If and when you are in the market for an office space, what you settle for is important to your business overall objective, Bottom line of the business inclusive.
Not only does it affect your day to day operations and your staff morale, but also your brand image. There are so many things that can impact which office you choose; however, there are five factors that are absolutely crucial to the process. Overlook one of these, and you could end up disappointed.
The importance of location can not be over emphasized, needless to say location is key. Hence the popular quote in real estate industry, “Location, location, location.” which drives home just how important location is when choosing an office space.
Here are two really important questions to ask:
- Can my clients get there without a hassle?
- Can my employees get there easily?
If you find an office that ticks these two boxes, then you’re well on your way to finding a good location. Think about the security of the neighborhood as well and what’s close to the office. The environment should be serene and pristine to avoid disturbance and allow for easy flow of work.
Price ranks top of the list for most businesses and individuals when choosing a new office space. If you plan with a low budget, you will end up with a crappy office, and have to vacate after a few month. Spend too much, and you might struggle to maintain the rent or move again. Neither of the situation is suitable.
Here are a few recommendation to this quagmire:
- Consider a Virtual Office for your business. By this you get to save cost and use an office when you need one.
- Engage a fully serviced office and allow your overhead cost and every other cost to become the problem of the facility managers.
Always do a quick comparison with other offices spaces in the area to make sure you’re getting value for money.
3. Office Size
Obviously both of the factors mentioned previously—location and cost—will influence the size of the commercial premises you choose, but it’s as important as the rest.
As a very general rule, it’s normally recommended to have 70 square feet per person. However, you know your business best. If your office requirements need bigger desk or more storage space, then increase the space accordingly.
There’s also the issue of meeting and rest space. You’ll need an area to meet with clients, and your colleagues need somewhere to eat their lunch just like the Savvy Instant Offices’ facility in Abuja, Nigeria.
Here are a couple of simple questions that’ll help you work out if the offices you’re looking at are the right size:
- Will I have at least 70 square feet of floor space per person?
- Do I have room to grow staffing levels in line with growth projections?
- Do I have a dedicated space for meetings with clients?
- Are my employees going to be happy with their social/recreation areas?
There’s no doubt that a cramped office reduces productivity, so don’t skimp on floor space.
This is a more important feature for some businesses than others. Nowadays however, there aren’t many businesses that can function efficiently without a reliable Internet connection. Some offices, particularly managed or serviced offices, generally include Internet access as part of their rent. If you’re leasing somewhere privately though, you’ll need to factor in the cost of getting a line connected and the monthly payments for access.
The quality and reliability of the service matters too. There’s no point paying for a service that is being interrupted constantly or cracks under the strain of a particularly busy day.
Internet is key but other facilities to be considered includes but no limited to; correspondence, mail handling services and phone line answering service.
Here are factors to consider before signing your license agreement:
- Contact other businesses to share their experiences of the facility, Internet as key priority.
- Does the office handle mails?
- Ask facility managers for a speed test to ensure the ISP is providing efficient and effective service
- Factor in the cost of any Internet access into the price if you are providing this service yourself.
The speed test is a really simple thing you can do to try and get real data that answers your question. If the service is good, the owner won’t think twice about providing it.
What are your experiences in your current office space? What influenced your decision in taking up office space? Do you have any question about finding the right office for your business? Tell us in the comment box below.