Choosing an office space for a business is a difficult but important decision. The space you ultimately choose will come to represent your brand and influence how your team performs. Before you make your decision, you should do your research to find the space that best fits your business’s needs.
There are a lot of considerations to make in finding commercial workspace. While we can’t make your final decision for you, we can help steer you in the right direction in determining the space or spaces that work best for you.
Retail space – One of the most common, public-facing spaces. Retail space has its own private entrance for visitors typically off the street and can house anything from a convenience store to a grocery store, as well as service companies like nail salons or car rentals.
Office space – Used by just about every company type in some capacity, office space typically supports administrative, management, sales, finance, customer service, and other functions, but is not usually designed for walk-in traffic like a retail space would be. Office workspaces can also often be reconfigured to support more specialized functions like research & development, training, showrooms, or other uses.
Industrial – Manufacturing or supply companies use industrial space for production, warehousing, or processing of goods or services. It typically won’t be fully finished out the way an office or retail space would be with carpet, dropped ceilings and furniture.
Forget about “best of” lists and fancy awards- the best office is one that supports businesses to do their best work. That includes:
Moving offices may seem straightforward, but it can quickly become a costly investment if not properly accounted for.
If your business involves moving from a previous location, start by evaluating the cost of moving. This typically includes the cost of hiring a moving company or renting a moving truck, boxes and other disposable supplies, and the time it will take your team to prepare. Keep in mind your previous office location may require an early termination fee under a rental contract.
Consider additional costs, such as electricity, heat, Internet and parking spaces. While some places may quote a reasonable rate, make sure it’s inclusive of all the other utilities your team may need.
Once you add up your costs, evaluate whether a move is right for your business. For many organizations, a flexible workspace may be more cost-effective. Explore your options and consult your team for the best route.
Location is everything! Once you begin to find spaces based on your personal criteria, consider where the building is located. Is it in a safe neighborhood? Are the rates reasonable for the area? Is it close to public transportation, nightlife, restaurants, other relevant or important services for your business?
Start listing down locations that best match your expectations. Some may be in completely different cities or states. It’s important to get the opinions of other key stakeholders in your team. Would they be willing to relocate?
Check out Expansive’s locations across the nation.
Start researching your list- the locations and the building. This is the only way to determine the viability of potential locations.
Determine what kind of space your business needs. Do you need an extension to your business’s existing offices? Or perhaps you simply need a temporary coworking solution.
Many office space providers offer tours of their location. Don’t just settle by going off photos, virtual tours, or 3D renderings- you need to visit them in person to make a decision. Can you see your business’s culture developing within the space?
You may also spot something during your tour that wouldn’t have shown up on the webpage- a dilapidated corridor, or leaky pipes. In-person visits will also help you measure the specifications of each room, allowing you to determine whether you can move in existing furniture and infrastructure.
Most importantly, touring a location with your team can really help you accurately gauge the feel of the building’s community. There’s no point in having a large and spacious office that none of your team members feel connected to.
You’ve narrowed your choices to one or two spaces. Now it’s time to negotiate the terms of your lease contract.
Keep in mind not all places will allow negotiation of a contract. However, they may be open to a flexible rate depending on a few factors, including the expected length of stay – the longer your business expects to rent out the space, the better position you may be to negotiate a lower average rate.
Plans may vary also depending on your need. Monthly plans may be more suitable for shorter stays, while an annual plan will help you save in the long run.
Have your team’s general counsel or attorney review the terms of the lease as well. You never want to be caught in a position where you inadvertently break one of the landlord’s rules and find yourself moving spaces again.
There’s a good chance you have already tried this out of instinct, but searching online is always a great place to start. Remember to use important keywords relevant to your search, such as “commercial real estate for lease” followed by the location or city name you are looking for. Doing so will also bring up a series of local directories, which can aid in your search for commercial real estate.
In addition to searching Google, try searching through Facebook groups, subreddits, and LinkedIn groups. Although some may have strict requirements for joining, this is an effective way to canvass and network within the industry. You may also find unique opportunities that just aren’t available through other, more traditional channels.
That’s right, Expansive offers commercial real estate for teams of all sizes across our nationwide network. To learn more about our offerings, visit our dedicated workspace page. You can also check out our on-demand options for a single day to experience it for yourself!
There’s no specific guide to finding commercial office space since each scenario differs depending on the business involved. However, you can still use these tips and best practices to help find a space that maximizes your team’s productivity and efficacy.