Category Archives: Office Leasing

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.

Is Coworking Space really just an Executive Suite?

Coworking spaceThere is quite a bit of public confusion over the terminology used in the office space industry regarding executive suites and coworking space. Many still believe that an executive suite describes the suite of offices on or near the top floor of a skyscraper where the top executives of a company used to work; including only the president or chief executive officer, various vice presidents and their staff. In other words, only the top brass. While coworking space is a relatively new phenomenon and many do not understand what it is. Here is some information that will hopefully clear up the confusion.

Essentially, what they both are is shared serviced offices operated by a management firm that house multiple companies. They have different styles to accommodate different workplace goals. Coworking space has become an extension of the executive suite concept with a different spin. Originally coworking space was intended to serve like kinds of businesses that could work together while still being independent. They have morphed into offices with networking opportunities with other occupants. Here is another article on the idea “WeWork Is Basically Regus With A Paint Job.” WeWork is the largest Cowork provider and Regus the largest Exeutive Suite Provider.

The executive suite / coworking centers are an excellent option for small companies, branches or companies that need flexible lease lengths. Many firms, large and small, choose to operate their business or satellite offices from an executive suite.

Executive suites and coworking spaces are both essentially shared offices with services provided by a management firm. They are a great way for small or growing companies to get off to a fast and low-risk start and a great way for a fast-growing company to have the flexibility for rapid growth. Whether you choose to go with the more conventional executive suite style or the newer coworking trend with depending on the way you want to work.

Generally, executive suites cater to those companies looking for privacy in their workplace; Businesses or individuals who want to be in offices. Coworking space is more suited to those looking to create synergy and network with other companies or individuals located in the space.

They both offer features such as utilities and janitorial, receptionist, secretarial,  personalized telephone answering, mail handling and coffee and food service on-site. There are still a lot more of services that you can avail. They are very much customizable depending on your style, budget and needs.

In an Executive Suite or coworking office, your efforts can be dedicated entirely to your business, while the management company is responsible for typical office management. You will enjoy a professional reception and support personnel without the headaches of hiring, training and employee benefits; state-of-the-art business equipment without purchasing and maintenance problems, and; a staff attentive to both you and your client’s needs.

Executive Suites, along with coworking office space, allows you the added flexibility of short term or long term obligations – both from a planning and a financial statement point of view. Other benefits include:

  • Convenience – A small office near home or the people you do business with every day.
  • Cost – Attractive, professional office accommodations at roughly 30-50% of the
    cost of equipping and staffing conventional office space.
  • Flexibility –  Full or part-time accommodations are generally available (hourly, daily,
    weekly, monthly, annually).
  • No capital investment – There is no need to buy or lease office equipment or furniture. Private offices can be completely furnished as well.
  • Control of operating costs – Offer state-of-the-art business support services which are billed to clients.
  • Higher productivity  – By leaving the operation of your office to a staff of trained professionals, your company personnel can concentrate on managing and marketing your business.
  • Enhanced technology and services – Most Executive Suites / Coworking space provide enhanced Internet technology and first-class concierge handling of business needs.

If you are interested in estimating the cost of an executive suite or coworking space, give our executive suite calculator a try. It will compare your costs at an executive suite type space with that of a conventional office space.

If you are looking for an office, we’d love to help. It is what we do day in and day out. We not only find the right space for your business but also negotiate the deal with you to ensure no mistakes are made and that you get the best deal possible. Contact us for your no obligation meeting.

6 Key Factors to Finding Great Office Space for Your Business

Great Office Space to WOWA great office space can WOW visitors, increases employee productivity, and promotes your business’ image. Choose the wrong space and you may find yourself with lackluster sales, low employee morale, and a floundering business. The key to finding the perfect office space, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, is to perform a comprehensive assessment of potential locations. Make a list of “must have” attributes. Check out our office space planning checklist to help yourself focus your search.

1. Know the Zoning Laws

Zoning laws vary considerably by location, so it’s essential to become familiar with the regulations in your area. In general, you cannot construct a commercial building in an area zoned for residential property, the SBA notes. To check how a potential property is zoned, contact the planning agency for your municipality. Work with city officials to pay necessary fees, apply for licenses, and complete other paperwork to comply with zoning codes. If you run into trouble, hire a land use attorney to help you navigate complicated local regulations.

2. Understand the State and Local Taxes

Make sure you have a clear understanding of the taxes that you will owe to both the state and local authorities. These can vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. You can usually find out information on the jurisdiction’s website or  consult your accountant.

3. Consider Your Visitors and Clients

Think about what types of people will be visiting your space. Will the office be used solely by employees, or will you hold client meetings there? Do you need teleconferencing capability? Does it need to meet industry regulations (such as those set by OSHA or another agency)?

