You’ve worked out of the same office building for years, but it’s now starting to lose its usefulness.
This is, or will be the reality facing up to 30 million small businesses in America, and if you’re in this boat, it may be time to find a brand new office building for you and your company, however, you want to pull it off when the time is right. So when should you know that it’s time to leave your longtime home and spread your company’s wings for newer, shiny digs? Here are some questions that you need to ask yourself before taking the plunge into a new office building.
What Kind Of Business Are Your Planning To Open?
Before you consider snapping up some new digs, you’ll need to know what kind of business are you planning to open?
Different businesses will require a different type of office building, and while there are some “one-size-fits-all” office buildings in every market, you will need to consider just how much space you need for your office. Take dental offices for example. Dental practices can range from small, store-front locations to large buildings meant to host a lot of patients at one time. If you’re a dentist looking to opening your practice, you will need to look over a dental practice listing to find the right footprint for your office.
The one thing that you don’t want to do is purchase a building that will be either too big or too small for your operation, which will make a lot of difference in your finances. Make sure that you’re searching for the right amount of square footage that you will need for the business that will set you up for success.
What Location Are You Going For?
If there is one word that is important in the business world, that word would be “location.”
Location matters a lot to the success of your business. In addition to finding the right business, you will also need to find the right location for your business. It doesn’t always have to be on a major roadway or in a busy part of town. All you need is to pick the right building that will be located in a place where your clients and employees can reach without any problems. One may read this and think that this is where is located in a major commercial area of street will payoff, and you will be right, to an extent.
High traffic areas offer the best possible vantage point for your business, and it will be easier to reach since you would be located in a busy part of town and on a busy street. But, that has its drawbacks. Because those areas are popular, rents will certainly be higher in those areas, and that can eat into your expenses. So, instead of going into those areas, trying finding a location near those areas that will still be easy for customers and employees to reach and will still give you the vis1ibility needed to be successful.
How Much Sweat Equity Are You Willing To Put Into Your Building?
So you have weighed all of the pros and cons and have decided that your company needs a new home. Now that that’s answered, one thing you will need to have in tow is a real estate attorney who will guide you as to which building you should snap up.
As we mentioned earlier, it would be awesome for every company to have a shining, new building in a high-profile area of town. However, as with any purchase for your business, you need to figure out your budget, and with that being considered, you may want to invest in a fixer-upper, a building that needs some upgrades but will be a great much for what your company needs. If you decided to go this route, then you need to figure out how much “sweat equity” you’re willing to invest in your building.
When we talk about “sweat equity,” we’re talking about the general labor that will go into rehabbing your fixer-upper. Say your new building has roof damage. You will need to figure out how much you are willing to pay for roofing repair, since having a functional roof is critical to making your new office space as comfortable as possible. Also, you will have to decide how much of a budget you will want to allocate to contractors, who will, no doubt, do the brunt of the work that will be needed to rehab your fixer-upper.
Suffice to say, deciding to go with a fixer-upper will have its risks, which is why it would be great to retain real estate attorneys who will give you their opinion as to whether or not a fixer-upper is worth investing your money in. There is a high upside to fixer-uppers, as you can remodel the office space into something that resembles your company without having to build from scratch. However, you and your attorneys will have to decide if that fixer-upper is worth the money to invest.
If so, you will have a lot to consider to transform a drab office space into a shining workplace full of modern amenities. As mentioned earlier, contractors will be responsible for the bulk of the repairs to the building, and you can ask those contractors for specialty-made upgrades to the building. For example, you can ask a custom carpet manufacturer to make a custom-made carpet just for your office.
You can also ask a glass contractor to switch out the glass and mirror installation throughout the building to bring in a more modern feel to an older building. Make sure that the building’s water heater is in good working order by calling a commercial water heater contractor to give it a look-over and repair if necessary. That’s a big advantage with purchasing a fixer-upper over going with a move-in-ready building. Newer office buildings are built to move-in and are hard to customize into your liking, while older, fixer-uppers can be rebuilt and customized to fit your company’s vision.
