So your startup is doing well. You’re attracting new business, you’re generating revenue and what began as a five-person operation quartered in your garage is now ready to double in size. And that means one thing – it’s time to look for new office space.
Renting or purchasing new office space is an exciting moment in any business owner’s career. Your business has moved up a tier and you finally have something material to show for it. However, looking for new digs can also be a tricky. You’ve got more to worry about than simply the layout of the new office – you also need to consider utility costs of the new space, its amenities, its location and many other things as well. The process becomes much easier if you write down a list of what you want and need before you start shopping. And to help you get started on that list, here are a few things you should keep an eye out for when relocating your startup.
1) A Good Real Estate Lawyer. Leases aren’t fun to negotiate. They’re full of complex language that the average CEO has no business understanding and are almost always written to favor the landlord rather than the tenant. As such, you should make sure you have a good lawyer on hand to review any proposed leases before you sign on the dotted line. They can help you negotiate the rental agreement so that it’s fair to both the property owner and your company.
2) Functional Amenities. You should inspect a potential office like you would a new home. Check all of the amenities and make sure that they work as promised. Does the toilet leak? Does the central air conditioning rattle? Overlooking a small problem now can lead to a costly repair bill later. Another important thing to check is the office Internet. If the landlord is running it, how much bandwidth will you have at your disposal? Make sure that the property owner is willing to let you upgrade your Internet and phone services to handle a larger load if need be.
3) Conference Rooms. You are going to want a conference room. Even if you’ve gotten this far without one, as your business grows and acquires new clients and new employees, you will need a space that people can meet. Make sure your office has at least one of these spaces and that you supply it adequately.
4) A Reasonable Location. Location might not be your top priority if your company operates mostly online, but it’s still something to consider. Look for something that’s within reasonable driving distance for all of your employees. Try to snag a space in a decent neighborhood where you feel comfortable hosting clients. There should be enough parking that everyone can fit in the lot.
When it comes time to upgrade your office space, use these tips to help pick out a prime piece of real estate for your startup. Take the time to investigate your building and have your lease inspected by a lawyer before you sign. If you do it right the first time, you’ll be able to avoid many of the troubles that might arise otherwise.