Choosing an Office
One of the more important decisions a business owner makes is where to set up his or her company’s office. Where you choose to locate your office, along with the size and type of space you choose, says a lot about your business to potential customers of the company. When choosing your office space, here are some factors you should consider.
Location It is important to locate your business smartly. Retail businesses that sell directly to customers and depend on a high volume of walk-ins need to be placed in a location with plenty of foot traffic. A service business that contracts its services to other professionals would want to choose office space near other professional businesses, such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc.
While some work can be done online and electronically, face-to-face interaction and personal relationship development remain integral to the success of most businesses. If this applies to your company, you’ll want to locate your business in an easily accessible part of town.
Cost in addition to location, cost is something that has to be considered when choosing an office. Most commercial realtors look at cost in terms of dollars per square foot. If you need space in an office building, you need to take into account usable square feet versus rentable square feet. Usable square feet describe the amount of space that is allocated to you in the lease for your use while rentable square feet also include common areas of the building such as the elevators, lobby, loading dock, etc.
You may be presented with a lease that includes the rentable square feet as a part of your useable square feet or with one that separates the two. Often times the combination of the two, known as a load factor, can cause your annual rent to rise at a rate that is higher than the rate that you would pay for the useable square feet alone. Know these costs and be sure to negotiate the lowest, fairest price for the amount of space you need and plan on actually using.
Renovation and Hidden Costs The office space that you choose has to be conducive for the type of business that you are engaged in. Choosing a space based solely on its cost and location without seeing if it meets your needs can be a mistake. Because many businesses are heavily dependent on technology in order to handle its most basic functions — transaction processing, accounting, inventory management, etc.
it is important for the office space to have contemporary wiring and easy access to the Internet. It is expensive to develop a space to accommodate the technology needs of your business, especially if you are refurbishing or retrofitting an older building or one that has a historical designation.
Choosing an office is an important decision and one that should be made carefully. Consider these factors when choosing your space and ask questions to be sure that you find the best possible solution for your office needs.