Whether your small business is looking to expand operations, move to a more favorable location or just move out of your home into a more professional setting, finding the right office for rent can be a stressful decision with long-term ramifications.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking for that “just right” spot, but these tips can help make sure you find it:
- Examine your budget. Knowing exactly what sort of commercial real estate is in your budget is an important first step before you look at offices. After all, looking at offices you can’t afford mean that you’re building up your expectations much higher than your reality. Once you have a budget to work with, you can move forward.
- Inform yourself. Commercial real estate contracts can be very complicated, so you have to do some research before you start out. If you don’t have the time to learn the basics, hire a commercial real estate agent to negotiate your contract and help you locate the perfect space for your small business’s new office.
- Plan for expansion. If your business has been growing for several years, it’s smart to plan for expansion with your office space lease. Don’t simply lease the space you’re going to need today, instead try to calculate how much space you’ll need at the end of your lease and secure that square footage. If you’re currently doing $X in gross receipts with six employees, envision how many people you’ll need down the line. Keep in mind that if you plan to send some people home to work as telecommuters, you may still need to provide them with conference rooms for meetings.
- Think about your future. Although you don’t plan to hit a financial hiccup or experience a contraction in business, there’s never a guarantee that expansion will continue as projected. For this very reason, it’s important to make sure that your lease includes the right to sublet your rental, especially if you have a multi-year lease. This way, you can rent out empty desks, a section of your office space or the whole space if your business takes an unexpected turn. This simple clause also gives you the freedom to change your office use entirely and found a coworking space.
Renting an office space or other commercial real estate isn’t as simple as finding the right apartment — there’s a lot to consider. But with a little guidance and a lot of patience, you’ll have no trouble finding an office that suits your needs exactly. Just make sure to read the contract carefully because once you’ve signed it, it’s too late to make changes.