Searching for your first office space is both an exciting and daunting task; your business has grown to the point where you need your own office space. However, as a first-time business owner, you’re not sure what to look for, how to spot a good deal, or what considerations need to be made.
Here are some key considerations and the important questions that you need to ask.
Choosing your new office location is like choosing a suburb to live in. You want to know who else lives in the suburb, how busy it is and what amenity it provides. A key question to ask is: does my new office location provide the opportunity to enhance my business? The best location for your first office is in an area that provides the prospect for collaboration and networking with like-minded businesses. This opportunity is invaluable for any organisation but especially important for start-ups.
One of the biggest considerations when it comes to cost is: what’s included in the rent? Finding the answer to this question should be the first thing on your mind once having located a contender for your first office. Be careful as the rental rate may seem low but there could be all sorts of add-ons such as outgoings, electricity or internet charges. These types of add-ons can add up very quickly, which can significantly increase your overall rent cost. Something that you may not have budgeted for.
Parking is extremely important, particularly in locations not easily accessible by public transport or if your work requires travel throughout the day. While researching your new office space be sure to consider whether you need parking spaces and if so, how many you will need. When visiting a potential office location remember to ask: Are there any parking spaces included in the lease? Is the parking near the building free or paid? How much will it cost to park per day? Are there visitor bays? Make sure you understand the parking situation before moving in to avoid being caught out with nowhere to park (or with a parking fine).
How close is public transport and what services are available? The closer your office is to public transport the easier your employees will be able to get to work. This will also allow clients and guests to visit your office with ease and a bonus if parking is limited.
5. Reception Services
The need for reception services can be overlooked but is very important if working within a small team. Ask yourself: Who will answer the phone if all employees are meeting with clients or away from the office for the day? Reception services allow peace of mind for small businesses, as all phone calls will be answered in a professional manner and no enquiries will be missed. If you do decide you need external reception services, that is something to consider when choosing your location, to ensure this can all be managed onsite by the office provider.
Flexibility in your lease is a tremendous advantage when choosing your first office. It can allow for business growth without having to worry about the implications on your rental agreement. You need to ask the question to the office provider: If my company were to expand within my lease terms, are you able to assist and facilitate the relocation to a larger space within this location?
When a company decides to lease their first office, generally the space is not large enough to accommodate a private meeting room. All businesses however need a professional space to hold meetings when required. Ensure you ask: Does the facility have access to meeting rooms or boardrooms? If not, are there rooms nearby? Is meeting room usage included in the lease?
8. Furnished or Unfurnished Office
Have a good think about whether you want a furnished or unfurnished office space. Having a furnished office is hassle free and provides a space ready for you to just add your personal touches, books and computers. However, if you do choose to furnish the office yourself, remember to shop around and budget for the potentially large capital needed depending on your furniture choices.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea about your first office space and perhaps some questions were asked that you haven’t thought about. Be sure to understand your business needs and ask as many questions as you can during the research and inspection phase to ensure sure you make the best choice for yourself and your business.
BTP Hubs are located in three Business and Technology Precincts around Brisbane and offer a variety of office solutions for those looking for a new or first home for their business. Contact the BTP leasing team today.