Before you sign your first contract, take a closer look at what really matters: what is included in the monthly price? What do you need to provide yourself? And how flexible are they on lease terms?
When you’re looking for office space, it’s easy to get distracted by the glitter of high-end lobbies and glossy brochures.
As business owners, you don’t have time to waste on over-promising and under-delivering office space deals.
Here are five questions that can help you get it right the first time.
1) Is there Support Staff Onsite?
Support staff includes any employees other than the person using the office who will be responsible for the day to day operations of the business. This includes receptionists, janitors, mailroom, and clerical staff.
Having support staff onsite means less hassle for you. They will receive deliveries when you’re away or in meetings and give visitors directions to your office or parking space (if needed).
If there is no support staff at the office, then it’s time to hire a part-time/full-time receptionist or IT help desk administrator.
2) Is There Accessibility by Public Transportation?
In the city, most office space comes with parking included in the monthly price. In smaller cities and towns, however, public transportation is more common – so you should expect to pay for parking separately.
If you find office space with free parking included, make sure it’s not reserved for employees only; if there is no separate section of the lot available, your visitors may require a multi-level parking garage (and that costs money).
3) What Are Your Neighbors Like?
Office Space in an established business park is usually the safest bet when it comes to location. Your neighbors will be established businesses that can serve as a valuable resource for networking and referrals.
However, in newer business parks (or areas of town where there’s still a lot of construction) you may find yourself surrounded by empty cubes and vacant storefronts. You never know if they were once a thriving business or soon-to-be-defunct startup.
For your peace of mind, ask if there is any commercial office space for rent in the surrounding area and take a look at their client list; you’ll get an idea about how long they’ve been in business and what type of businesses occupy the building.
4) Have the Lease Terms Been Renewed Recently?
If you need to sign up for a long-term commercial property lease, make sure it hasn’t been renewed in the past year or two. Most office spaces are renovated on an almost yearly basis; if they haven’t changed much since your potential office space was last updated, chances are good that your monthly rent will increase in the same time frame.
5) Can You Get Out of Your Lease If You Don’t Like It?
Read the lease contract carefully. Some commercial property leases are “evergreen” leases, which renew automatically unless you give notice to end them. Always ask for written confirmation that you can get out of your lease if you need to.
If the only office space you can find requires a long-term evergreen commercial property lease, it might be better to look for something else; if your business fails in the first few months (or years), you could risk losing money on an empty building or having to pack up and move when there’s no time to spare.
When you’re looking for the best monthly office space rates, ask yourself: what am I getting and what am I paying for?
With the right questions, you can save yourself time and money so that you can focus on what really matters – your business.