Category Archives: Office Leasing Tips

6 Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Renting Office Space for the First Time

renting office spaceStarting a business entails a lot of planning from what type of products or services you’ll be selling, whether a franchise or your own startup, you will need to figure out about renting office space.

There are several factors to consider, and if you’re not careful, you may end up making costly mistakes that can hinder your company’s growth.

Online resources like us, OfficeFinder, can help you acquire the ideal location for your company headquarters in a particular city. If you’re renting office space for the first time, it is crucial that you are aware of these common mistakes that you must avoid when renting office space.

  1. Not Being Able to Differentiate Needs from Wants

In today’s modern world, many entrepreneurs do just fine in their home offices or with coworking spaces. However, you may need a dedicated office for your business to survive especially when your customers have to purchase your product or service in person, such as in coffee shops or shoe stores.

  1. Not Determining Your Budget Beforehand

There are plenty of commercial locations to choose from, and not establishing a budget before doing your research would only make you run around in circles. Determine how much you’re willing to spend on office space and stick to it. You can filter out suggestions that are too hefty for your estimated cost. If possible, you should be able to pay a full year’s worth of rent upfront and give time for your customers to be familiar with your site.

  1. Not Doing Enough Research

In business, it’s not sensible to make impulse decisions over something as important as your office or shop location. Here is a list of important considerations when renting an office space.

  • Rent – Inquire about how the landlord measures and calculates the chargeable square footage. Gather the same information from other possible spaces and compare prices.
  • Lease Term – You should be informed as to when the lease will start and when it will end. Would opting for a long-term contract end up with a better deal? Or would you rather have a short-term contract that can be renewed? Landlords will let you know what their preference is depending on their needs.
  • Rent Increases – Are they negotiable? How do the owners calculate it? Does the price of the rent increase automatically per year or term?
  • Deposits – To secure the lease, landlords often ask for a security deposit, which is usually the rent equal to a specified number of months. You should know how much they expect for that specific commercial space before you decide.
  • Cost of Renovations/Improvements – Generally, landlords pay for renovations and improvements on the building and splits the price into the rent. Agree with your landlord over how this process will be done.
  • Cost of Repairs and Maintenance – Commercial leases typically let tenants pay for maintenance. Find out the extra fees as well for utilities, taxes, and insurance.
  • Exclusivity Rights – This is especially important for retail businesses. You should know whether you have the sole right to rent part of a building or complex and be assured that competitors cannot open a store in the same location.
  1. Not Reading the Fine Print

A major no-no in business is being lazy and irresponsible in going through the contract and not reading the fine print. Review the lease terms, and ask for the help of an expert attorney to look over the document so that you’ll get a better understanding of the contract and its impact on your business. Take note that most contracts are made to be favorable for the landlord.

  1. Not Asking for Help from Brokers

You may be tempted to skip the middleman and purely rely on listings to save on costs. However, real estate brokers can be valuable in the search for your office space. They have insiders’ information on commercial buildings direct from the owner of the property. Plus, they can help you with negotiations for the lowest rates.

  1. Not Considering Customers’ Needs

Your office should be near your customers. It should be easily accessed from freeways or public transportation. Moreover, find a place that has a dedicated secure parking space for both cars and bikes. Your customers will want to go back every time since they can park their cars or bikes without problems.

Conclusion

To do it right, renting office space will cost you time, effort, and financial resources. Make sure that you get your money’s worth by conscientiously going through the nitty-gritty. Think of it as an investment that is necessary for your company to thrive in today’s cut-throat business world.

The Importance of Your Office Location

Helpful tips for coworkingThere are many factors that can contribute to the success of your business. It includes your people, product, service, as well as customer service. All of which can be directly associated with your office location. Sometimes your office location can make or break you. It is important to both your customers and employees, so you need to take care in deciding on an office location for your business.

Let’s take a look at how your office location impacts your business.

Related Business

Do you ever wonder why gas stations are situated next to each other? Or why convenience stores pop up one block, face to face with one another? In business there is a term called benefit of localization. People tend to flock to a place where there are many options than an area with less choices. Not only does this keep you close to your market, but it also helps you to check in with your competitors from time to time.

In addition, if you are just starting out with your business finding an office space in an area known for your industry will help you get customers or clients and employees… A well-established area means people are aware that it is a place business like yours locate offices.

Where is the Talent

Your employees are the life-blood of your business. They are the ones that operate it and keep it running smoothly. The location of your office can contribute to the quality of talent available for hire. The availability of talent pool likely depends on your physical location because of a major factor, transportation.

If you are in an urban area you will have a higher talent pool than if you are in a rural area simply because of population. Also, how easy is it to get to your location. People will be attracted to how easy it is to get to your office.

As an example, if you are trying to staff doctors, a job near a medical school is a good choice because of  those students will be looking for jobs after graduation. The same goes for lawyers and law school. These students are familiar and comfortable in the area because they’ve spent so much time there.

Balance Your Expenses

Renting an office space can be expensive. It is probably one of the top expenses of your operating budget. What you need to know is the pros and cons of your options. A few questions to ask include: Will spending a little more money on a better location generate more business or not? If so, how much more. How about your employees? Will a higher priced location make a difference in your retaining or attracting good talent? The answer to these questions can help you determine what is best for your company.

Zip Code Envy

When you hear 90210, you know that it is an expensive area. There is a zip code like that in every city. One that you just know is expensive.  It is teh same with a business location. If a business is in a downtown area with a downtonw sip code, that signals they are serious. If you think a business is serious, that must mean they are doing well and are good at their job.  This will help customers and employees have a good impression of you. When you are planning your office, think about what a zip code can do for you.

Location, Location, Location!

As with all real estate the three most important considerations for your office is Location. The wrong location can cause long term problems with customers and employee. Have an experienced tenant rep working for you will provide you the benefit of having someone who can provide insight into the office options you have.

Getting Reliable Help

If you need help finding and negotiating for office space, contact us and we will put you in touch with a great tenant rep who will help you at no cost to you.

3 Tips to Help You Effectively Run Your Business from a Coworking Office

coworking office spaceBeing a business owner can get quite lonely. This is especially true if you offer remote services or freelance from your computer. Luckily, there are coworking offices that can allow you to get your work done while being around other people. These shared spaces can help you feel like you’re part of the community and keep you focused and productive.

