As thrilling as renting a new office space can be, it’s important to do your research and find a space that will help your business grow. An office space can bring awareness to your brand, create a sense of legitimacy for your business, and increase your team’s productivity. In this week’s blog post we share seven tips for renting your first office space so that you can make an informed decision and take the next step for your business.
The first step is deciding if you actually need an office space. How will an office impact your workflow and team collaboration? The benefits of investing in a physical office space may include:
Mail Delivery – Providing clients with a reputable business address is much more professional than a home address or P.O. Box. It will also allow you to keep your private and work life separate.
Search Engine Optimization – Brands that have a physical address can verify their listing on Google and show up on Google Maps and local search results.
“Before we landed at Expansive we talked constantly about the importance of a good environment for creative output. So we invested in our businesses and ourselves and rented a private office. We’ve already had so many good conversations and collaborations in the space. Here’s to many more!” – Koriko Creative
Space requirements can vary widely by company, industry, and geographic location. While enterprise companies may be interested in suites that can accommodate up to 500 people, startups and first-time entrepreneurs might benefit more from a coworking space or smaller private office.
Consider how many people are on your team and what your growth projection looks like. How many square feet of space will you need per person? What kind of work environment will your team thrive in? How is your business expected to grow during the course of your lease?
Sheri Williams, Head of Customer Success at Solv Health, said, “We moved into the Expansive Denver building last year and one of the main reasons we chose Expansive is the variety of space available that would allow us to stay in the same location as we grow the team. We are now in our third space with Expansive due to growth! The Expansive team is truly wonderful to work with and has been an essential part of our growth plan in Denver!”
Renting a modern office space means assessing what amenities are included in the cost. Providing your team with a fully functional space and modern amenities can make a world of difference.
For example, Expansive provides a long list of amenities to clients, including:
– Fiber internet
– Fully furnished workspace
– On-site management
– On-Demand conference rooms
– Mail service
– Free espresso, coffee, tea, and filtered water
There are various types of spaces when it comes to an office. From shared coworking spaces to traditional private offices, entrepreneurs can choose from a variety of office layouts.
Access pass – Unique to Expansive, reserve a private office for the day using our app, with access to the lounge on the day of operation. These include access to all amenities and can be reserved in any location across the country. Great for people who only need an office a few times a week.
Office suite – A great option for entrepreneurs looking for dedicated collaborative and individual spaces for a growing team and business that can be customized to bring their brand to life and support their specific users’ needs. These include dedicated kitchens and often, private entrances.
Private Office – For individuals or teams of up to 15. A private office gives teams room to grow and change, great for new teams, geographic expansion, freelancers, or those just getting started.
Dedicated Desk – Similar to a coworking membership, dedicated desks offer flexibility and affordability, as well as the security of a locking file cabinet and a reserved desk within a shared private office.
Virtual Office – Not a physical workspace, but highly useful for those working remotely who need a professional business address and place to pick up mail and deliveries – and access to on-demand meeting rooms, day offices, or the occasional lounge pass!
It’s vital that you choose an office location that is easily accessible to your team and clients. Is there public transportation nearby? Does the office have a bike rack? Your team may also appreciate a location that has nearby coffee shops and restaurants to choose from.
Because Expansive owns their historic buildings, members can rent an office space in prime urban locations for half the cost of similar office providers. For example, our new North First building in San Jose offers proximity to Apple, PayPal, and eBay, as well as easy access to the airport. Expansive River North in Chicago, on the other hand, is steps from popular restaurants and nightlife, as well as the Chicago River and train stations.
When renting a commercial office space, remember to carefully consider the terms of your lease. Pay extra attention to the length of the lease, when it begins, and whether there are renewal options.
Additionally, does your rent include insurance, property taxes, and maintenance costs? What is the security deposit and what conditions need to be met to have it returned? What common areas are included with your rent?
Don’t choose an office space that will put your business in debt. Deciding on an appropriate budget will help you maintain your peace of mind. That being said, investing in your company and in your dream is a necessary part of growing a business.
Remember that amenities, maintenance, taxes, mail service, furniture, and other factors should be weighed when deciding on your office space budget.
Read your office lease agreement from top to bottom. In addition to the criteria you set for your ideal office space, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any flexibility in the leasing process. For example, the office space company may offer a discount on your rent for signing a long term agreement (such as a one or two year contract). This level of flexibility can be crucial for ensuring the viability of a developing company.
If you’re planning on spending most of your week in the office, then why not put the effort in designing it to your liking? At the start of your week, the space should give you a feeling of optimism and excitement.
We’ve seen people put up posters and photographs of their family, write inspirational quotes on their walls, even bring in furniture from home to make it feel extra comfy. How will you customize your space?
A single office may suffice for the start of a small business, but if you’re rapidly growing, you’ll also need to keep scalability in mind. How many new team members are you adding each month or quarter? Do you expect to grow even further in the next year? As you choose a space right for your team, remember to keep your near future in mind as well as your present state.
Safety and security should be the number one priority for any of your team members. No matter where you end up working, you and your team members should feel protected.
Ask about the security measures in place. Typically these will involve keycard access, security cameras, and various safety procedures in the event of an emergency. You should also ask about how the building is maintained- it’s a good sign if technical or mechanical issues are addressed as soon as possible so as not to interfere with your day-to-day work.
One of the best parts of working in an office is the community you build with your colleagues. Not only can they inspire you to work harder, but they can also make work feel less dry and mundane.
Speak with your team about what values are most important to them, and start to build your business’s culture around those values. What is essential to keep in mind? What drives your every action? Culture is what separates a generic business from a company with longevity.
There’s a good chance you’ll be sharing your floor with other businesses and professionals, so get to know them but respect their privacy and space as well. If you have a meeting in an open space, try not to be too loud. Avoid interrupting them if they seem locked in their work.
Over time, you’ll develop a rapport with those around you, and it can be a great feeling. You never know– they may end up being your next business partner or client!