The answers to these questions vary widely based on your business plan, but they significantly influence the type of office space you need. For example, if you want to impress new clients, consider an easily accessible downtown location or a luxurious entrance with a blazing fast internet connection

4. Choose a Location That’s Convenient for Employees

Your business can only be as great as the people working for it. To retain the best employees, carefully consider your office location. If you live in a city with a strong public transportation network, choose an office space near prominent bus or train lines. To make your office commuter-friendly, find a location with ample parking. Also consider perks that improve employee satisfaction, such as an on-site fitness room or a well-equipped break room, suggests Forbes. Thinking about your employees’ needs before you hire them will allow you to attract and retain the best candidates.

5. Decide on a Floor Plan That Complements Your Business Model

When possible, find an office space that requires the least possible renovation to save on costs. To achieve this goal, think about the type of office floor plan that makes most sense for your company. A tech start-up developing a new smartphone app might benefit from an open floor plan that allows employees to easily share new concepts. In contrast, your tax accounting firm may require private offices for each worker in order to increase client confidentiality.

When touring a potential property, consider your desired floor plan and whether it is possible to execute in the space “as is” or if you will need tenant improvements. According to the Harvard Business Review, the most effective floor plans bring employees together to share ideas while providing some private space. Think about the placement of executive offices, conference rooms, bathroom facilities, the reception area, and break rooms. Consider hiring an industrial-organizational psychologist or consultant for tips on how to best use office space to maximize employee efficiency.

6. Get Help From a Professional

There are specialists in your market who specialize in helping business not only find the right space, but also ensure they negotiate the best possible deal. They are known as tenant representatives. Like residential real estate brokers, they represent the buyer (or lessee) who is looking for property, but get paid by the landlord. In other words, there is no cost to you for their services and they are looking after your best interest. They only get paid once you are happy with your selection and make a purchase or sign a lease. They are an invaluable asset and in important team member for any company looking for office space.

While these are not the only factors to take into consideration when looking for office space, taking these 6 factors into account will help smooth out the process.

If you need help finding and negotiating for office space, please contact us. Our services and the services of our member tenant reps won’t cost you anything.

Tips and Tricks To Negotiating the Best Office Space Lease

office space leasePerhaps you operate a small start-up business that has outgrown your home office. Maybe your company is mid-sized and is growing out of the office space you occupy. Or, you may head a large organization that needs an additional facility to support a new contract. Whatever your situation, you’ve realized that you need to lease some office space.

You are now in one of the most exciting and challenging parts of your growing company, acquiring an office space, but alos one that is priime for making expensive mistakes. An office space lease is usually the second biggest expenses after salaries for a business. There are ways that you can do it to get the best office for your business without compromising your budget or other aspects of your business’ growth.

You’ve begun the search for space. You may have used an online commercial office location service such as OfficeFinder.com, a local commercial real estate broker or you may have searched by driving by empty facilities.  Whatever method you used, you’ve found the perfect option for your every need. It is in a strategic location, plenty of space for employees and clients, good security and good facilities.

During the process you have analyzed and understand your business needs for space, not only for the present but for the future too. You know how you will use the space, what are the amenities needed and identified your priorities.

Finally, you’ve decided. You are now ready to move on to the next phase of acquiring an office space, negotiating the best office space lease.

Understanding the Office Space Lease: LEASE 101

An Office Space Lease has three main forms:

Lease is an agreement between the property owner or landlord and the tenant. It has three forms:

  • Full-Service Lease – the rent is all-inclusive. The pay covers all of the expenses associated with the property, such as insurance, maintenance, taxes and even janitorial services.
  • Net Lease – the landlord charges a lower base rent for the space and all of the usual costs that related to operations, maintenance and use that the landlord pays. Net lease also comes in three types:
    • Triple net lease – you share the three additional costs about the base rent. Taxes, insurance and maintenance.
    • Double net lease – two additional costs are added on the base rent, taxes and insurance costs.
    • Single net lease – some of the landlord costs will be charged to the tenant upon negotiation.
  • Gross Lease – this could the most favorable lease for the tenant. The landlord shoulders all of the property expenses that would come across in a net lease.

To obtain a lease for the office space, you should have an experienced guide who will have your best interest at heart and who has negotiated many successful office space leases in the past. A tenant rep broker is a necessity. It’s a sure bet that the landlord or property management company offering the lease has plenty of experienced assistance to help them get an advantage. Shouldn’t you have an expert on your side too? After all, there is no cost to you for their services. It would seem to be a no-brainer.