Coworking offices are great for cutting back on the cost of rent while being able to interact day-to-day. These offices are excellent for startups and self-employed entrepreneurs–especially since they seem to attract a multitude of creative talent. They’re popular for numerous reasons like the versatility they offer.

If you decide to find the perfect coworking office, there are some things you’ll want to consider keeping yourself and those around you productive.

1.  Make Sure The Space Will Work for You Before You Commit

When shopping around and scoping out potential coworking office, make sure you find an environment that will work for you and your business. When you walk into a new space, it can overwhelm the sense, be sure to pay careful attention to:

  • Color: Is the office light, bright, and airy, or is it dim and cavelike? What works better for you? Most people prefer to work in light, bright offices. If you have your own space, you can ask if you can change the wall color to brighten things up.

Coloring and lighting can make you more or less productive. Make sure the lighting inspires you to work.

  • Size: Find out how many people will be working in the office and what the space is like when everyone is working diligently. Ask what peak hours are in the office. You can always schedule yourself before everyone gets in for the day or after everyone leaves.

Will you have enough space for everything you need? Many of us only use a laptop and a wireless mouse, but some people also need notebooks, files, and other bulkier items. Are you allocated enough room to work comfortably?

  • Storage: If you run an e-commerce site or have files to store, you’ll want to ask if the office space comes with secure storage, if you have to rent additional space in the office, or if you have to find storage elsewhere. This can be a deal breaker if you logistically need a bit more room.

 Internet Speed: If you run an online business or work as a freelancer, make sure your internet can keep up with your pace. This is another aspect you may want to try out before committing to renting space. Ask if you can come in for a trial then see is the internet is able to keep up.

  • Room to Grow Your Business: You may run a startup or simply be a self-employed writer, but you don’t know exactly what your business will look like in one year. If you need to bring another person into your business, will there be room for them, too? What if you need to increase inventory? Will the office space accommodate 100 more t-shirts?

2. Time Management is a Priority

While getting used a shared office can be excited, be sure to set aside time to tend to your business–especially when you first move into the office. When you first get into your new office, everyone will greet you with open arms and huge smiles. Make sure you’re just as friendly but establish time boundaries to keep you on track with everything you need to accomplish.

Try to keep regular hours. I don’t mean you need to work from 9 to 5, in fact, businesses often prosper when your hours a bit more untraditional. But you should establish a schedule and stay with it. It’s easy to miss out when you don’t have a definite in-time.

Keep a daily schedule or to-do list, too. If you need to update your website, that’s a priority if your income relies on it, make sure you have it written down so you don’t get distracted. If you’re just starting your business, register your domain name and spend time curating your e-commerce site and updating orders.

Always take the time at the end of your day to tidy up your area. This isn’t just courteous to your coworkers, but it will give you a clean slate for the next day. And factor breaks into your workday. Taking a quick break will reenergize you and help you be more productive in the long run.

3. Keep Sight of Your Goals and How to Accomplish Them

One of the best qualities of a coworking office is that everyone is there for a reason. Everyone is accomplishing goals and dreams. Let your coworkers’ ventures and successes inspire you and never lose sight of your goals.

Make your goals your priority. If you find yourself socializing too much, remind yourself that you’re at work to fulfill a goal, to make your business better and more profitable. You may want to hang a chalkboard, dry-erase board, or a calendar to help you keep track of your goals in the short term and long term.

Try to find a positive office with an inspiring group of people. Avoid negativity if it arises, it will drain your energy and your time.

Your business deserves a great workspace where your ideas and dreams can grow a flourish. Use these tips to help keep you on track for success if you’re searching or found great coworking offices. Keep your e-commerce site up-to-date and your freelance clients happy and you’ll be able to enjoy the productive environment of shared space.

If you need help finding the right coworking offices, contact us. It is what we do.

Moving Up: From Working at Home to Coworking

Helpful tips for coworking5 Tips to Make a Smooth Transition to Coworking

You were tired of working in a large office environment with a lot of unmotivated people and wanted to have the freedom of working at home. You stumbled upon the Y Combinator site and noticed a coding school called Lambda. You signed up, learned to code in 30 weeks and got some great clients. The only problem is that while you worked at home from your super cheap apartment near campus in, let’s say, Bloomington, Indiana, there were lots of distractions, and the fridge and TV were only a few feet away.

You also found that you were less able to separate working hours from leisure time, and you began to think about getting a spot in a coworking space. Following are five important things to consider as you make the change.

Check It Out

Just because someone says that XYZ coworking is a great spot to be, don’t make a rash decision, and be sure you carefully vet it and all of your options before you consider signing a lease. Always visit potential coworking areas during primetime–10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.–and be convinced that the vibe is what you are looking for.

If you make a lot of phone calls, your prospective space should afford the privacy you need; if you need to meet clients at your office, conference rooms should be available. If you need quiet, a rowdy coworking space obviously won’t suffice.

In short, the other inhabitants of your coworking area need to be compatible with your needs.

Internet

This should go without saying, and while well-established coworking concerns like WeWork undoubtedly have great connectivity, a smaller independent coworking space may not, so make sure first that outages very rarely occur, and that there is enough bandwidth for your needs. Also, Wi-Fi connectivity can be less robust than an old-school ethernet cable connection, so make sure that whatever it is that you are doing is well-supported by the signal you pay for.

Schedule

Discipline is needed to make the shared workspace experience successful. This may have been one of your working at home issues, and one great way to attack the problem is to get to work at the same time every day. That way, work time is separated from leisure time. Of course, it’s OK to try a flex-time schedule and make a self-imposed rule that you will work a certain number of hours each day after you arrive at the office. For example, if you want to do eight-hour days and you get to work at 11:00 a.m., you’ll have to stay until 9:00 p.m. that night.

Getting Along

When you take a college class, there is always an annoying student that talks incessantly, monopolizes conversations, takes up everyone’s time and is a general pain. Generally known as the class idiot, if you haven’t figured out who he or she is by the third week of school, it’s probably you! The same holds true for existing in a coworking environment. Respect your peers, don’t infringe on their time, don’t look over their shoulders at their screens, and save socializing for those Friday afternoon happy hours.

In the food department, just make sure you’re not the smelly food guy. That three-day-old tuna casserole that you really like may not have offended anyone while you were working at home, but you’re the odor of your lunch being nuked in the community microwave, may make you some enemies quite quickly.

