Tips for Choosing the Right Office Space for Your Business
Location, location, location. We hear these words constantly from real estate consultants and it couldn’t ring more true. The location of any commercial business, whether big or small, can have a huge impact on its success and productivity.
If you find an ideal office space at a great price that’s 20 miles from the area where you conduct most of your business, you’ll probably find that it’s not such a great deal after all. Ideally, you want your headquarters to be in a place where you can attract both clients and employees and in a location that offers amenities and networking possibilities.
If you’re a small business owner in the market for a new spot for your business, there are a number of important factors you should keep in mind before signing a lease.
Choose a location that’s convenient for staff members. If you’re too far away from a major urban center, you may not be able to attract the best employees for your business. Because of rising gas prices and traffic, most workers don’t want a long commute to work and employees may opt instead for a job that’s closer to home. Many professionals rely on public transportation to get to and from work and if you’re too far away from a bus route or transit line, getting to and from work on time can be difficult for these workers.
If you live in an area that’s subject to winter weather conditions, choose a location that your employees can get to easily in case of snow storms, such as shopping malls or business centers accessible via public transportation. Shopping malls, public buildings and business centers get quicker attention from public snow removal crews and sanding trucks, too. In addition, prepare a company-wide policy for poor weather, outlining exactly what is expected of staff members, like having the option to work from home on snow days. That way, you won’t end up experiencing a large number of employee no-shows during the winter season.
Choose a location that’s near your client base. If you’re working in the software tech industry, it helps to have your headquarters in an area that is heavily populated with software manufacturers and distributors. If your office offers upper management consulting services, try to locate it in an area that boasts several major corporate headquarters.
You’ll want to be close to your clients not only because of convenience, but also because of networking opportunities. By being in the same neighborhood, you’ll be considered part of the local business community, and you’ll be on hand to hear about networking events that you may want to participate in. Otherwise, if you’re too far away from your business core, you may be overlooked completely by your potential clients.
Choose the right building. The ideal office space will be in a building that is well-maintained and attractive, and is located in a safe and secure neighborhood. It should have adequate parking and bike storage for staff members and clients, and maybe even offer additional amenities such as security and after-hours access.
Most importantly, your ideal office space needs to be large enough for your business needs. A space that is too small can affect productivity, so it’s important to do a test fit by realistically calculating the space you’ll need for your staff members, furniture and equipment. After you’ve determined the square footage you need, create a layout with newspapers measured to scale and taped together to replicate your furnishings, and then try to fit it into the space you’ve chosen. If your layout fits with room to spare, then you should have adequate room for your needs.
No matter what kind of business you have, your office space needs to be a pleasant place for your employees to work in and an attractive place for your clients to visit. By combining this atmosphere with the right commercial neighborhood, you’ll create the ideal office space for your business needs.