Protect yourself by following some important guidelines
that can help you negotiate successfully.

Always remember that in negotiating an office space lease, the more knowledge and power you have, the better the outcome. Even with a tenant rep, you will need to stay involved. Find out about the space. Is anyone else looking at it? Has it been vacant for a long time. Aside from having a tenant representative or a broker, it is still important that you are hands-on with the search and you are aware of the important factors, factors that may somehow make a change on a burdensome leasing terms made by landlord throughout the lease process.

Once you’ve told the office property owner that you want to locate your business in their property, you are likely to be presented with a standard lease package. Do not sign any papers at this point but accept the lease for review. Explain to the landlord that you must review the lease with care so that you completely understand it.

Your specific needs are unique and may require significant changes in the office space lease  during negations. Here are a few specific points that any tenant should look for in the standard lease package:

  • An accurate description of the office space should be clearly listed in the lease.
  • How much is the rent and exactly when is it due? Are there any late charges if not paid on the correct date?
  • Is there a security deposit and how much is it? Under what conditions is this deposit repaid upon vacating the commercial office space and what conditions permit the landlord to refuse to return the security deposit?
  • What is the lease period and are there provisions to facilitate lease renewal if desired?
  • What are the terms in the lease regarding vacating the premises early? Do you have the right to move into another, larger office space owned by the landlord without penalty? Do you have any rights to rent additional space if your business grows more rapidly than anticipated?
  • Is there a cleaning deposit for preparing the space for the next tenant when you vacate the premises and is this fee returned if you leave the premises in the same condition as upon delivery?
  • Identify verbiage defining how much parking may be used by the tenant and what, if any, number of spaces can be marked as reserved.
  • Review all references to use of common space. You should have the right to enter and egress at any time of day or night and access to all common spaces unless specific restrictions are contained in the lease. Also, watch out for clauses regarding common space upkeep or charges.
  • The lease should clearly state what utilities are the responsibility of the tenant as well as what should be paid by the landlord. The same goes for charges for maintenance and repairs for any problems not the result of misuse or neglect on the part of the tenant.
  • Is there are space in the lease or reference to an addendum where notes regarding the condition of the property at delivery may be noted.
  • Is there any defined allowance for tenant improvements?
  • What rights to signage are included in the office space lease?
  • Does the lease provide for delivery of a punch list after tenant improvements are accomplished?

Some suggestions to help you become a little more of a lease-expert

Length of Lease and Renewal Options:

The initial office lease period should give you enough time to settle in and determine how this location works for your business but not so long that you must pay a stiff penalty if you decide to move on after two or three years. Try to negotiate a shorter-term lease with a renewal options. Keep in mind that your company’s needs may change, you might get sucked into an office space lease that is too big or small, or with a rent that is above-market if demand for space later drops.

Rent Increases

Watch out for the clause that establishes the amount or percentage at which rent can go up and the specific periods at which this change can occur. Rent should not increase more than annually and should have a reasonable cap set on it so that the cost of leasing the office space does not become outrageous in a short period of time. Usually, landlords refer the annual increases on the percentage increases in Consumer Price Index or CPI, try to arrange for a CPI rent increase that does not set in for at least the first two years of the term. Then, you can try to have the cap on the amount of each year’s increase.

Cost Transferal

Be sure you and your office lease broker understand exactly what costs can be passed long to you or what percentage of those costs can be passed along. Examples can include property tax increases, specific repair costs not caused by your occupancy and the increasing cost of services to the building. Your rent increase should cover the costs associated with increased service costs or taxes and only those building repairs caused by you should be passed along to you.

Landlord’s Right to Early Termination

Check what verbiage is used regarding what, if any, rights the landlord has to terminate your office space lease early and what conditions must be met to justify such early termination. If this clause is too liberal in favor of the landlord, you could easily find yourself seeking different office space much sooner than your business plan set forth. This can be expensive and time consuming for your business and can be avoided with the right wording in this area of the lease.

Repairs, replacements and improvements:

Be mindful about the office space lease clause that says that the tenant must restore the property to its original condition. If this was mentioned to the agreement, try to state that it will be returned to in same condition at the beginning of the least EXCLUDING (1) ordinary wear and tear, (2) damage by fire and untoward incidents, loss or casualty not the fault of the  tenant, (3) improvements approved by the Landlords.

Payment from Corporate Owners:

Watch out for verbiage indicating payment can be sought from the corporate owners rather than the corporation itself.  While some office space owners like to have this protection in the event a business becomes financially insolvent, it does give a landlord too much recourse into the business owners’ private finances to allow entry into the final lease.