Adapting to a Community Environment

If you have lived in an apartment or a single-family home your entire life and decide to move into a condo and purchase your first place, you are transitioning from a private to a community environment. In a condo complex or a high-rise, you have shared spaces, and your privacy may be limited to your interior area. Greenspace and parking facilities will have to be shared by others, and if you’re used to taking out the trash at 2:00 a.m. while in your pajamas, you may be surprised to meet another person in the elevator.

In a coworking space, you’ll have to share restrooms, and possibly office equipment. Yes, you won’t have to keep buying expensive ink cartridges for your printer, but there may be a line at peak times in front of the coworking space’s printer/scanner/fax, so you may have to be patient.

Other important things to consider while in your coworking environment are:

  • Don’t sign up for a shared workspace to mine for new clients. If you are identified early as a salesperson merely trolling for business, you will quickly be ignored by your coworkers.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you don’t know the snack protocol, or if you need private conference space on short notice, don’t hesitate to ask the staff or a co-tenant to help you out.
  • Be aware of the advantages that your space provides you with. Coworking areas many times contract with local vendors for discounts on things like food and office supplies plus perks like free deliveries on some items. Make sure you avail yourself of these valuable extras.
  • If your space uses an app like Slack, get on it so that you can get help if you need it. There may certainly be a designer in the space that can help you on a project and using a communication tool like Slack can be a great way to solve problems.

Remember, however, that coworking is not for everyone. You may find yourself annoyed by others that infringe upon your space, and you may also conclude that it’s hard to concentrate for various reasons like the number of people in the room, the noise level, or even harsh lighting. If this occurs, you could first try to find a different coworking space that better fits your needs. If not, the experience may have actually proven to you that working at home could succeed, and if you decide to try the process again at home, you may be more motivated to make it work.

If you need help in finding a coworking space, we can help. Let us know where you are looking by  Contacting us.

5 Tips for Picking the Perfect Office Location for Your Business

A business’ office location is crucial to its success.

It’s a decision that can impact sales, brand image, employee satisfaction and even the ease with which a business can grow.

This is obviously a big call that packs significant logistical considerations too. For example, in some US cities, the cost of renting an office can rack up to around $95 per square foot, per year. That’s a serious commitment if you’re a business that needs a lot of space!

Perfect office space

Clearly, picking the perfect location for your office requires careful consideration. The wrong choice can have serious implications. How do you make the right decision?

Keep reading to discover 5 tips that’ll ensure you do.

5 Tips for Picking Your Business’ Office Location

Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when deciding where to set up shop with your offices.

1. Consider the Cost

Cost considerations are almost always a factor for businesses. The same goes when deciding your office location.

The prices will vary widely depending on where you want to set up shop. You need to think about your budget and see how far it can stretch to accommodate your other office location requirements.

This holds true whether you decide to lease or buy. However, it’s crucial to consider business rates tax too that’ll vary depending on your location.

Oh, and if you’re renting then absolutely ascertain the stability of your rent. Will it increase exponentially over time?

2. Don’t Think (Or Buy) Too Small

There’s no point in buying a small office location if you expect your business to grow quickly.

Obviously, it’s hard to tell the future. But plan ahead sensibly anyway.

You could choose to rent initially in order to get a feel for your potential growth. If things move rapidly and you find yourself expanding, then a purchase of a larger office space could be justified.

Remember, if you buy then you’ll steadily build equity in your property too.

3. Consider Ease of Access

It’s important to think about your office’s accessibility.

How straightforward is it for your potential customers and clients to find? And what about your employees?

Your company could work in fields as varied as student loan refinancing, public relations, marketing, or any other number of professions!

But in order to attract custom and make it easier for your employees, you want to ensure the office is easily accessible. For instance, it’s always good to be close to transport links and sees lots of people pass by every day during business hours.

It’ll depend a little on your business’s office operations though. If customers/clients will rarely (if ever) visit your office, then accessibility will only really be an issue for employees.

4. Make Sure It’s Not Overly Competitive

Choosing an office that’s surrounded by competitors can set your business back from the outset.

Some competition’s healthy and may even help your business expand. But you can be competed out of the market when it’s too extreme and the competition’s too well established.

5. Consider Your Brand Image

Finally, your office space speaks volumes about your business.

It’s like the clothes you wear on your back. Your company location sends signals to those in your environment, including your customers and competition.

A lush, wealthy-looking location can at once impress your customers or make them question if they’re paying you too much! A drab, outdated area can indicate your business is struggling.

Be sure to think about how your office space will be interpreted from the outside.

Time to Wrap Up

There you have it: 5 Tips for picking the perfect office location for your business.

This is a crucial call with a lot riding on it. You want to make the right decision.

Hopefully, these tips have helped. Remember, think about the cost (and your budget) and accessibility of the property, as well as the potential growth in the coming years. Next, make sure the location isn’t overly competitive and that it sends the right signal about your business.

With these things in mind, you’ll be on your way to renting an office in the perfect location in no time.

Now we’d like to hear from you! What’s your primary concern in choosing your renting an office? Let us know in the comments!

And be sure to contact us to learn how we can help you find the ideal office space.

5 Things to Look for When You’re Trying to Find Office Space

Trying to find office space can be a pretty difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. Learn what you need to look for in your future office.

So your business is growing and now it’s time for you to find office space that fits your business needs. That’s great! It’s an exciting time for any business, but you need to make sure you find the right office space.

Small businesses in the US are growing and getting more successful, and it’s great that yours is one of them. It’s important to find an office space where you and your employees can be more productive.

find office space like this

Wondering how to find office space that’s right for you? Here are 5 tips to help you.

1. Location, Location, Location

It’s not all about the actual office space, the location of it is important too. You want to make sure it’s easy for people to get to and not too far out.

Does public transport run nearby? Is it in a safe area of town? What about customers, is your office near to them? These things matter and can make a huge impact on your business.

Find office space somewhere that gets natural light and isn’t too far out. It’ll make for a better working experience and employees and clients can access it with ease.

2. How Much Can You Afford?

You could find the perfect office space in the perfect location. But it won’t matter if it’s out of your budget.

You don’t want to be out of pocket paying for office space. It’s counter-intuitive and is bad for business. Be aware of hidden costs like utilities and parking. Think of how much you need them for business. For example, if you run a media planning business, you’ll need high-speed internet at all times.

