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Tips for choosing office space

Date posted:  6/27/16 09:00:00 AM Choosing office space

For small business owners, choosing office space is a decision that should not be taken lightly. Whether you are relocating, opening another facility or just starting out, there are a number of considerations you must think over.

Enlist the help of a professional 
When searching for office property, have a professional real estate agent help you along the way. Hire someone who has ample experience helping business owners find property for their businesses.

Inc.com suggested seeking the help of an attorney to help ensure the legal paperwork is filed correctly the first time. Efficiency is critical when it comes to business decisions, so make sure you have the A-team ready to get your office set up right.

Differentiate between wants and needs 
When looking for office space, The Business Journal suggested clarifying what is needed out of a space and what you would prefer. You should first identify your business's needs for more successful operation. 

"They really need to get to an understanding of what their needs are versus what their wants are before they get into the process," said Tom Parker, president of SK Commercial Realty's office leasing group, according to The Business Journal.

While it might be time consuming to list out and rank what preferences you have in a business property, it will help when it is time to make your final decision. An organized list will remind you what you can and cannot compromise on. 

Buy versus rent 
One critical question you'll need to ask yourself prior to investing in office space is determining whether renting or buying is best for you and your current situation. The U.S. Small Business Administrated noted the nature of your business plays a vital role in determining which option is most appropriate. 

For example, if you are in the retail industry, buying might be the best option because it offers stability. It could be difficult to find storage space for your inventory should you be required to relocate due to a changing lease. However, leasing a property might be a better option if you have more flexibility to move, or your business does not require a lot of space or storage.

Evaluate nearby amenities 
Having the right amenities nearby for you and your staff is especially helpful. For instance, look for restaurants, access to the highway and plenty of nearby housing for you and your employees to make commuting easy.

When you consider the surrounding area prior to investing in a location for your office, it can help you grow in the future. When employees are happy and logistics are made easy, your operation can run more efficiently.

Think to the future 
When investing in property, also consider future growth. Evaluate whether you can see the potential for expansion at the office space you are considering. If additional space is available, ask about turnover rate and whether it would be an option to acquire or change space in the future.

Take note of available parking
Entrepreneur noted the parking situation is also important. If employees or customers are unable to get to your office space easily, it can pose several issues.

"If it is difficult and costly for your employees or customers to park, they might not be your employees or customers for as long as you would like," said Julie Clark, a broker with Commercial Space Advisors and founder of Shared BusinessSpace.com, according to Entrepreneur.

Have the building inspected 
Just as you would hire a professional to inspect a new home, you should have an inspector evaluate the integrity of the property you are considering for your business. 

If you will have employees working in the space, it is especially important to ensure the space is safe for all. From indoor air quality to a working fire alarm system, every aspect of the building should be inspected to ensure it is both a worthwhile investment and a good work environment. 

Keep records
Before signing, ensure you read and understand all terms of the agreement. By doing this you can better prevent unwanted surprises. It's a good idea to have your attorney look over the documents as well.

In addition, keep records of any transactions made when investing in office space. Whether it is a lease or mortgage agreement, have an accessible copy in the office at all times.

Breathe life into the space 
When you finally sign along the dotted line and move in, design the space to reflect your brand. However, you'll also want to keep growth and change in mind when purchasing furniture and accessories for the space. 

Invest in furniture that can easily be disassembled, moved and reassembled to make moving easier should you decide to move in the future. 

An office space is one of the most substantial expenses you will have as a business owner. Be wise when settling on the purchase or rental of a property.