For entrepreneurs and owners of emerging start-ups considering leaving the confines of their home study; first of all, congratulations – your business is obviously making money and you are outgrowing your humble beginnings.
However, there is more to finding professional, reliable office space than meets the eye. If you have increasing requirements to expand your workforce and entertain clients then it is imperative you make the right choice when choosing your first rented office space.
Here are some of the primary considerations for finding the right office space to help take fledgling businesses to the next level.
Find your customer base
It is essential that you ascertain where your customers are located before looking at potential premises. Having a visible presence within your target demographic is very valuable, particularly if you are reliant on footfall.
Get a feel for the local community
Given that you are going to be based at your premises on a daily basis, Monday to Friday at the very least, it is important to do your research on the local community of the office that catches your eye. Note the success rate of similar local businesses, find out if there is a particularly active social scene as this alone my pose unexpected security risks. You should also pick the brains of other small business owners in the district to find the pros and cons of the area.
When you begin to search for your first office space it is recommended that you think beyond the short term when considering floor space requirements. You should also consider your new business’s medium term needs to allow for further growth.
Be sure to factor in a reception area to the floor plan before you begin to consider office layouts. For workstations, some cables require raised flooring in order to meet health and safety standards. Discuss with potential landlords as to whether there are any elevated structural floors to plan for the passage and routing of such items.
Also note that the majority of floor plans include communal toilets and kitchen facilities within the total space available to tenants. So if an agent informs you of an office with 3,000 sq ft of floor space you may not have the full amount to play with.
Another increasingly important factor in the size of your chosen office space is to ensure it meets the current Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) regulations. These guidelines ultimately improve access and circulation within working environments for disabled employees.
Many emerging businesses benefit from being part of an entrepreneurial community or support network that allows owners to take advantage of contacts and industry experience to provide a better service short and long term.
Finding like-minded tenants nearby is a great way of building brand recognition, developing your contacts book and providing a sense of confidence in your business. If this kind of networking appeals, then office space in a vibrant business centre may be the ideal starting point.
For a more detailed checklist to help new business owners take the plunge and find their first office space read Workspace’s brand new PDF today.
About the Author: This article was written by Cathie Sellars, head of marketing at Workspace.