Calculate these costs and see how much you can afford. If the space costs too much, you may need to re-evaluate whether now is the right time to rent.

3. What Are the Facilities?

The facilities in the building are important to consider as well. They make a bigger difference than you think.

Does it come with telephones or computers? Is there a burglar and fire alarm? Is it a secure access building? How about the kitchen, does it have a microwave or refrigerator? Does it have a break room or vending machines?

These things matter and can help make your and your employees working days a lot easier.

4. Beware of Competitors

Make sure to scope out the area for competitors before you commit to a space. Are there any nearby which are a direct competitor?

If there are, think about how it will affect your business. If they attract your customers to come to them, you could damage your prospects.

Consider how much competition there is nearby and if it poses a threat. Find somewhere else if it’s too much.

5. Does it Feel Right?

The most important thing about finding the right office space for you is for it to feel right. It could have a lot of great points, but it could be wrong for your business in the long run.

If the ambiance is wrong, it affects the mood of your workplace. If the place is untidy, dark or generally bad environment, it will have an impact.

If the environment feels right though, it will be a better place to work and sell from. It will boost morale and productivity so it’s very important to consider.

Find Office Space That Works for You

When you find office space that ticks these boxes, you boost your business a lot. Don’t overspend on space and find somewhere with the right facilities and location. When you have these things, you’re on track for even more success.

Looking for an office space? Get in touch to see how we can help.

Tips to Increase the Security and Safety of Your Bookkeeping Office Space

bookkeeping office surveillance Camera

A secure office space is necessary for both the safety of your employees and the sensitive documents involved in your business. For a bookkeeping business relationship to thrive, your clients need to be able to trust you—and you need to make sure that your business doesn’t fail on this front. Successful bookkeeping companies such as Balancing Books Bookkeeping always ensure that their client information is never misplaced or mishandled.

Here are the steps you can take to increase the safety and safety of your bookkeeping office space.

Secure your perimeter

The first thing you need to accomplish is securing your physical space. Make sure to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Perform risk assessment If possible, consult with a security company to receive a professional evaluation of your office space’s strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise, thoroughly examine your location for weak spots and check the local news for crime reports. Use this information to analyze what security threats you might face.
  • Make a security plan Map out your office space. Mark all client entry and exit points, employee entry and exit points, and fire exits. Identify areas that need to have better lighting, CCTV surveillance, and lock replacements.
  • Determine the security budget Given your security plan, you can now canvass for CCTV prices, lock replacement services, and lighting fixes. These are all one-time expenses, but their maintenance and the salaries of security personnel need to be included in the annual budget.
  • Execute your plans Armed with a well-mapped-out plan and the equipment you need, you can now implement your security plan.

Orient your employees on security protocol

Now that your bookkeeping business’s location is secure, you need to focus on security inside your area.

When you’re handling sensitive information like payrolls, bank loans, and inventories, everything inside your office should be protected and every move should be documented.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Install a sign-in system Use a sign-in system to monitor who enters and exits your office. You will likely be hosting client meetings or entertaining in-person inquiries; having documentation of who comes and goes will give you a written record of everyone who enters your office space. This is particularly useful in the event of a security breach; a sign-in system will help confirm the presence of persons of interest.
  • Secure important equipment Any company devices or equipment should be in a safe location and should require company identification before being used. No employees should be allowed to bring home equipment, documents, and devices. Documents should not be on full display, especially in areas where nonemployees are permitted.
  • Get everyone updated on security protocol Create a security protocol and make sure all employees are oriented. For instance, ensure that the last person who leaves the office locks up all important documents, examines the whole area, and turns off electricity before leaving the office.
  • Create emergency evacuation plans Have emergency evacuation plans on hand, and properly orient all employees. Regularly conduct earthquake drills, if possible. Ensure that all essential documents are retrievable in cases of emergency.

Invest in digital security

Most of your company’s important documents are probably saved on computers, from client files to business permits. All of the company’s digital data and assets, including your website and social media, should be secured to avoid security breaches.

Here are some tips to follow when it comes to strengthening digital security:

  • Install strong firewall and antivirus technologies.
  • Block malicious and unsafe websites, such as torrenting and streaming sites.
  • Encourage all employees to use strong passwords.
  • Change passwords every few months.
  • Encrypt files and data.
  • Regularly back up all systems and files.
  • Disable printer sharing and wireless printing as some information is temporarily stored on printers when using these features.

Stay on top of security maintenance

You know what they say: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. There’s no such thing as being too careful when you’re running a bookkeeping firm.

  • Routinely check your office’s security features. Repair any broken locks, lights, or cameras at once.
  • Make it a point to update your employees about scams, schemes, and other potential security threats.
  • Ask IT to report attempted security breaches immediately.

More than anything, make sure your employees are aware of your business’ security. Clients will inevitably ask about how you plan on keeping their information safe; it’s essential to have all that information on hand.

Protect Bookkeeping Office

Keeping your bookkeeping business secure is key. When your clients feel safe and reassured, they’re more confident in trusting you. And with these tips on securing your office space, you’ll have no problem securing success in no time, too.

Big Mistakes to Avoid When Leasing Office Space

leasing office space Mistakes OopsDeciding to lease office space is an exciting step for your business. The way you choose and decide which office space to lease is important to ensure you avoid making big mistakes when leasing office space. You need to make sure that your office is productive for your team, to you and most of especially to your clients. You also need to make sure that the office you choose it will make you and your business grow and flourish.

Considering these factors in leasing office space will affect your business productivity and overall success. Below are some of the bigger mistakes to avoid in leasing an office space.

NOT ENGAGING A TENANT REPRESENTATIVE

You might think we are being self serving on this, but we have seen the mistakes businesses make that do not use a tenant rep. Considering that there is no cost to you, it does not make sense to not have one. The biggest mistake made by tenants in leasing office space is not engaging the services of a tenant representative; thinking it will cost them money. It doesn’t.  A good tenant representative, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder, is invaluable in making sure you find the right alternative, negotiate the best possible deal and avoid costly mistakes. They do this every day and only get paid when you get what you want. And you don’t even have to pay them. It costs you nothing. Most Landlords hire listing agents and the tenant rep will share in that fee.  If there is no tenant rep, the listing agent keeps the entire fee and you are on your own. Tenant rep services will save you money by making sure you do it right with solid information and advice.

