If you have outgrown your home office or small office space, congratulations! That means your business is thriving. The success of any business depends on its ability to grow strategically, and if your business is growing quickly, it is especially important to find a space that will fit your needs.

Moving to a bigger office, while exciting, can also bring with it hassles that can make it a stressful experience. A little advance preparation can help you to avoid some of these pitfalls and have a smooth transition into your new work space.

Moving to a new office
photo credit: James MacAulay

Space

How much space do you need? Professional office planners typically recommend around 175 square feet of usable working space for each employee. This number can be adjusted according to your needs and work style.

Just be sure you have enough space for your employees to work comfortably and for all the equipment and furnishings that you need to run your business. Leave yourself a bit of room to grow so that you won’t have to move again anytime soon.

Location

You’ll want your office to be as close as possible to your core audience/customer demographic, making it as easy as possible for your customers to get to you. To save time, focus your search on only those places within this area.

You should also consider your workforce: The less time employees have to commute to work, the happier and more productive they will be.

Infrastructure

Make sure that any space you are considering has enough electrical outlets, phone lines, and a strong, consistent internet connection. Take special notice of where the outlets are located and how accessible they will be, based on the layout you plan to use. Test out the network in your new space before you move in to avoid downtime during business hours.

Utilities

You will most likely pay more for utilities in a larger space, particularly if you are moving from a home office. Ask to see previous utility bills for any office you look at to get an idea of the average monthly cost.

Additionally, prepare to pay for hook up and shut off fees, depending on the company you use. Use a service such as powerexperts.co.uk to help you find the lowest rates for your internet, phone, electric, and gas bills.

The Lease Agreement

Make sure the lease agreement is fair and that it leaves you some flexibility in case things change. A growing business often is in a great deal of flux, so protecting yourself against a too-rigid lease is important. Get all of your questions answered and make sure you understand the wording in the contract clearly. You may want to consider getting legal advice before signing the final contract.

Furnishings

The cost of furnishings can add up quickly, so keep it simple. Don’t worry about filling your office right away with the most trendy or modern furniture. As long as you provide your employees with comfortable furniture that will encourage productivity and focus, you will be on the right track.

Don’t overlook buying used. Check classified services in your area such as Craigslist. These are often places where you can find almost new furniture for half the retail cost.

If you are very clear about exactly what you need in a new office, it will be that much easier to find a space that works for you and your business. Make a list of “must haves” and “would like to haves” so that you can be more efficient in your search.

Eliminate anything that doesn’t include everything on your “must haves” list right away. Then you can decide which of the spaces has the “would like to haves” that you value most. It will make for an easier and more successful choice of office space. In no time, you will be moving in to a new office that gives you the room that you need to continue to grow and expand your business.