One-Sided Lease Provisions:

Be cautious about the landlords that use form lease agreement that can be one-sided. Negotiate on the provisions that are favorable to the landlord. Below are the common types of provisions that one-sided and landlord favorable:

  • Passing on to the tenants, without limit, increased operating costs like property taxes, repairs and or insurance expenses.
  • Landlords disclaiming responsibility for compliance with environmental laws or government act (e.g., disabilities acts)
  • Requiring tenants to pay for tax increases
  • Landlords reserving rights to terminate the lease at their convenience.
  • Prohibiting subletting and assignments.

These are only a few of the clauses that an office space renter should be on the alert for. Turn to your office space broker for the best possible advice on all areas of the lease and lease negotiation process.

There are dozens of additional points that will stand out in the lease. Some of them may be points you do not understand. Make sure to highlight these for investigation. Another verbiage may better meet your needs. Highlight each portion of the lease that either is unclear, misleading or requires negotiation. These are items that you will need to cover with the help of your leasing team, especially your tenant rep.

When negotiating an office space lease or rental, you will find that the devil is hiding in the details and these can cost you lots of money over the life of the lease. Turn to your office lease broker, tenant represetnative, for experienced advice regarding how to negotiate out these demons before signing an office space lease. An old idiom says “God is in the details” which means that attention paid to small things has big rewards. In this case, your goal is to turn those devilish little hidden clauses into the best possible agreement with the landlord for your office space so that everyone can live with the lease for the life of the lease.

We are here to help. It is what we do every day. If you want an expert to help you get the right space with the best possible terms, contact us. We’d be happy to help

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

Paying For Office Space With Cryptocurrencies

BitcoinSome office space landlords in Canada have jumped on the cryptocurrency craze by allowing tenants to pay their monthly rent for office space with digital funds. Apart from Bitcoin, office space landlords in Calgary are now accepting Ethereum and Litecoin as payment instead of cash.

According to Global News, some office space owners have started to accept digital funds because they foresee cryptocurrencies as the future of financial transactions. When it comes to the volatility of digital funds, the owners assert that it’s a risk that they’re willing to accept.

“There’s going to be a little volatility, and both parties have to accept that,” said the President of Real Equity Centre Greg Habstritt. “We believe that forward-thinking companies in Calgary, especially tech related companies, are going to be able to deal with that volatility.”

In the past year, Bitcoin has grown to become a viable form of finance, with multiple companies and financial institutions accepting it as a form of payment. Nadex in their article on trading Bitcoin, detail how the cryptocurrency has moved past its early skepticism that it wasn’t a legitimate investment to becoming an asset that investors want in their portfolios. Medium has an article on how much money investors are putting into Bitcoin today. In general, investors put 5% of their capital in cryptocurrencies for diversification purposes. Since investors have now acknowledged cryptocurrencies as an attractive financial asset, it is becoming more widely used in business transactions.

Using cryptocurrency to pay for office space is not just isolated to Canada. This business model is being followed in many places across the globe.

Barcelona Cahoot, Spain

Barcelona Cahoot is an office space in Spain that announced its support for cryptocurrencies in 2017. Alongside Bitcoin, it also accepts Ethereum as payment for leases. Like other office space owners, Barcelona Cahoot believes that the growing confidence in cryptocurrencies is a good enough reason for merchants to accept digital funds as payment. Barcelona was one of the first few office spaces in Europe to accept more than one type of digital fund.

The Yard, New York

The Yard is one of the biggest office space providers in New York. It operates multiple co-working office spaces not only in New York, but also New England. The Yard began to accept cryptocurrency for lease payments as early as 2013.

Rentadesk, London

Rentadesk is a co-working office establishment that aims to provide a comfortable space for students, freelancers, and independent professionals who live near Russell Square. Like The Yard, it started to accept Bitcoin as payments as early as 2013.

TechHub, Swansea

TechHub Swansea is the first venue in Wales that hosted a Satoshi Point event in 2015. Since then, the café and co-working space located within the venue have both accepted Bitcoin as payment for goods and office space rental.

Office and co-working spaces that have accepted Bitcoin as early as 2013 are now probably holding digital funds that are worth millions. Bitcoin was only priced at around $40 in the first quarter of 2013. Now, a Bitcoin costs around $6,700. Other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are also gaining traction, which means that office space owners that also accepted other forms of digital funds will soon get more out of their long-term investments. As the cryptocurrency becomes more widely accepted, more companies will see the benefit of using the digital currency to pay for office space.

Office Space Alternative Choices for Smaller Businesses

office space alternativesIdentifying your priorities is a key to finding the right office space and determining an office space alternative for your company whether it is large or small. A full needs analysis is critical in the beginning of the process to make sure you are looking for what you need. Studies have shown that what matters most when selecting office space for rent is pretty consistent.

Here is where the priorities stand in importance:

  • Location 50%
  • Value 35%
  • Image 10%

If you want to go into more depth in analyzing your needs, we provide an Office Space Planning Checklist on our site so that you can make sure to consider all the major considerations when starting the process of finding you office space. In addition to the checklist we also offer an Office Space Calculator that allows you to determine the amount of office space you will need.

Operating a small business can be both exciting and lucrative. More and more people are leaving the traditional workplace to open their own ventures and becoming quite successful. Freelancing is becoming more and more popular. Many startups begin with only the owner working in the business which makes leasing or renting office space the largest overhead expense. There are practical ways to cut this big overhead item by thinking creatively. There’s no reason that every business needs a walk-up storefront in order to succeed.

Other than trying to find a small conventional office space for lease, here are some of the office space alternative choices available for smaller businesses:

Share an Office

If you have friends or colleagues who are also starting businesses that don’t require storefronts, consider leasing a spacious one or two room office and split the expenses equally. This reduces the costs for electricity, internet, janitorial, and other equipment leases. Instead of each office partner procuring a copier, fax, and other equipment that both parties use, only one item is needed, significantly cutting the cost. Compatible services work well in shared office spaces. One example that has proven to work great in shared spaces might be a software development company and a computer technology company. There are many other compatible combinations; just be sure there won’t be a conflict of interest or direct competition. Instead, seek an office mate that will be synergistic to your business, so you can help each other grow and thrive.

Executive Suite

These are shared office with services run by a management company. They provide not only office space but furniture, phones, Internet, office equipment and administrative service. They are typically a full floor of a prestigious office building and you will have lots of other small businesses around for networking.

Selecting the right serviced office is an important step in ensuring the success of your business. The reason for this nomenclature is that the office comes with all of the most common services already in place. This type of office is often called a “turn-key” office or an executive suite.

If you need a venue to hold meetings with clients, sign contracts, negotiate, and do some paperwork, this office solution might be just what you should lease. By renting this type of business space, you’ll have a furnished private office with computer equipment but share common needs such as reception area, meeting room(s), and other resources used by the entire group housed in the overall space. You’ll be able to use certain equipment and services on a “pay per use” basis.

Here are tips and caveats you should be aware of when selecting a serviced office for your business needs:

  • Location: Choose a location which is convenient for you, but also convenient for your clients. Is there parking available either on-site or nearby? What about handicapped parking? Is the building easy to spot or well-known? You want your clients to be able to find you easily and get to your door without walking blocks in the wind, rain, heat, or cold.
  • Appearance: Does the building entrance, lobby, and office interior make the statement about you and your business that you want and need? You need furnishings which are attractive and elegant yet not pretentious. Making the right statement about your operation is critical. Is the meeting room comfortable enough for a two- or three-hour meeting if those are occasionally part of your business lifestyle?
  • Equipment: Learn what equipment is provided in the turnkey office lease. You will likely find a desktop computer included but check to make certain it is powerful enough to meet your needs. Learn what the restrictions are regarding bringing in your own laptop or other equipment if needed. Realize that equipment you own may not be covered by the insurance covering other equipment, so keep this in mind and learn if the services provided by any specialized equipment are available nearby for a fee. Also, learn what speed internet connection is provided and ensure the speed meets your needs. If wifi is important to you, find out if it is in place.
  • Receptionist: Listen to the receptionist answer a phone call or call in yourself to see how the phone is service. Your messages will be taken by this staff person and your clients will have contact with him or her, so you want to ensure the job is done well.
  • Pay Per Use: Speaking of fees, you want to make sure exactly what the fees are for every pay-as-you-go service. These services will almost certainly include use of the copier and fax machine but may include other services such as large paper printers, binders, or other less common equipment. Ascertain that the costs are reasonable. Compare prices with nearby providers for services you use in massive quantities; it may well be less expensive to have the local Kinko’s or similar store produce large copying jobs. Ensure you don’t get “nickeled and dimed.”
  • Lease Provisions: Carefully read all the provisions in the rental agreement. Unlike renting vacant office space which you staff, there will be extensive details about what your private area will contain and what can or can’t be done with it, who must maintain what items, and other matters which deserve your attention.

Provider: Find a reputable executive office suite provider to help you locate the perfect serviced office. You can find great brokers online, Like OfficeFinder.com, who have sound knowledge of this type of office and are waiting to help you.