 RUSHING

The second biggest mistake made by tenants looking for office space is not allowing enough time for the process.  Far too often tenants will not get started early enough and have to settle for less than they could have had otherwise. This applies to tenants who are looking for conventional space and not executive suite, virtual office space, or co-working space. Typically, a tenant can be in these spaces as soon as the next day or at least within the month. Tenants looking for conventional office space under 5,000 should get started 6 to 9 months prior to their move in date. Larger businesses should start at least 1 year in advance. This will allow enough time to find some good alternatives, negotiate the best deal and have any tenant improvements completed for an on time move-in. This is true even in a soft market. In fact, even more so since there will be many more possibilities to investigate.

Make sure you don’t rush into a decision, remember that this is a big step for your business. If the deals and negotiations did not match your plans, move on and try to look for other alternatives. There will always be a property that will perfectly suit your requirements. Sometimes, DIY is okay, but note that it is very time consuming and may take a lot of your time, time that you’d rather spend it to your daily operation and development of your business. Experts or tenant representatives are the best people to help you. They know the markets inside out and can assist you throughout the process, especially when it comes to negotiations. Viewing, choosing and negotiating when leasing office space can be a long process and time consuming. If you are unsure of what you are doing, your mistakes can get very expensive.

LACK OF COMMITMENT

Keep in mind that leasing an office space is a commitment. there will be a legal contract that will hold an agreement for given length of time. Leasing is a big responsibility, make sure that you study your business and you are “ready” to take new obligation to step up for this new stage of your business. Otherwise, it will just you may end up losing a lot of money on space you don’t need.

NOT UNDERSTANDING THE COSTS

There are more costs involved in leasing office space than just the rent.  Many of these costs are quoted in different fashions so it can all get quite complicated when comparing alternatives. It becomes difficult to compare proposals on an apple-to-apples basis. In fact, it can even become difficult for an inexperienced tenant representative to decipher the various costs involved in comparing different office space alternatives.  Moreover, be prepared for these: Monthly cost, service charges, maintenance costs, insurance and daily operating costs.

Don’t settle to an office that is going to empty your banks and put your business into debt and that will hinder its growth. Make sure you know all of the costs involved.

UNEVALUATED LOCATION

Evaluate all aspects of the office space you are interested in leasing. These will include geographical location, space layout and type of the building to insure a perfect fit for your business. Don’t forget to evaluate for safety, too. There are other factors to consider in deciding about the location. One of the important factors is it good for your employees; make sure it is close enough for employees to commute, near public transportation, restaurants and cafés are conveniently accessible for your team’s lunch break or a simple coffee breaks. Or if you don’t have a team yet, choose a location that has a good population for your potential resources. Evaluate the size of the space that will commit, it is always to good to have exact number of employees to get a large enough space for your team members and an extra meeting or receiving area for clients/visitors.

Another important aspect to consider are your clients. Remember, your office gives a first impression to your clients and it sends messages to them about your business. If you’re in a building that is falling apart, your client may interpret that your business is struggling. Other way, if you are spending extravagantly for your office, clients may think that you are just charging them too much and money just goes to a lavish office space. Safety of the building is also a big factor, make sure that your building has measures being followed for times of emergencies such as fires or earthquakes. Check if the building is guarded for the safety of everyone as well as your physical assets. Not considering these factors may just bring damage to your business rather than growth.

UNCLEAR LEASE TERMS

Make sure that provisions are clearly stated out in the lease. You don’t want to be surprised with the hidden charges, one example is that sometimes landlord will say that utilities are not included with what you have paid and you will need to pay extra for it since it was not officially specified in your lease. Take note that every office is lease is different, but frequently written in favour of the landlord. Think what office lease terms are best for you as a tenant, study the entire lease including rental rates, renewal options, rules and regulations, break clauses, etc. Know what you can customize it before signing a contract. Make sure to check what you’re allowed to do to the space without getting charged for damages.

We hope these tips could finding a great space for your business. Of course, there is a lot more to consider and a good tenant rep, like the ones we have at OfficeFinder, will help make sure you don’t make any big mistakes. Please contact us if we can be of assitance.

WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT OFFICEFINDER

We’d also want to share actual feedbacks and experiences of businesses who have taken advantage of using an OfficeFinder Tenant Representatives

“Our OfficeFinder rep did more than I ever thought that this free service would. I hope that this man gets a Raise. He really went above and beyond the call of duty. I thank him very much.”

-Elizabeth P – Phoenix, Az

“The amount of information I received and the professionalism of our OfficeFinder rep was astounding.  His knowledge and understanding of what I needed was overwhelming. He will always have my business, and I have no need to recommend anyone else.”

-Chris V – Level 7 Productions – Los Angeles, Ca

“I have never rated anyone at this high of a level but Jeff, our OfficeFinder Rep is exceptional.  I don’t know how he could exceed the level of service he has provided for us. I will not only recommend him to others, I will look for opportunities to recommend him.”

-Michael S – New Life Outpatient Center – Davenport, Ia

“Thanks for your follow up.  Our OfficeFinder rep has been extremely helpful in assisting us to find the proper offices over the last several months.  We are now in our new location and I frankly don’t know how we would have done it without him.”

-Jenny M- Xinify Technologies, Inc – San Ramon, Ca

Office Space Rental, Productivity and Small Business Success

Helpful tips for an office space rentalChoosing the right office space rental for your business or organization means more than just choosing a physical location.  If you have customers visiting your property, then you want to make a good impression. You want to make sure it is somewhere that you employees will be happy and productive. Depending on your organization’s identity, you might need to appear trendy, modern, or traditional, and your physical location can help customers decide if you are the right place for them to take their business or not.  When choosing commercial real estate, the following tips are a few considerations that can help you find the location that is just right for you and your company.

Appearances are important.  Take a very close look at the property, standing in the parking lot, or on the sidewalk in front of the building.  If the building looks dingy and dirty to you, it will probably look that way to your customers and employees as well.  Unless you do not get any customer visits, make sure the location is somewhere that you would visit as a customer. Don’t forget your employees. Is this somewhere your employees would be proud to work?

