5 Tips for choosing the suitable start-up office space!
The office rental search process can be overwhelming and exhausting. But finding the right office space for your business is crucial. The space you choose will affect how your company is perceived, and how attractive you are to the employees you want to hire.
In our digitally connected world, start-up businesses have a lot of options when it comes to finding the right office space, from virtual offices for working from home to creative co-working environments and serviced offices.
But choosing the right option for your start-up isn’t a quick decision, requiring you to satisfy your business’ current needs, while planning for the future. You also need to ensure that the choice you make will be a cost-effective strategy, while providing your business with a space that reflects your brand and inspires your team.
Here are some important tips you need to consider when choosing the right office space for your start-up!
1. How much space do you need?
Choosing an office that is the right size and fit for your business can be rather difficult, as you want to choose something that fits your current business needs. But also one that allows you to expand and grow as your business succeeds, without having to pack up your bags after a couple month due to rapid growth. But at the same time, as a start-up business your budget for physical space will be limited and you don’t want to be stretching yourself thin with an oversized office space.
To have a good estimate of the amount of space you need, start by counting your team members. Think about the layout you’d like and take into consideration collaboration and discussion spaces. Natural light is also a bonus because no one wants to feel like they are working in a cave all day!
Look for a space with flexibility such as flexible lease terms and growth options. When you are small and just starting out, the future is unknown. You hope to grow quickly but if that doesn’t pan out, you don’t want to be locked into a costly, long-term lease. That is why co-working has become so popular because it allows for flexible lease terms and provides space to grow and contract without penalty.
2. Importance of design & culture
For a young, dynamic start-up, one of the key components to attracting new staff is to provide a cool, refreshing and unique office space and working culture, that puts an end to the typical 9 to 5 work attitude.
Here coworking and serviced offices spaces can be a great investment for your start-up because they offer organically creative surroundings and break out spaces for your team to enjoy a change of scenery for holding team meetings.
If you’re a technology or creative company, you’ll likely want an open space, as ideas grow from collaboration. On the other hand, if you’re a small law firm, you might want something more office-focused. Clients want to discuss sensitive matters behind closed doors.
Make sure the layout of the space you choose is also conducive to the type of work you’ll do in it. Also, explore options that share conference rooms or kitchens. If your company is comfortable in that sort of space, you may find “like-minded companies” that share your values or work on complementary initiatives and ideas.
3. Facilities and services
Ask about the facilities and services your office building provides, from on-site restaurants to high speed internet, toilet and shower facilities, and things like bike racks. All those items providing morale boosting features for your employees.
Facilities and services can make or break an office space, so make sure a location aligns with your needs. Does the space have a separate conference room? How does the kitchen fit your needs and how many food options will your employees have in the immediate area? Are there sufficient and clean bathrooms? Does it have enough outlets to accommodate your technology equipment? What is the parking ratio?
Make two lists: one of amenities your company “needs to have” and another of the ones you’d “like to have.” Use these to guide your search. It will become helpful when deciding between the fully-furnished kitchen and the additional soccer court.
4. Balance the budget with what you want.
As a start-up the cost of your office space is crucial. You need to come up with a budget that takes care of your financial health. You must make sure you don’t stretch your cash flow too thin while considering your business needs.
When determining how much you’re willing to spend, shy away from calculating price per person and instead, focus on how much you’re willing to spend monthly, all-in, for your team.
Finding the right office is no small task, and you should plan on spending plenty of time and resources to find the best space for your business. After all, the last thing any start-up wants is to sign a five-year lease, only to realize twelve months in the space doesn’t actually meet your company’s needs.
Another important factor is maintenance and repairs, as those costs can often outweigh monthly rent if an issue arises. Also make sure that you include all the “hidden and related costs” in the final rent calculation. Then weigh if you can afford it and whether you can get what you want at that budget.
5. Location, location, location
When it comes to finding your start-ups new office space, one of the essential things to consider is location. It needs to be easy for clients to access, and in the long run for your team to get to. A central or easily commutable office will ensure workers to feel at ease while getting to work and it will prevent them to eventually start looking for a ‘closer-to-home’ employer. Less time traveling means more time at work and with their families, improving both productivity and work-life balance.Locations where there’s easy access to public infrastructures such as train stations and bus stops are usually the best.
Also go where your customers are. Identify who your "customer" is and where most of them are located.
Make sure you consider and ask how many parking spaces are included. Then think about your staff parking needs and those of your customers. This will help you determine your real rent.
Are you determined to start your ‘perfect office’ search?
The BluePoint group consists of three business centers which offer various types of workspaces and offices for rent: Fully furnished and serviced offices, small and large tailor made private office space with flexible short & long term office lease agreements and even co-working spaces at our Tech.Lounge in Antwerp and Brussels.
The shared office buildings are well located with easy access and underground car park facilities. Various support services such as a centralized welcome desk, IT and print shop services, cleaning & maintenance, a fully serviced meeting and conference center and in-house self-service and business restaurant are on-site. BluePoint’s efficient work spaces will help you focusing on the development of your own business.