Coworking

Much like office sharing, co-working is a office space alternative concept originated in 1999 where entrepreneurs and small business owners who share the same values ban together to form a community of business people. Coworking usually begins when networking partners find they enjoy the social aspects of working in the same space and may often help either other’s business in various ways. The partners then lease an office space, sharing all expenses. Each of the co-working partners conducts their own business in their own workspace in the shared office and the co-workers may share support staff such as receptionists or clerical staff in order to keep overhead costs low while providing everyone effective support for their small businesses. This concept is growing into a great solution for hundreds of like-minded small business owners.

Coworking is a style of work which involves a shared working environment, sometimes an office, yet independent activity. Unlike in a typical office environment, those coworking are usually not employed by the same organization. Typically, it is attractive to work-at-home professionals, independent contractors, or people who travel frequently who end up working in relative isolation. Coworking is the social gathering of a group of people, who are still working independently, but who share values, and who are interested in the synergy that can happen from working with talented people in the same space.

Some coworking spaces were developed by nomadic internet entrepreneurs seeking an alternative to working in coffeeshops and cafes, or to isolation in independent or home offices. Surveys show that many employees worry about feeling isolated and losing human interaction if they were to work remotely. Roughly a third of both private and public-sector workers also reported that they didn’t want to stay at home during work. Coworking offers a solution to the problem of isolation that many freelancers experience while working at home, while at the same time letting them escape the distractions of home.

Business accelerators, business incubators and executive suites do not seem to fit into the coworking model, because they often miss the social, collaborative, and informal aspects of the process, with management practices closer to that of a Cooperative, including a focus on community rather than profit.

Coworking is not only about the physical space but mostly about establishing the Coworking community where businesses can work together creating a synergy.

The benefits of Coworking can already be experienced outside of Coworking spaces and it is recommended to start with building a Coworking community first before considering opening a Coworking space. However, some Coworking Spaces don’t build a community, they just get a part of an existing one by combining their opening with an event which attracts their target group.

A lot of Coworking communities have been formed by organizing Casual Coworking events that can take place in people’s living room or in public places such as suitable cafes, galleries or multi-functional spaces. During these events Coworkers can experience the benefits of Coworking and get to know each other which lowers the barriers to join a Coworking space later.

Virtual Office

Today, you really don’t need a specific location for an office with walls. With mobile wireless internet services, hotspots available in most metro locations and even urban areas, multiple personal data devices, and smartphones that do almost everything a computer does, it is possible to work anywhere at anytime. You can operate your business from your living room sofa, poolside, in your vehicle (please stop your vehicle in a safe location before texting or computing for safety), in a coffee shop, at McDonald’s, and right at your client’s desk. By using online services such as GoogleDocs, your information can be safely stored online for presenting to your client easily. With outsourcing of many tasks, you can take your laptop and smartphone and conduct business in any location you desire. If you do have a need for an office, Executive Suites also offer a virtual office service as a office space alternative that allows you to use an office or conference room on an as needed basis.

Lease a Desk in a Business that Buys Your Services

Often, a small business begins because on business requires the services that will be offered. For example, an insurance company may regularly require the services of a licenses investigator. If your small business is complementary to a local business, check into leasing a desk in an unused area of the office. In tough economic times, many offices are willing to lease a desk space to a small business that is not in conflict with their own business.

Home Office

The vast majority of small business startups begin in a home office. This type of office space alternative allows the entrepreneur to begin conducting business without making a huge commitment to overhead expenses. Also, many owners of small startups begin their venture while working a traditional career, making certain their business will succeed before giving up the regular paycheck. Some of these small businesses never move out of the home office, even after hiring an employee or two. Of course, if the operation grows large enough or requires a great deal of inventory, the time will come to move from the home, but many virtual service businesses never leave the home office.

More and more entrepreneurs today are operating small but profitable businesses from the comfort and convenience of their own homes. Most home-based businesses start small and provide a second income to a person that works in a traditional workplace. As the business grows and thrives, many are choosing to grow their home businesses and give up the traditional job.

There are some very clear advantages to being able to work from a home office; there are also some drawbacks to consider. Here are a few of the points to consider if a home-based business is in your future:

Pros:

Freedom: When working from home, you can often set the hours you want to work. You can maintain better flexibility when time is needed for children, doctors appointments, and other things you’ve longed to be able to fit into your schedule. This can be a huge advantage for self-motivated people. Lots of productive work can be accomplished after the kids are in bed or very early in the morning.

No Commuting Hassles: No one really enjoys commuting to work, whether they drive, carpool, or take mass transit. Commuting eats into your free time when working in a traditional office. With a home-based business, your commute is only the distance from your bedroom to the room you have set aside for your workspace.

Time Savings: Without the commute, you will save many hours a week that you would be normally in your car.