Consider accessibility and convenience.  Many customers will simply not visit your location if it is difficult for them to park, maneuver a wheelchair through, or find the elevator or stairs.  While some inexpensive improvements may be feasible and advantageous, you do not want to invest more money into making your building accessible than you spend on the property itself.  Make sure the elevators and stairs are in good condition, ensure that the location is handicap accessible, and consider the ease of entering and exiting the parking garage or lot for your customers.

Check with the local City Hall to ensure that the property is zoned for your business.  If you have an unusual business, rezoning can take months or even years, and is a costly process that requires legal consultation and assistance.  Checking out the zoning ordinances for the property before you sign the contract is always the easiest way to avoid headaches and extra cost.

Current and Future Space Needs. Taking into account what your future ofice space rental needs may be is very important when signing a multi year lease that will lock you into a defined area. Whether you are a large or small company the basic needs are the same. You need to consider your office space efficiency, cost effectiveness, room for expansion, and strength of location. If your company is currently housed in an inefficient space the multi-step processes necessary to keep everyone ‘in the loop’ can create redundancy and confusion. While a move can be costly, if done correctly it can reduce future costs significantly. Would moving from your current location disrupt client service? Or are you able to make a move without affecting the product or service you provide?  Lots of questions to be answered before deciding to make a move.

Before Signing an Agreement for an Office Space Rental for Lease

Renting office space can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. In some of those anxious moments, it can easy to get caught up in all the excitement and sign a lease agreement that has unfavorable terms.  Since the success of your business largely depends on the right rental terms, you’ll want to check out a few important details whenever you are considering an office space rental.

The type of lease that’s being offered can make or break your business, as some could result in your paying large additional charges you weren’t prepared for. The common types of office leases are:

  • Net lease that includes base rent and a nominal charge for taxes and insurance
  • Double net lease that requires you to pay rent in addition to the entire cost of taxes and insurance
  • Triple net lease which mandates that you pay rent, taxes, insurance and maintenance fees
  • Fully serviced lease or gross lease in which the landlord pays for additional expenses and then passes them on as a “load factor and increased from a base year.”

When choosing a fully serviced lease, it’s important to understand what the load factor and base year means. It is essentially a way to calculate the total monthly rent when a tenant has usable square footage in addition to common areas. For example, a business could occupy space in a building where stairways, restrooms and entryways are common space. In this instance, the load factor covers the expense associated with maintaining these areas, spreading them evenly among all who use them. The base year is the year in which you must pay for any excess expenses over the amount for that lease year. You have to be careful that the base year is current or in the future when signing a lease.

Although you may be offered a deal for signing an extended office space rental or lease, if you’re a startup or growing business, you should be leery about doing so. That’s because you just might find the needs of your business change a great deal over the first couple of years. For this reason, you should consider a short-term lease that’s between one and two years if you are a brand new company.

It’s also a good idea to ask about initial improvement allowances, remodeling or redecorating when signing a lease. Most long term leases will include a tenant improvement allowance. Make sure you know if that is on a rentable or useable square footage bases. It can make a difference of 15% or more. You may choose to build cubicles, add new carpeting or paint the walls once you settle in, so you need to know if this is something that’s allowed. Many times, minor modifications are allowed as long as the structural integrity of the building is not altered in any way.

Consult an expert.   The perfect office space rental can be competitive and hard to find, so consulting an expert is your best bet.  An experienced tenant rep can help you locate inspectors, engineers, architects, or anyone else that you may need to get your business off and running in a new improved location. The cost of a tenant rep are paid by the landlord. There is no cost to you for their services, yet they represent you and don’t get paid until you are happy and sign a lease. You have nothing to lose. Just make sure and find an experienced one who will not only help you shortlist potential locations, but negotiate a great deal for you. They understand to nuances of leases and can help you avoid costly mistakes and save you money.

Creating A Great Workplace For A Multigenerational Workforce

Helpful tips for a great workplaceToday’s office workplace is rapidly changing. Work is becoming more of what we do and less of where we are. What can you do to create a great workplace for your company? Here are several ideas that can help you.

First off, one of the tools being used in this change is that of office hoteling. It is where those who do not need a full time desk space simply login and reserve a space when needed, resulting in savings of up to 40% in real office space costs.

As the office space workplace goes more and more mobile, with employees working wherever is convenient, it becomes necessary to recruit and retain the most motivated employees. If workers are not self-motivated, the system can easily be abused. Today’s younger workforce, however, is used to and prefers the idea of being mobile. When pay is tied to performance, they can and will perform for your business and be happier while do it. They are also more focused on the work-life balance where this type of Officing strategy fits in well.

Once great part of the changing workplace is that, depending on the type of business you operate, hours can be flexible to accommodate the life-work balance necessary to keep the best employees happy. Many areas of business, for example office space, often lend themselves to hours outside the traditional 9-5 pattern. The flexible worker can maintain balance by planning errands such as auto service or simply relaxing over a long breakfast by simply notifying their employer that their day will have altered hours. That two hours spent in the evening doing revenue-generating work can be taken off during the day instead of being considered overtime.

Employees today move from job to job rapidly, each time moving up in salary and position. In order to keep the very best on your staff, you must be flexible with them as well as expecting them to be flexible with your needs. The increased work-life balance priority is related to shifts in workplace priorities since many workers will spend as much as 95% of their time away from the traditional office space.

Values sought by today’s worker in terms of work-life balance include respect and trust from the employer. Family concerns being respected by the boss is critical. They want some hours they can telework from home when needed or when desired and more control over their work schedule. Unless a company is willing to institute flexible work policies and programs, the brightest and best will move on to a company that better understands their wants and needs.

Assess what flexibility makes sense for your organization. Would an office hoteling reservation system allow you to reduce real estate footprint and help workers feel more empowered? Would accommodating telework from home when a child is sick or another emergency fit into your business? What other flexible options could you institute to keep your best employees happy and offer them a balance between family and life needs and employment requirements?

A properly planned office hoteling reservation system can save money and increase productivity. Contact us so we can get you started finding out how Office Hoteling might work for your company.

How Work Space Evolution Enhances Employee Performance

No matter what market your business serves, you know that profits are earned because of good, talented, employees working hard. Without these valued employees you would not have a thriving enterprise. And the better the team members perform the more your business will thrive.

So much of business performance today is knowledge-based work. People who have that knowledge and creativity are sought after by many companies and today’s workforce feel comfortable changing jobs several times in their career. This is so unlike our parents and grandparents where a person secured a job and stuck with that employer until they earned the gold watch at retirement.

