Finding a new home for your business can be an challenging project that involves careful thought and planning. A new office is so much more than a simple change of address, the property you choose will ultimately reflect your company values, culture and brand personality. It is therefore important to have a clear understanding of your requirements before setting out in search for new office space.
1. Establish your Budget
How much rent can you realistically afford and can this figure be maintained throughout the term of the lease? Don’t forget to factor in business rates and service charges into your office space budget.
2. Determine how much space you need
Working out how much space you’re going to need in the new office is a good starting point. Do a headcount and consider the number of meeting rooms, private offices and other facilities such as kitchen etc.
3. Which location?
Location is a crucial factor when choosing office space. Consider which location would be most convenient and attractive to both staff and clients. The location of your office can make or break your business, and will also have a significant impact on your rental costs – so choose carefully.
4. Brief your Commercial Property Agent
The next step is to source and brief a local commercial property agent. They will need a clear understanding of your office space requirements; what facilities you need, type and length of office lease required as well as the limitations of your budget and timeframe. This information will provide a framework for them to assess the market and come up with a shortlist of suitable office properties for you to view.
5. Viewing Properties
Viewing potential office properties can be a time-consuming process. Go to each office property with an open and clear mind and have the Office Space Checklist at hand to help you prioritise what considerations are most important for your business to perform effectively. Remember that first impressions count and last!
6. Analyse your Commitment
How long do you want the office space for? An average office lease is between 5-10 years, but shorter offices are trending giving businesses more flexibility. Try to negotiate the inclusion of a break clause within the lease to give you the option of vacating the premises at some stage before the lease expires.
7. Do your Homework
Before agreeing to take the space, you want to be sure you are getting the best deal possible, so ask your Property Agent for a list of average office rents and deals that have recently been completed / achieved in that particular area. That way, you’ll be able to compare and weigh up your options and have assurance you are securing the best possible deal.
8. Consider Office Layout & Design
The layout and configuration of the space is an important factor. Are you looking for an open plan office or cellular? If you are considering knocking down walls or erecting partitions you need to know whether this is a viable option and permissible with the Landlord.
9. Office Lease Incentives
The details of the office lease are an important incentive when it comes to renting office space. Your Property Agent will probably negotiate several properties on your shortlist to see which one comes out more favourable. Be patient at this stage, as several copies of an office lease will need to be exchanged before a deal can finally be closed.
10. Get Legal Advice
Once you’re happy that you’ve chosen the right office property, it’s time to handover the lease to a Property Solicitor who will examine the detail of each clause, ensure that everything has been clearly documented and that your commercial interests are protected.
Use the free Office Space Calculator by Help Moving Office to help you calculate what size office is best suited to your needs.