Top tips for finding a great office space for your new business
Looking for your startup’s first real home can be a hugely rewarding (in the end) but also somewhat daunting experience. The great news is that there are more options out there than ever, not just in terms of spaces but also with regards to where exactly you might want to locate. Our working spaces expert, Peter Ames, looks at how savvy startups can go about findinga great office space.
Nail down your budget
This is the real key to finding yourself an office, and the key to everything else well go through later in this article. Ultimately, you need to know exactly what you can afford now, and potentially what you might be able to (or indeed have to) afford if you have ambitious growth plans.
But there are a number of ways to make the most of your budget, so if you find yourself worrying too much about costs, remember this: generally, the many benefits you discover when your business finds its first professional home well outweigh the cost of renting that space.
Work out what you want
Office space just isnt about renting an empty space on a traditional lease any more. For a startup this is great news. For many new businesses, long-term rental agreements, although hugely popular, just don’t make sense. So the next step on the path to getting a brilliant new office space is choosing what suits your business.
One alternative is renting a high-spec serviced office.They offer all-inclusive packages ideal for businesses with good levels of capital but low amounts of free time. A cheaper alternative could be shared offices or co-working, which are still all-inclusive but tend to offer a lower level of service. The key thing with both options is that they offer the flexibility which a long-term arrangement cannot.
Decide where you want to be
As with residential property, when it comes to choosing a home for your business, location can be key. Before clients and customers even arrive at your office, a prestigious postcode can show you’ve got your finger on the pulse.
However, such locations can come at a cost so it’s a case of balance. Ask yourself if you really need that prestigious address. Can you be just as well-connected in a nearby location? In central London, for example, consider the Euston area instead of Soho. Similarly, Mayfair is also popular, but this can be reflected in the prices, so you might find Paddington to be a little more wallet-friendly.
Get out there and view
The real key to finding your perfect office rental is seeing them all in the flesh (so to speak). Nothing will help you get the feel for your new business home quite like stepping through a door and imagining how you will fit in the space.
Of course, this is even more essential if you’re choosing a more communal? rental option. You need to check youll get on with the neighbours and that all the facilities meet your standards.
Peter Ames is the head of strategy for Office Genie, the first desk space marketplace in the UK under the umbrella of Genie Ventures (a digital marketing and e-commerce company). The site is responsible for letting out millions of pounds worth of space to the country's small businesses and freelancers.
A questionnaire from Huddle estimates how much spare office space could be rented out for in the capital. The high figures reflect both the financial opportunity for businesses that do have the odd desk unfilled and why flexible working has meant micro firms shouldn't feel so pressured to be based in a prime office space. more»