Selecting Your New Office Space
Selecting the right office space is crucial to the success of your business. There are many factors to consider when selecting office space. The needs of your company and your staff will largely determine what space you select. Before you make this all-important decision, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Your Business Growth
It may be hard to imagine that your business may double or even triple in size in the coming years, but that is an all too real possibility. When selecting your space find a space that is scalable. If a larger space is not feasible at this time, consider getting a short lease. You can also add wording into your contract that gives you rights to any adjacent space that opens up later. This will allow you the flexibility that you need to grow without the additional costs of a larger space.
The Needs of Your Staff
If your key employees have to commute long distances to get to your office, they may start seeking employment at other firms. Think about the current commutes and how this will relate to the new space. It may be worth paying extra for space that is closer to the homes of your staff if it means that you will be able to retain your current staff.
Take a look at the space while it is still occupied. Is the layout convenient? Will your staff have to walk long distances to get to the restrooms or the coffee area? Are the acoustics good or does every small sound get amplified and become a distraction? Can you decorate, paint or make major improvements? If not, is the current décor to your liking and in line with your company’s image?
The Needs of Your Clients
Your clients are the lifeblood of your business, so it makes sense that your office space would be most convenient to them. In planning your space, keep in mind the routes that they take to your company, whether there is ample parking or the convenience of your new office location. Clients are known to avoid visiting companies that are located in heavy traffic areas or are in places that are hard to access by car. If you depend on foot traffic, monitor the activity around your proposed new office.
Another factor to consider is whether your office is ADA compliant. If you have clients who will use wheelchairs or other mobility aids, it would be a bad idea to position your office in a second floor walkup. There are regulations that you must follow about the width of your doors, the amount of force it takes to open office doors and the thickness of your carpets. Make sure you are able to accommodate all of your clients, vendors and staff in your new office.
Parking can be a pain point when planning your new office space. If there is inadequate parking, or it is difficult to move in and out freely, you could be turning away potential business. Make sure your new office doesn’t inadvertently set up barriers to your company’s success.
You will also want to make sure that the new office conveys the right message about your firm. If your firm’s image is that of a conservative, respected and traditional firm, does the new office feature a laid-back and casual vibe that would turn off your clients? Make sure these features are in line with your image.
The Building Itself
When moving into your new office, consider the building itself. Are there amenities nearby? Does the building include security and reception areas? Is there 24-hour access or is the building only open for certain hours? How well maintained is the building? Who are the other tenants? It will help to know if you will be sharing the space with other major competitors to your company. Is the building planning any major improvements that will affect your business? You may be surprised to arrive at your new office and find that the sound of jackhammers drowns out your major meeting. Finally, what is the reputation of the neighborhood? Will you lose or gain credibility by moving into it?
These are all important factors that will help to shape your decision about planning your next office space.
Fees and Hidden Costs
There is more to the cost of your space than just the monthly lease payments. There may be costs for utilities, wiring your space or making repairs and modifications. Calculate exactly how much it will cost to move into and maintain your new space. Often, hidden costs can eat up a company’s budget.
Some companies save on costs by pairing up with complementary businesses and sharing the cost of the space. Some of the most common examples are that of a PR firm and a technology company that share the same space. Your companies can share common areas and cut down on staffing costs by sharing administrative staff. Be sure to consider these costs when planning for your new office space.
Planning a new office space can be challenging. Keep these factors in mind when crafting your new office.
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