Moving into your first office space is exciting, but before you sign a lease there are many things to think about. Moving, especially from a co-working space, means budgeting utilities, furniture, office equipment, and other amenities like conference rooms and break rooms. So, before you move, here are some issues to consider.
Can You Afford an Office?
Determine your budget, then add in expenses that come with having your own space. First, you need furniture and office equipment. Then, estimate utilities, taxes, internet service, and office supplies. Most businesses budget 8 to 10 percent of their revenue for rent and expenses. If your costs are too high, then delay your move until you can afford it.
What Are You Getting?
Depending on the space, you may need to do some work. Design the layout that suits your needs. Choose between private offices, cubicles, or an open concept that supports collaboration. Do you need a conference room, break room, or a reception area? And, make sure there is room to grow in the future.
Ask if you can move walls, change the flooring, or paint walls. Get a layout so you know how the office will look, and know who pays for the improvements. If the landlord doesn’t include improvements, make sure your budget can afford it.
Getting Technology Running
Don’t take for granted that the landlord supplies wireless internet. Security concerns prevent many buildings from offering built-in Wi-Fi. Ask about entering the space early to get technology wired and running. Check out a service like Taylored.com, which offers a reliable and cost-effective system. The company manages your updates and training and offers consulting services for the best use of your technology, all included in a fixed-rate, five-year contract.
Now is a good time to look at the process of running your business. When moving into a permanent space, look at your business and decide what needs to go and what needs to stay. Scan and archive old files so they take up less space. Look at the overall operations and see if there are ways to consolidate. Even talk to suppliers and see if better terms are available. Streamlining saves money and allows more room for future growth.
Parking and Access
Check to see if the building provides parking. Also, look at public transportation access, whether a train or bus station is nearby. If you are close enough to bike, is there a secure place for locking up your bicycle?
If you have clients visiting, choose a site that is easy to get to and well-known. If your office is difficult to find, clients may decide to look elsewhere for the services or products you offer. Look around the neighborhood and see what businesses are nearby, especially restaurants for lunch. The friendlier the area is for you, employees, and clients, the happier everyone will be.
Moving from a co-working space into an actual office is a big step. To make the move less stressful, budget carefully and ask lots of questions. Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting.