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Five questions to ask before renting an office

There is a variety of alternatives to traditional office space, and assessing your needs is the first step to understanding your requirements.

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 answers you provide for these, the better equipped you’ll be to make an informed decision about your needs. Renting an office can be complicated, but by asking yourself the following five questions, you will be far more likely to make the right choice for your business.

Does the space meet with your growth plans?

No entrepreneur goes into business hoping to stay static. Your growth strategy is an essential part of your business plan, and your office space should be set up 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 expand as and when you do.

How much space do you actually need?

It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to inspecting potential offices. While it might be great to 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 to ensure you can be at your most productive. Start small if budget is a concern, or reduce your costs even further by making use of serviced office space.

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Are all the costs included?

An unexpected business expense can be very damaging, 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 overall costs low.

Is this the right location for the business?

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. For example, good transport links are important in ensuring the office is easy to get to for both staff and clients. If this is a factor, then you will most likely need to be located in the city centre. This will also give you access to local amenities 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.

Does the space meet your I.T requirements?

Not every business will need a dedicated server room and an IT department. However, all will have the need for computers and internet access and this can result in a substantial initial expense. 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 yourself these questions before you commit to anything long-term. 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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