Tips for Opening Your First Office Space
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Opening physical office space is a major step for a business. In today’s world, many companies never make it to the point. It can seem overwhelming, with an ever-expanding list of things to do and research before taking the plunge.
However, if you stay stuck in the preopening phase, unable to move forward for fear of the unknown, you might be crippling the future of your business. This short list of tips can help narrow your search and get you further on the path to opening your first office space.
1. Make Sure You Need One
Getting your first physical business presence is an exciting step, but you must ensure it aligns with your needs, goals, and company type. Many places do just fine staying entirely online. Is it your goal to have physical space to meet with clients or make room for employees?
An office may be an ideal next move, but you should consider all your options before diving in head first.
2. Research Your Real Estate Options
The most cost-effective way to establish a physical presence is to rent coworking or shared office space. Both options work well for businesses in the early stages of growth. You’re ready to expand beyond your home, but maybe you have only a few or no other employees.
You’ll probably want to lease or buy space if you have more employees or require a storefront. Leasing is cheaper, with fewer upfront costs than buying a building outright. However, you have less ability to make changes, and you may get saddled with a bad landlord or a rent hike.
Purchasing is much more expensive at the start, but you can make any updates and changes you want and grow into the structure you have. Business renovation loans and other options can help you shape the business space into exactly what you imagined it to be.
3. Know Your Budget
You likely don’t have a large budget to work with when moving to a physical location for your business. Despite the pros and cons of each type of office space, your spending plan may force you into certain choices.
You’ll need to have enough money left over to reinvest in your company and pay for other expenses like employee salaries and office supplies. Before looking at possible locations, sit down with a money management professional and create a solid budget, so you can resist the temptation to overspend on the “perfect” spot.
You can free up your capital by pursuing a business loan, so you don’t necessarily have to have tons of cash sitting around. Just be prepared to be practical and make moves wisely.
4. Find the Right Location
Location is possibly the most crucial consideration when purchasing office space. Ideally, you want to find a spot centrally located for your employees’ commutes. You must also consider where your clients do their business and the neighborhood’s aesthetic.
No entrepreneur starts a business hoping it stagnates — you want growth. Your choice of office space should reflect your plans and goals. If you can only afford to purchase a small location that won’t allow you to expand, you may be better off leasing for now and upgrading to a larger office when your budget and needs allow. You could even work with an architect or construction company to create plans for your future place — something to strive for.
5. Decide on Design Aesthetic
Once you’ve landed on the perfect location that matches your criteria and fits your budget, you should turn your thoughts to design.
The aesthetic of your space is the first interaction most employees and customers will have with your business, so you want to set the right tone — color, materials, and finishes are all incredibly important.
If you bought your property, you could have a construction team make any major changes you wish. Otherwise, you’ll be limited to what your landlord allows.
6. Create a Functional Floor Plan
Deciding on a layout is another essential ingredient for your company’s first office space. The right floor plan can make or break functionality and productivity.
You’ll need to consider your unique business and goals before selecting the best option. Would your employees operate better with an open floor plan, allowing maximum flexibility and collaboration, or would a more traditional model better suit your needs?
Is Opening Your First Office Space the Next Big Step?
Are you ready to find your first office space? Starting out armed with these easy-to-follow tips will help you thrive through the commercial real estate hunt and beyond. It’s a tough path, but if you stick it out, you’ll end up with a space to expand your business and prepare for future growth.
For more insightful articles and actionable tips about finance and business, check out Capital for Business’ The Working Capital and Financing Blog.
Did you enjoy this article? Here’s more to read: The Basics of Financing a Business
Evelyn Long is a writer and editor focused on home building and construction. She is the co-founder of Renovated, a web magazine for the home industry.