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10 Things to consider when you’re looking for new office space

10 Things to consider when you’re looking for new office space

  1. Decide what size of space you need. This can be square footage or an idea of how many desks you require. Bear in mind you are most likely going to pay per square foot, so you need to consider potential growth whilst still ensuring you’re not paying for space you don’t need.
  2. Term. Decide what length of lease will work for you. If you’re a young business, you may need to consider serviced space on a short term lease. This will mean that your landlord takes care of phones, internet and often furniture. This will save you all the telecoms set up costs and ensure you aren’t signing up to various utility companies for 12 months or more. If you’re a more established business, you may look for a longer lease and choose to get your own telecoms contract deals. You will pay less per square foot for this option.
  3. Make sure you know what extras will be chargeable. Is your electric metered? If so, are your heaters and lighting efficient? Do you know the rateable value of the property for business rates purposes? We have had tenants whose rates are almost as much as the rent, so it’s important to bear this in mind.
  4. Visit as many places as you can and make as many notes as possible. Pros and Cons for each site. Who is offering to decorate for you? What length of lease are they asking for? Furniture? Can you negotiate a ‘settling in period’ or a stepped rent? Do you have one point of contact? Is your landlord contactable?
  5. Remember if you go through an agent, they take commission from your landlord. The landlord will more than likely increase your rent to allow for this. Where possible, go direct to get the best deal.
  6. Many business centres offer free parking, but some, particularly in city and town centres, do not. Are you renting cheaper space but then paying £50 per week to park?
  7. Lease or service agreement. Don’t be afraid to ask for an example copy of a lease or agreement when you look around. There may be things in the small print that could cause you problems further down the line. Be wary of paying a deposit before you see any paperwork.
  8. Reception and communal areas. Remember, your customers will see the reception or entrance to the building before they see your office. This is your customer’s first impression. If it’s a business centre pay close attention to how you are welcomed when you arrive.
  9. Now for the fun bit! Decide on the layout, theme and feel for your office. See my earlier post on creating an attractive space for your business.
  10. Office warming. An office warming party is a great way to get your contacts, collaborators and even family and friends to get together and enjoy your new space. It’s a huge step and definitely something to be celebrated. 

Good luck!

Aug 4, 2016

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