Choosing to find an office for rent is a significant challenge for many small businesses.
It’s a time-consuming process that can set the tone for your business over the long run. Success and failure are delicately entwined with your office space rental, so it really does matter how you tackle the transaction.
Many SMBs (small- and medium-sized businesses) have fallen into trouble with their leases for commercial real estate, but you can learn from their mistakes, avoiding stumbles in areas like:
- Contract Terms. There’s no substitution for having a lawyer or real estate expert read your lease before you sign it. Even if you’re an expert in your own right, it’s easy to miss important clauses when you’re under the stress of trying to move your business into the best office for rent possible.Commercial real estate is fraught with danger and your lease might not say what you think it does. Even details you’d think don’t matter can cost you big time, for example an LLC won’t always protect you. If there’s a “personal guarantee” clause, it can put you personally on the hook for outstanding rent if your business were to go under.
- Office Size. There’s such a thing as too much and too little office, make this decision with great care. Even if the space is in the right place, if it’s far too small for long term expansion or way too big for your operation, even after you’ve reached your goals, you’re in trouble. Every extra square foot you heat, cool, light and maintain is money you’re wasting.Offices that are small may be less expensive, but it’s hard to get anything done when all your staff is sitting on top of one another. Aim for a middle ground that allows you to expand without heating an office several times too large. Another option would be to secure a shorter lease (or ask for a month to month lease) so that you can search for a bigger office when you need it.
- No matter how beautiful your office is, if no one is dropping in to use your services or there’s no place that’s safe to park, people won’t come. Unless your business is entirely online, someone will need to physically walk inside.Hire an expert to help analyze traffic patterns if your company relies on drop-ins or at least take a long walk around the block and examine things like parking and ease of access for people who have never been there before. If it’s a tricky spot to find, they may not bother.
Regretting your office lease is not a great way to kick off your business move. Instead of regretting your decisions, relish them because you’ve given enough thought and effort to getting the perfect place for your company. When you’re happy, customers can tell and it can bring extra business your way.