Tax Benefits: Home businesses often qualify for business dedications when income tax times rolls around. Of course, you’ll need to speak with your tax professional but you’ll likely be surprised at how much you can deducted for your home office and operating expenses, significantly reducing your tax burden.

Low Startup and Operating Costs: There is little overhead with an office space in your home. After all, the room was already there, you just hadn’t defined it as your office previously. You may need to update your computer or add an extra phone line for faxing, but the costs of start-up will be minimal compared with a traditional office. Also, there’s no rental or lease to worry about. You don’t have to own nearly as large a collection of professional clothing when working from home.

Cons:

Discipline: Working from home requires a great deal of self-discipline. It’s very easy to become motivated at first, but over time it is also easy to allow yourself to see all sorts of things that need done around the home and begin procrastinating about business tasks.

Business and Family Overlaps: It’s also very easy to allow your family to interrupt your business time. Just as easy, many people end up spending time working that should have been quality family time. Making a set of clear boundaries is necessary but difficult.

Boundary Issues: It is very easy to “go to work” since it is just around the corner, but it can lead to family problems of another kind.  There is no boundary between home and work and it can become a problem, or a very delicate balance, for the very highly motivated entrepreneur.

Stagnation: Lack of social contact is an issue for some outgoing people who decide to try working from home. It’s also very easy to lose contact with your professional network. This makes it much more difficult to remain on the cutting edge of progress.

Pressure and Stress: While working from home is flexible, it is also easy to work yourself into stressful, pressured situations. You want to please all your clients and generate constant leads. Many people become overwhelmed by trying to do too much. Some set unrealistic goals. They attempt to achieve them while others simply take on too many clients or fail to outsource when necessary.

Image: Depending on your client and customer contact, your company’s image could come into question. Setting up a client meeting at home or Starbuck’s can be less than impressive. There are alternatives such as a virtual office. They are pay-as-you-go subscriptions for office space. You have an official business address with an executive suite operator. You can use their facilities on a “as needed” basis.

Warehouse Rental

Storage warehouses of various sizes are zoned commercial and in most areas can be used as a business location. These warehouse locations are great for the small startup business that manufactures a product, purchases and adds quality to an existing product before sale, and service companies that provide auto repair, computer repair, and similar services.

If your business is the type that does not really benefit from a “flashy” storefront, this can be a great solution for keeping your startup costs very low. Traditionally, people seeking auto repair, auto body work, auto paint, motorcycle accessories or repairs, and similar services tend to believe that if the storefront is too fancy, they will be overcharged. These types of business can actually benefit from the casual office space offered by leasing a storage warehouse. Just make sure the type of business you are starting meets the zoning regulations and the landlord’s lease restrictions.

We’d be happy to help you with finding the right office space alternative. Let us know a little about what you need and we can get to work identifying some options for you. There is no cosst for this service. Give us a try!

 

How to Decide on the RIGHT Office Space for Your Business

Deciding on office spaceIt is a big decision. Your office space can have a significant impact on your bottom line. Here are a few ideas on how to make the best choice.

To start, here are the basics that need to be considered:

Location

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right location to set up your office, and much will depend on the type of business you own. Before you look for the right office space, here are some things to consider to help you decide on the right place for your office location.

Cost

It is important to thoroughly research the taxes and regulatory situations in your desired location. What are the sales and income taxes and how might they affect your business? What about regulatory requirements – are they excessive or is this area business-friendly? If you plan to locate your business in the US, you can find out how individual states ranked with the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council on policy measures and the various costs that impact small businesses.

Your Customers

Your business location needs to be where your customers are and be conveniently located for them. Consider traffic, parking and whether the area invites foot traffic.

Your Employees

Even if your type of business doesn’t require customers to visit your location, you will have employees. Consider where your employees will be coming from, whether there will be a pool of qualified candidates for job openings and whether they will be able to easily commute to your location.

Other Businesses in the Area

Consider what other business including retail and service businesses are in the area. Get a feel for the business climate by visiting a few of the businesses in the area.

The Next Step

Now, you have determined your office location. Next step now is choosing the right office space, whether for rent or purchase, It will have a big impact on how well your business runs. The Better Business Bureau has made 5 specific recommendations to help business owners choose a space that is right for them.

Determine Your Needs

This may sound obvious, but any business owner needs to think about the entire operation, not just the front office. Look at the space in terms of how your customers will see it and how your employees will use it.

  • Will you grow over the course of the lease?
  • Will you need conference rooms, lunch rooms or break rooms?
  • Do you need a reception area?
  • What about storage?
  • Will you have office machines such as large copiers that need space?
  • Where will staff sit?

Assess The Building

It is important to look at the building and other factors. Many commercial buildings will advertise upgrades, but won’t talk about repairs.

