Published on August 19th, 2014 | by Sally Wenham
Finding Your First Office Space: Handy Hints
Recently we published a post about starting up a business from home and working 5 to 9. Now the Post Office Shop would like to explore the next step from starting up a business and watching it grow – that first office!
A common question among thriving startup businesses is when to leave the home office, attic or garage behind and look for that first office space. Moving to an office could be triggered by the need for meeting rooms to greet clients, expansion plans necessitating desk space and office equipment for new recruits, or simply a change of environment to escape the distractions of home.
However, there are many things to consider when looking for those first office premises. Here are a few considerations and tips:
- Choose An Appropriate Location.
When looking for a suitable office space, location can sometimes be crucial depending on the industry concerned. Proximity to clients and customers is important as well as the ease of access for both current and prospective employees in terms of roads and public transport links. Local amenities including options for grabbing a bite to eat at lunchtime is also worthy of investigation before signing on the dotted line.
- Do Extensive Research.
When researching a certain location as a potential base, it is prudent to research the local area. For example, the number of other businesses in the area is something to consider. Being surrounded by empty premises may suggest that the premises are not competitively priced. It is important to consider local enterprise partnerships and enterprise zones which can reduce overhead burdens faced by fledging businesses proving very attractive options.
Although it is easy to be tempted into leasing a swanky office space in a trendy area of town, it is vital to make sure that the office space under consideration is within budget. Along with the cost of leasing the office space itself there are a large range of other costs for consideration such as furnishing the office, energy consumption used for electronic equipment, heating and lighting, telephone line rental and of course the cost of internet usage.
- Serviced offices
A viable and practical option for many startup businesses is the use of a serviced office space. Serviced offices are flexible arrangements whereby a monthly fee is charged to cover ground rent, furnishings, lighting, heating, cleaning and often a communal kitchen space. Telephone and internet capabilities will be available but they will be charged separately based on usage.
Serviced offices provide startup businesses with flexibility and this is the main reason why they are increasingly popular options for SME’s. Due to the short-term nature of the serviced office agreements, there are increased opportunities to increase or decrease the size of office space used as and when it is necessary.
There is also the benefit of being close to enterprises in similar sectors which can encourage the sharing of knowledge and best practice whilst also potentially encouraging collaboration and identifying news business opportunities.