Choosing an Office Space
- August 30, 2017
IG Tech ltd was the brainchild of Geoffrey Dawodu and Ifeanyi Ubani. In spite of their humble beginnings, the childhood friends defied all odds and set up shop armed with a beaten down laptop and a dream to grow into the biggest computer programming service in the country.
Eight years later, with matching degrees in software engineering and an impressive clientele, the young businessmen were living their dream.
Their office space was off Haven road. The place was a quaint 3 bedroom apartment which they had converted into their operational office. The company had grown into a team of fifteen people in various departments including coding, digital marketing, branding, and business development.
IG Tech ltd needed to hire at least five more people to cope with the high demand for the company’s top notch technological solutions. Furthermore, Ifeanyi was planning to launch a computer training academy with the objective to offer free training to indigent young minds with a passion for technology, in the coming year.
Unfortunately, there was barely enough space in the office, for even the IG team had to work from tiny cubicles within the poorly ventilated office. More so, the principal management staff lived on South Street, which was on other side of town; this created a huge inconvenience which was ignored due to the fact that the pay was good and IG Tech gave great benefits.
It was time to find a bigger place.
Choosing an office space involves careful consideration and planning as the wrong location or office layout could pose a threat to the lifespan of any business or organization.
Business owners may build their office accommodation, rent office space or even set up shop in the comfort of their homes. However, in this part of the world, renting an office space either by a tenancy or long lease is most common. Choosing a suitable location to situate your business is no easy task. It is not as basic as shopping for a new pair of jeans, or picking up your favorite salad dressing at the grocery store. For helpful tips on finding a great office space, keep reading.
First things first…
#1. Consider your needs
This is the first step in the office space equation. It is advisable to plan ahead to certify that the space is suited to your business needs. Would you like to rent, buy or long lease the office space? What kind of space are you looking for? What is your staff strength and what are your plans for business expansion?. The nature of the business would also factor in this step, as a large scale supermarket for instance, would need a much bigger space than a corner shop. Compile a list of your needs and this will simplify the office hunting process.
After considering your needs, the next step is to draw up a strict budget based on your needs to suit your business arrangement. It would also help to set aside some funds for contingencies and extra expenses which may be incurred in the process of finding a new office space.
Business location is a critical factor to look at when choosing office space, the location of any organization can make or mar the establishment. It must be accessible to employees, clients, suppliers, and partners for smooth management of business operations.
What’s more, the suitability of the neighborhood should not be ignored. Questions such as ‘Is the location a commercial, residential or mixed area?’ should be posed. Situating a business in a residential area may be ideal for some establishments, while others would thrive in a purely commercial area.
Security, and the accessibility of parking services, basic amenities, internet, and telephone should also be taken into account.
#4. Nature of the business
The type of business must be taken into consideration, as that would narrow down the options when choosing office space. One must choose a space that suits the nature and purpose of the enterprise, and tailor the office layout to promote and enhance the business. For instance, a service oriented organization such as a bank would not have the same specifications as a fast food chain.
#5. Inspect the space
It is vital to inspect the proposed office space to ensure it meets the needs of the establishment. Before renting or buying office space, the shopper must view the property with a keen eye and take note of any red flags, especially with the facilities, fixtures, and fittings. Also, make sure to have a complete understanding of the property owner’s policies on utility charges, such as power, water, maintenance, security and other services. Learn about the additional charges you may have to pay and plan accordingly.
Does the office space send the right signals to clients and customers? The ambience of a potential office space should always be considered. The office space reflects the image the organization portrays to potential clients and the public. A positive feel also makes for a good working environment which boosts employee performance and promotes business turnover.
However, this does not mean that one should ‘break the bank’ when designing and setting up an office space; it simply suggests that the office layout should be tastefully designed with a touch of professionalism.
#7. Read the Fine Print
Before putting up the ‘now open’ sign, it is important to execute a tenancy or lease agreement with the landlord, or, in the case of a purchased space, a deed of assignment. To avoid messy situations, make careful and diligent inquiries to confirm that the parties you are transacting with have the authority to sell or let the office space.
Understanding the terms of the agreement before signing a lease is highly advisable. Before committing to a lease, remember to pay particular attention to the options to rental period and the terms regarding increase of the rental sum.
Finding a suitable place to operate a business requires a lot of thought and planning. Thus, it is best for business owners to take care to search for a location that suits their needs.
Finally, seek knowledge and information on real estate trends and the best possible options for your business location. To make the process easier, consider procuring the services of professionals such as solicitors and property managers.