  • Ask about what changes may need to be made to the office space itself.
  • Are you allowed to put up walls for new offices as needed?
  • Have there been any recent problems with storm damage or vandalism?
  • Are there any upgrades or renovations planned during the lease?

Noise from renovations can disturb employees and customers so it is important to understand what will happen and when.

Get Professional Help

Utilizing a real estate professional who specializes in office space, an office tenant representative, will reduce the amount of work substantially. A professional will be familiar with a variety of styles of office space around the area. When know what you are looking for and can communicate these needs clearly they will be able to show you properties that meet your needs and help negotiate the best prices for you. There is no charge to you for this service, so it should be a no brainer to acquire the service.

Review The Lease

The final step is to review the lease very carefully before signing anything. Make sure you understand what you are responsible for and what the landlord is responsible for. It is a good idea to have a lawyer review the document.

We can help you choose the right location and office space for your business to operate, contact us.  Whether you are looking to lease or to buy, we can help you find the right office space for your business with our network of nearly 1,000 professionals throughout the US and Canada. Our service will not cost you anything. It is a no lose proposition.

For more information, check out OfficeFinder’s Office Space Checklist.

3 Flexible Office Space Alternatives to Conventional Office Space

flexible office space alternativesLooking for flexible office space alternatives? Don’t want a conventional office space? Considering your alternatives for a workspace? If you are starting of new business, considering a new base of operation or need a physical office space, here are some modern alternatives that can save you money on your rent costs; Coworking Space, Executive Suites and Virtual Office.

Coworking Space

Have you heard about “coworking space”? Unlike the typical office setup, a Coworking Space allows you to work in a casual and relaxed work environment that will suit your style and requirements. This is a facility that you will share workplaces by different professionals, different industries and mostly freelancers. Coworking Space promotes collaboration, creativity, best practices sharing, networking, socializing and creating new business opportunities. This is great for freelancers and independent professionals because of its flexibility allowing you to expand or contract as needed, with no long-term contracts. Coworking spaces are generally less expensive than Executive Suites, which you will find out more information about next. More…

Executive Suites

Now if you need more privacy and confidentiality, you should investigate an Executive Suite. Executive Suites are essentially shared offices with services provided by a management firm. They are also known as an Office Business Center or serviced offices. The disadvantage of this privacy is that you will miss some of the networking and collaboration available in coworking spaces. However, this is also great for small businesses and startups. You get the same benefits or services of having own facility at lower cost and with no long-term commitments. It is a great way to have project a good brand and identity to your client as they your office located in impressive business centers. More…

Virtual Office

Home based jobs, running or starting up small businesses from your home are very rampant nowadays. This is because of the available technologies and internet access can provide, nothing is impossible in running your business wherever and whenever you want. Almost everything can run virtually in the cloud. However, we must accept that frequently clients and customers are looking for assurance the and one way to give them that is to provide an established office address. A Virtual Office rental is one of the solutions. Having an established and prestigious business address will make your clients or customer more feel secured and confident in doing business with you. In Virtual Office, you’ll get to enjoy the same convenience of having your own business address such as having a local number, mail box, admirative support and very presentable meeting rooms at low cost. You can continue working comfortably of your choice, from home or other location while you keep your virtual office as your official business address. More…

All these flexible office space alternatives offer benefits to small entrepreneurs or working from home businesses and freelancers. It will simply give you the office-feel environment, yet you still have the benefit of flexibility.  Some of the common advantages of getting these types of office set are that you will be more effective; especially if you are working from home. It is a much better replacement if you sometimes use cafes or restaurants to work or meet clients. They also will help you avoid distractions.  Working in these types of workplaces will help you avoid loneliness and burning out. You will be surrounded by other passionate entrepreneurs who will help energize with their energy in striving for success. Most importantly is the flexibility, it allows you to rent a space shorter or longer, bigger or smaller space, it’s very flexible allowing you to work your style and within your budget.

Whether it is a virtual office, Coworking Space and Executive Suites, we hope we helped you to get a better idea of your office space options.

OfficeFinder is ready to assist you in your search for flexible office space alternatives at no cost to you!

OfficeFinder, LLC is a leading web-based office space referral and information network with highly qualified local office space leasing and sales professionals throughout the US and Canada. OfficeFinder collaborates and continuously exerts effort to connect with large, small and well known commercial real estate companies.  Professionals from OfficeFinder are great partners who can help you to locate and find the right business space that suits both your needs and style. Simply contact us and provide a few details for us to be able to assist you. There is no obligation and there is no cost to you. You get assistance and options you need in finding the best workspace for you and your company!