Clearly, this means that those companies that are able to keep the talented knowledge employees happy will retain the talent longer than companies where employees do not feel valued, love their work and their work environments. When an organization can evolve to provide their team with practical options regarding where and sometimes even when work is performed, employees can choose work styles that best fit their personal needs.

One employee may work best in complete silence with no hustle and bustle around. That person may prefer to work from home, if the home office is quiet, several days per week and especially when performing more tedious tasks, coming into the office only as needed. This type of employee must be a self-starter who works well with little direction.

Another employee may thrive on the networking and sense of competition that the traditional office provides and prefer to come to the main office most days. These tend to be people who require a little more direction. While this employee will likely readily accept and implement technological advancements, they may be a bit hesitant when first making changes in processes to improve them.

Yet another type of employee may work best while on the move, working in third spaces such as cafes and internet hotspots while between meetings with clients. This type of working tends to be a real self-starter who has a strong dislike for the hassles of involved with reporting to a traditional office just for the sake of being seen. It is likely that this person will fully utilize each new technological development that makes their work faster and easier and embrace positive changes. This work style may involve some days spent at the office, some days where a few necessary minutes are spent at the office, and other days where all the day is spent working with clients or spots near the next client’s office.

An employer who can accommodate each of these types of employee will find it easier to retain talent and a high degree of production. When employees find they can work in whatever style suits them best for each specific goal or task, they are happier and feel empowered. Happy, empowered employees product more and stay with your company longer.

Six Factors That Can Help Turn Your Office Space Into a Great Workplace

Everyone wants a workplace that is wonderful but why is one workplace great while another is lacking? Is it the leased office space that makes a particular firm productive and profitable? Could it be the specific office furniture or location? None of these things alone make any workplace truly great.

A great workplace is not about the brand of computers, the prestige of the building’s address. Here are six factors that can work together to allow business owners to create an organization that excites employees, resulting in the reputation of being a great workplace.

  1. Replace Policies with Company Mission: Hiring, motivating and retaining top notch employees if not about policies; those are simply rules. Create a company mission and vision that the team believes in and supports. With passion for a mission based on the CEO’s vision, rather than a bunch of policy statements, cultivates a real team capable of leaping forward with ideas and innovations as well as loyalty and hard work.
  2. Nurture Collaboration: Never stifle team members’ desires to work together, carrying ideas from one area of the business into others. Create a workplace where each group or department is allowed to freely convey ideas to other organizational groups. The pay-off in productivity, amazing leaps forward and trained staff retention is incredible.
  3. Cultivate Agile Workspaces: Today’s office space is not the traditional cubicle or corner office. An office hoteling software application allows easy utilization of much smaller workspaces and allows each member of an organization to work in the style that is best for them. Technology allows the telecommuting or third place team members to only be physically in-office as needed. Work areas that provide desks or standing work counters allow team members to avoid the strain of sitting at a computer immobile for hours at a time. Staying in close contact does not have to mean being in the same conference room any longer. The office space of today is any area where business can conveniently and productively be conducted.
  4. Replace Ownership with Membership: Everyone employee is accountable to their customers and managers but in the past processes were “owned” by an employee, generating office stress and politics as power plays were often used to try to win the ownership role. Instead, remove the territorial nature of office spaces and encourage the concept of being privileged to be a member of a team or teams that create revenue and find ways for the company to save money. It becomes everyone’s process and fosters a sense of belonging and identity in the work environment.
  5. Create a Quality Experience for Employees: It is little surprise that employee retention is low in those workspaces that are dull and uninspiring. Create an office space that team members what to enter into and do work. Strive for a vibrant, magnetic space that draws people in during their in-office work time. This engages employees and they will look forward to the connected, exhilarated feeling obtained when they need to hotel an office space for an hour or a day.
  6. Stay on the Cutting Edge: Today’s fast paced, constantly changing economy allows those companies built on flexible office spaces with strong company values and loyalty to survive when others around them fall. As work methods, technological capabilities and mobile computing power speed along, use best practices to stay on the cutting edge. Remember that it’s the people who create value in a knowledge based company; an office is just a space that houses technology where people can come perform productive tasks.

These are some of the keys that can turn your office space into a great workplace for your employees, making them happier and more productive at the same time.

Four Generation Workplaces:
Why Different Management Styles are Necessary

For the first time in history, managers are faced with the requirements to effectively manage four different generations in the workplace. The future will likely continue to contain four generations even as those generations move along the timeline of life and business.

What Generations are Working Today?

According to the Age and Sex Composition, the generational breakdown of employees and managers today fall into these categories:

  1. Veterans born prior to 1946: This group makes up 2 percent of the workforce at the time of the census data collection and reporting in 2017.
  2. Baby Boomers born in the post-World War II years: This group is defined in the reports as those being born between 1946 and 1964 and make up 25  percent of the workforce.
  3. Generation X members, aka Gen Xers: are considered to be the segment born between 1965 and 1980 and make up 33 percent of the total workforce today and
  4. Millennial or Generation Y is the workforce members born after 1981 through present and total 40 percent of the total.

As time passes and the older generation disappear an additional, a younger generation will come of age so business will find it necessary to remain in touch with the remaining worker generations and develop ways to effectively work with the newer generations. Each generation has its own work style and lifestyle.  Managers need to understand what they need to do to encourage employee productivity. In the future and right now it is critical to learn to deal with the workers currently in the business world. This is crucial to producing profit and growth in any form of business.

Managing The High Maintenance Generation Y (Millennials)

The youngest group of employees in the workplace today is comprised of those born after 1981 and generally considered to be from before 2005s. This group is known as Generation Y or Millennials and they make up 40  percent of the total workforce according to Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. The American Society of Training and Development reported that during the next 20 years, 76 million workers will retire while only 46 million workers will enter the workforce to replace them. Most of these 46 million workers will be Millennial generation workers. Just as the three older generations in today’s workforce, Gen Y workers have unique desires and needs that they expect from their manager and the business for which they work.

Generation Y employees will be crucial to business enterprises. They will certainly change the way business is conducted in many ways. But, in currently and in the immediate future these employees offer great challenges to management to ensure these workers integrate with the existing workforce with as little conflict as possible.