Are You Looking to Rent or Buy?
You don’t have to buy your new office digs right away.
One of the biggest decisions that you will have to make when it comes to your business is whether or not to rent or to buy. When you buy a building, you own the space, which will give you the freedom to customize your new office space to fit your company. Buying comes with the territory, however, of paying more, so you will have to factor that into the budget equation if that’s your choice.
Instead of buying, you can rent an office space. The biggest perk to renting instead of buying is that it could save you some money on your financial sheet. Another perk to renting is that, if anything goes wrong in the building, the owner of the building will be responsible for making sure it’s fixed, which will save you even more money in the long run. While those are some pretty nice perks, there is a downside to renting over buying, and that has to do with customization.
While you could technically still customize your rented space to fit the needs of your business, you will, more often than not, have to run the changes by the building owner, who may have to sign off on any design changes you want to make to your office space.
Both options come with their own set of perks and downsides. So it will be wise to consult with your real estate attorneys to see which option would be a better fit for your company.
Consider The Proximity For Your Employees
Your new office space should be in a location that is easily reachable for your employees.
The last thing that you want to do is pick a location that will be harder to reach for some of your employees. Sure, you want to be in a high-profile part of the market, but it should never come at the cost of accessibility. Granted, your new office space may result in a little longer drive (or public transportation ride) for some of your employees. There is no such thing as the ultra perfect location.
However, it should not be in a location that could put your employees in a decision to leave your company because of the commute. Your new office space should be in a location that will be easily accessible to your employees. The last thing you want your move to do is result in a loss of talent.
Consider The Technology Infrastructure
When you’re in the shopping phase for your new office space, you have to consider the technology infrastructure of the building to see if it meets your office needs.
If you’re using a commercial realtor to search for office space, make sure to ask questions about the infrastructure of the building. According to NYC Office Suites, you should make sure that the space that you’re searching for is already cabled and ready for the internet access you will need to power your business. Also, make sure that the telephone systems and other tech-needs are already met so that you won’t have to worry about getting a contractor or cable and phone company out to re-wire the place.
That will only add in extra expenses and could stretch your budget then.
How Much Storage Space Will You Need For Inventory
The primary need for any new office space is, well, space.
Not only will you need the space to run your business, but you will need extra space so that you can store your inventory. If the office space you have your eye on doesn’t have sufficient enough space for you to store what you need to store, consider renting or buying small sheds to store your equipment.
Do You Need Room For Tech Or Office Equipment
We touched on the tech question earlier, but to elaborate, even more, you will have to consider whether you need the room for tech and other office equipment when considering an office space for your company.
If you need room to host servers, then seek out office space that will give you the room you need to build server space. Servers can take up a ton of room, and they need that room because they can overheat, which is an issue that you certainly don’t want to run into. So make sure that the office that you’re looking at has sufficient-enough space to host those servers for web development.
That room, in the end, will be a Godsend as it will give your company the room to have a managed hosting service, something that your old office may have lacked. Having the space needed to ensure that your company runs smoothly in its new environment is a great key for success, so make sure that you have space on the top of your list when you’re shopping for a new place to host your company.
Close Out The Deal
This tip is pretty straightforward. As soon as you find the perfect office space, make sure that you close out the deal.
Remember, other companies are out hunting for office space as well, and may have their eye on the space that you want. Close the deal to ensure that you have that space and that it’s taken off the market. Make sure that your real estate attorneys look over the documents so that everything is in order, sign your name on the dotted line, and begin the process of moving into your new office digs!
In conclusion, there will come a time when your company will outgrow the space that it’s currently in, and you will have to begin the task that is shopping for a brand new office space.
By using these tips, you should have a great handle on the type of office space that you need. Make sure that the location is on point for both customers and employees. Ensure that the technology is already there for you to host your business. Consider whether or not to buy or to rent, and if you’re in the market to buy, you may want to consider an office space that needs a bit of renovation so that you can remake it into the office space that you want.
A company deserves to have a great office space in a great location.