In the digital age, there is a variety of alternatives to traditional office space, and assessing your needs is the first step to understanding your requirements. Before you commit to taking on the lease of a premises, there are some questions that you will need to answer. The more detailed the answers that you can provide for these, the better you’ll be able to make an informed decision about your real-world needs and guide you to a better decision. Renting an office can be complicated, but by asking yourself these five questions, you will be far more likely to make the right choice for your business.
No entrepreneur goes into business hoping to stay static. Your business growth strategy is an essential part of your business plan, and your office space is going to need to be able to grow with you. Traditional office space is often long-term and may end up restricting your potential to develop. For those businesses just starting out, consider what the next few years will bring, and ensure that your office space will be able to grow with you.
It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to inspecting potential offices. While it might be great to make sure that you have space for an office pool table and some beanbags to relax on, are they going to be essential for your business? Look at the space that you’re actually going to need. Start small if budget is a concern, or reduce your costs even further by making use of serviced office space.
An unexpected business expense can be very damaging to a company, no matter how long it has been trading for. Office rentals come with a wide variety of additional costs that you are going to need to factor in. From broadband costs to business rates, make sure that you have a firm idea of the overall monthly expenses, and ensure that your current profit margins are going to be able to cover them. Remember that co-working office spaces come with all infrastructure costs included, and could be the key to keeping costs low.
Location is always going to be a significant factor in your final decision. Every business will have different location needs, but the majority will require some fundamental elements. You’re going to need good transport links to make the office easy to get to for both staff and clients. If you want the best of both, then you will need most likely need to be located in the city centre. This will give you access to local amenities, make it easier for people to get to you, and give you a more credible business address. City office rental can be very expensive, especially in big cities like Belfast or Glasgow. However, remember that serviced offices can give you these advantages without the high costs that come with traditional ways of renting office space.
Not every business will need a dedicated server room and an IT department. However, it is the rare business in the modern age that will have no need for computers and internet access. It can equal a substantial initial expense for those launching a business. Some offices will provide some IT services, but the more traditional rental agreement will not. Make sure that your IT needs are going to be covered, and look again at the benefits of shared offices. These will have the necessary IT infrastructure in place, meaning that you can get to work immediately, without those high setup costs.
Choosing the right office can take time. Always ask these five questions before you commit to anything long-term. The more that you understand your requirements, the more likely that you will find the office space to suit your needs. Consider both traditional and shared office rental, and book a tour with Clockwise before you sign a lease-agreement that leaves you trapped in the wrong office.
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Kieran Aitken or Orbit speaks about the benefits of working at Clockwise