Among the positive traits brought to the workforce, one of the major benefits that Millennials bring t the workplace is their high degree of technological skills. These employees were practically born with a computer in front of them and are intrigues by each and every development in the work of Information Technology.

Millennials grew up with digital global communication capability at their fingertips. Information of all kinds is expected to be immediatly available on demand. They understand using virtual teams to solve problems and are extremely team oriented.

Millennials view the business work as a global workplace, viewing the entire world as potential sources of information, clients, and community. Millennials seek fast-track career positions, frequent positive feedback, the latest technology and challenging training opportunities. Their outspokenness brings them to challenge long outdated work policies and conventions, offering businesses to perform a check on the hypocrisies and shortcomings of today’s workplace. Ultimately, Gen Yers may well drive change for the better.

Much has been said and published about the negative points of Millennials. They tend to have a sense of entitlement and are outspoken. This group of workers does not take constructive criticism well and require more direction and feedback from superiors than previous generations. Fortune magazine stated in its May 28, 2007 edition that this group are “the most high-maintenance, yet potentially most high-performing generation in history because its members are entering the workplace with more information, greater technological skill and higher expectations of themselves and others than prior generations.”  Additionally, Time’s July 16, 2007 edition stated that members of Generation Y want the kind of life balance where every minute has meaning; they don’t want to be slaves to their jobs as they feel their Baby Boomer parents were and often still are. Millennials also want employers to be socially responsible causes and allow for volunteer commitments through the use of flex-time or compensation time. Flexibility in work hours is important to this group of workers.

Yes, this generation requires a great deal of management, but it is well worth the effort to recruit them into your business They are smart and have the drive and creative thinking to make a real different in the business world and in a company’s profitability.

It is clear that recruiting Generation Y members and adjusting to their wants and needs will prepare industry for the entry of the next generation, people that are expected to be even more technology oriented. While this generation does not even yet have a “name”, it won’t be long before they begin entering the workforce and seeking employment in your company.

By understanding the four major groups into today’s workforce and providing for each group’s needs, effective employees can find their jobs satisfying and are more likely to remain with your business. Each group brings many positive aspects, all of which can be used effectively to gain greater efficiency and streamline operations to ensure profitability.

Managing the Baby Boomer Generation

Baby Boomers are those born in the post World War II years, from 1946 through 1964. This group makes up 25 percent of the current workforce per the Age and Sex Composition. These workers bring unique work styles into the work environment and require different management styles on the part of superiors. Currently they hold the majority of leadership positions in the workplace.

Like the veterans born before 1946, this group did not group up with technology as part of their childhood. Even during most of their higher education, computers were huge things that read punched cards or difficult to program units that could do less than our phones do today. Baby Boomers are, however, excited by technology and find adapting easier than the older generation. Most Boomers reach out for training to incorporate the newest techniques into their skills.

Baby Boomers value respect for their long service, skills, knowledge and managers will find recognition for Boomer’s wisdom is a key to successful integration of these workers and managers into the profitable organization. Managers of Boomers should honor the history and memories brought into the work environment because past experiences can bring understanding to current situations, providing positive outcomes. When policies are placed in a historical perspective, employees can often understand and accept more easily.

Baby Boomers find recognition extremely important. Whether recognized personally or publically, motivate Boomers through recognizing their accomplishment and clearly expecting superior outcomes from their efforts will help ensure happy Boomers. Embrace their best ideas and implement those into processes and methods.

Boomers tend to have conflict between their desire to compete on an individual basis and their desire to be part of a team. Encourage these workers to focus on the team in the short-term as an effective means to bring personal recognition and success for themselves in the long term.

Boomers also find conflict with the generation born before 1946 because the older generation tends to feel entitlement to perks on the job. Boomers often have the false feeling that those employees have not paid the dues they have to gain their positions. They also tend to find conflict with the younger generations coming into the workplace with high levels of technical expertise and feel they are unfairly competing with this generation that they view as “coddled”. By placing Boomers in mentoring positions, managers can often mitigate these negative feelings and generate feelings of teamwork and workplace “families”.

Managing the Veteran Generation

There are two groups in the workforce today who were born before 1946. Veterans of the Second World War make up about 2% of the employees, including managers, comprising the current workforce. This workforce group, sometimes called the Silent Generation, Greatest Generation, or Paper Agers, requires special management considerations.

The workers in this group were largely not exposed to technology and computers until these methods became a necessary part of the employment. Often they feel that due to their impending retirement they should not be required to move into the computer age. Because the work methods used early in their career were low-tech yet workable, they want to continue to use printed paper trails and other more familiar methods that they are comfortable with. Yet, the work environment has moved into high-tech and these workers are forced to adapt. Technology is the major hurdle for the generation of workers born prior to 1946. This can cause conflict between the Silent Generation and those born into the age where technology was part of their lives from childhood onward.

Paper Agers often feel that any information not presented in hard copy has little meaning. They find it difficult to conform to the paperless workplace. Their strong work ethics and “get it done” attitudes can add strength to teams and tasks assigned to be worked alone. This group of workers has no room for failure and drive toward success. They strive to please superiors in all their efforts and they do fine ways to adjust to technology when presented with training opportunities.

Often, veterans born prior 1946 find themselves in management positions because they are long-term employees and tend to be upwardly mobile in the organization chart. Their structured backgrounds lead them to have strong respect for hierarchy.  They build strong relationships based on loyalty, structure and time. They work well in management positions because they have been long exposed to experiences where information was provided on a “need to know” basis. This makes them able to keep information to themselves where necessary and provide information to the right parties when necessary. Their frugal natures make them capable of adhering to both budget and schedule.

It can be very difficult at times for younger managers to relate to the workers from this era. Frustration arises when the high-tech manager has to deal with their lack of native technical expertise, but they can excel in technical positions when provided necessary training. The younger manager may have grown up with high-tech and resents the cost and time required to train these workers in technology. Yet, the long-term work experience and lessons learned gained from these workers can lead to creative ideas that generate greater profit for the organization. Therefore, younger managers should be trained to value these workers and utilize their skills while providing growth opportunities through technical training.

Final Words

As you can see, there are many factors involved in creating a great workplace. Hopefully we have given you some ideas you can work with to enhance your business.

If you are looking for the right office space to create your great workplace, we’d love to help. It is what we do on a daily basis through out the US and Canada. Give us a try. No cost and no obligation. Let us know what you are looking for and we will get right on it.