Category Archives: Office Rental

The Essentials Before Heading Out Into The World Of Business On Your Own

By 2020, it is estimated that approximately 27 million Americans will leave the workforce in favor of self-employment, according to estimations in the 2018 FreshBooks report.

self-employment

The penchant for self-employment and entrepreneurial spirit that is alive in the country is not necessarily new information. The country ranked first on the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI), and cities across America are quickly becoming hotbeds for business innovation and startups. With over 24 million Americans contemplating self-employment in 2019, one key consideration for them will be how they can best be prepared for this professional leap. Taking a few steps before starting your own business sets you up for success, and helps the incorporation period of your business run much more smoothly. It includes securing the right office space, a dedicated workforce and everything in between.

Define Your Target Market And Competition

Creating a customer profile helps you define who your potential customers will be so that you can personalize your communications, location and even packaging according to what they prefer or demand. To do this, you need to conduct thorough market research and seek information on competing businesses in the industry. Take note of current trends in the industry, such as social media communication and advertising trends or any new complimentary service being offered by other companies already operating in the market. Getting to know your competition means you can capitalize on their shortcomings, providing the customers with what they seek. It also helps you define your boundaries: do you have enough funds and human resources to fill the need uncovered by the market research? More importantly, how can you make your offering unique and notable?

Decide On Your Location – Brick And Mortar, Ecommerce Or Both?

Now that you know who and what you wish to be selling, it is time to answer the questions of where and how. The first question to address is whether you want to sell in-store or online or both. Thanks to technology and the embracing of the internet, most businesses now have an online presence in addition to their brick and mortar locations. When choosing a location, look at factors such as closeness to your target market, availability of your supply, and ease of distribution. Whether you intend to sell online or in-store will also determine the kind of premises you secure; whether it is intended for warehouse storage and distribution or customer browsing and storefront as well. OfficeFinder can help you find the right location.

Back Your Plans With The Funds

Once you have decided on the target market (who) and the good/services to be offered (what), it is time to answer the question of how. This is where financing comes in. To kick-start your plans for your own business, you will need some degree of startup capital for the purchase/leasing of business premises, stock, machinery and promotional activities. Around 77 percent of small business owners use their personal funds to start their business, while 16 percent rely on borrowing from friends or family members.

Alternatively, you can opt to apply for a bank loan or credit like 24 percent of other business owners do, according to GuidantFinancial. The average in business loans taken is USD$72,2771, with 23 percent of owners borrowing more than that. If you do intend on financing your business with the help of loans and other credit, you should also check your credit report to ensure it is in optimal shape. The credit report of business owners (particularly small business owners) is one of the go-to things lenders consider in your application, so now would be the perfect time to boost your score or address any discrepancies in your financial past. Find more information here.

Create A Mock-Up

If you’re going to apply for a business loan or secure investor backing, you will need to pitch your idea, and a mock-up can help you sell your vision. This means creating a business plan for your financing process, which should detail your product/service, your target market, and your plans to meet the needs of the said market. Plan execution will include a marketing and sales plan, along with financial projections of your revenue and costs and your projected cash flow. It is important that you pay particular attention to your cash flow, since lenders will be taking note of cash management strategies. Finally, to round out your business presentation, you can create a demo business website and sample business cards or adverts.

Making the decision to head into a self-employment business for yourself can be fraught with many decisions in the beginning. However, the trick is to approach it systematically and carefully taking into consideration the essential decisions before you kick-start your venture.

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.

6 Ways to Improve Office Safety

Business owners have a lot on their plate. They have to worry about improving growth, hiring the right employees, managing office space and making the most of the time they have left over. However, there might be a hidden concern many offices today are failing to pay the right attention to. Office safety is an essential part of maintaining a quality workplace. Injuries and safety problems are expensive for the company, and it also puts employees at risk.

There’s an outdated idea that businesses have to make a decision between making a profit and safety. No matter the industry, that’s no longer the truth. From the risk of an intruder to injuries, no stone should be left unturned. Here are 6 ways to improve office safety today.

Office Safety

Image via Pexels

1. Invest in an Alarm System

An alarm system is a must no matter your office size or industry. Many new businesses make the mistake of assuming an alarm system is only needed for larger businesses, but that’s hardly the case. Intruders and thieves target businesses of all sizes, and offices are notoriously home to expensive electronic equipment that’s tempting to criminals.

Using an Alarm system gives you a layer of protection. Even when you’re not currently in the office, you can monitor your status in real-time to ensure everything is safe no matter the time.

2. Keep a Clean Office

Did you know slip and falls are the most common type of office injury? It’s true that an unclean workspace is more than just unorganized. It might actually be a danger to your employees. Keep your workspace clutter-free and maintaining a clear line of vision will go a long way to preventing slip and fall injuries. In addition, encourage employees to be careful in their own space. For instance, use a step stool instead of a chair to reach a high location.

3. Provide Equipment Training

If your office uses any kind of equipment, it’s important to provide the right training. Don’t assume your employees know how to use equipment safely. Always be proactive with quarterly reminders about equipment safety and ongoing training. Even an adjustable chair can be unsafe when the employee isn’t trained to use it properly.

office space safety

Image via Pexels

4. Have a Fire Safety Plan

While you might think your days of emergency evacuations were left behind in school, you might need a refresher on fire safety. Not only should you always have your fire sprinklers and alarms checked regularly, but you should create a plan for your office in case of a fire emergency. This should include a designated meeting area, fire safety tips, and a clear escape route.

5. Run Background Checks

How well do you know your employees? If you’re not careful when hiring, you might unwillingly let in a criminal. While this doesn’t mean you can’t hire someone with a criminal background, knowing their history will help you make a smarter decision. Background screening is important, and it’s easier than you think.

6. Reward Safety

Finally, reward your best employees for practicing safety in the office. Make it easy for employees to report suspicious activity or anything they feel needs to be improved. Open a dialogue with your employees about being safe in the workplace.

Ultimately, office safety comes down to many factors. Is your physical location free from obstructions or unsafe condition? Are your employees themselves safe? Do you have a security system for keeping intruders out? All of these things together will create a safe office that works for everyone.

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.

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.

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.

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!