amenities you need included and ones you’d like to negotiate on, and most importantly how much space do you need? If your business includes machinery that needs to be accounted for, if you plan on having more employees then you need to keep in mind that each employee needs around 100sq ft. of space. It’s better to go a little bigger than to estimate short and end up signing a lease that is still too small for you and your needs. Hopefully, your business will prosper and you will be able to grow into your new office space instead of being stuck and bursting out of its seams.

Okay, so it’s agreed that you should go a little bigger to allow yourself room to grow, but that does not relieve you of the duty of making all best efforts to accurately estimate how much space you really need. Yes, a spacious loft office may look like everything you’ve always dreamed of but if you aren’t currently pulling in the revenue to cover the costs, then you’re in for a troublesome time. If you do expect expansion during your leasing term, attempt to negotiate a relocation clause in your lease which would typically give you the right to move into any other available office the landlord has available for lease.

When considering an office space the layout may not be suitable for your needs in which case you may want to consider negotiating a tenant improvement allowance with your landlord. This would help cut back on the out of pocket expenses for renovations.  Along with size you’ll want to consider the benefits, or lack thereof, for a long-term lease versus short-term.

With a short-term lease you have more flexibility should you decided to move, with long-term, obviously, you’re stuck where you are, or forced to pay costly fees for moving out early. However, with a long-term lease agreement you will likely pay less on a monthly rental scale.

Before deciding on a small or large office space, analyze your business. Look at analytics to see how you’ve grown in time and determine if you expect those numbers to continue to rise or to stay pretty steady? Do you meet with clients regularly, or do you just need extra storage space?  

The answers to these questions will help you determine the best course of action for your business and you’ll be well on your way to finding the perfect office space or your needs.