For startups, establishing your legitimacy as a business is a challenging and exciting phase. Setting up your first office space, for example, indicates that your business is getting on the fast track. It states that your brand is officially here – fresh and ready to take on the competition.
But first things first, you need to pick out the right space that will cultivate the growth of your startup rather than hinder it. If you think your company is ready to make the big move, below are seven questions you should answer:
1. Where Can I Attract the Most Foot Traffic?
One of the main advantages of a physical office space is that you get to attract foot traffic into your business. It’s a good idea to check your existing customer data to identify where your products or services are most welcome. Otherwise, a rule of thumb is to look for highly accessible areas with plenty of parking space.
2. Where Are My Employees?
If applicable, you also need to consider where your employees live. Remember that you need them to be in top shape by the time they arrive. Apart from distance, also inspect the general area’s probability of traffic congestion and alternative means of transportation, including nearby bus stops and train stations.
3. Will It Send the Right Message?
Make no mistake that physical appearance matters when it comes to choosing an office space for your business. If you choose a cheap, rundown place, then you might put off potential customers and make them question the financial status of your brand. That’s why you need to pick an office that’s inviting inside and out. You don’t need to own the most luxurious office in town; just be sure everything is presentable, clean, and fully functional.
4. How Much Space Do I Really Need?
The next question focuses on whether or not you can have full utilization of the space you’re paying for. A good strategy is to use a tool like SquareFoot to determine the recommended space that can fit your team and your needs as a company. It automatically calculates the recommended office space based on the size of your team, your desired rooms, and the amount of space you’re willing to provide each employee.
5. Are There Any Hidden Charges?
Before leasing an office space, pay attention to the inclusions and budgeting considerations such as the presence of security personnel, common area maintenance, and liability insurance. These add-ons can bloat the office’s monthly costs and throw your budget off track.
6. Where Are My Competitors?
If you run a retail business, clustering with competitors is a great way to grab the attention of their customers and maximize your brand’s exposure. But if your business offers professional services such as marketing, graphic design, or consulting, then you should pick a spot where potential customers can’t find alternative brands.
7. Is the Office Accessible to Persons With Disabilities?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, public buildings – including retail stores, restaurants, and offices – should be accessible to people in wheelchairs. This means the building must have ramps at entrances, exits, parking spaces, and to anywhere else that employees with wheelchairs need to access.
Picking an office space will have a lasting impact on your company’s growth, brand image, and employee performance. That said, be sure you don’t rush this decision and carefully evaluate all your options. After picking the right office space, the next step is to make sure it reflects your company culture and provides a suitable environment for employees and customers alike.