More than a few tech giants got their start in cramped quarters, typically in a basement or garage.
As they grew, a need for office space became essential. Not just that, but a search for space that catered to their business’s needs—whether that was an area large enough to facilitate massive supercomputers, or just one that could fit in a few employees and exude professionalism to potential investors and clients.
Regardless of your business’s specific services, there are a handful of universally relevant tips that any new business owner should heed when moving their startup into its first office.
Inspect the infrastructure
Network capabilities are hugely important for every tech startup.
As a result, tech startups seeking an office space should be wary of locations with limited internet connectivity, or none at all. Before seriously considering any space, check in with your preferred internet provider to ensure they service the address. This information can usually be found by going to the ISP’s website and typing in the prospective office space’s address.
In addition to networking infrastructure, make sure that the space is equipped so that people can work comfortably from nine to five each day. This means a decent number of bathrooms for however many employees you have, sufficient parking, and the ability to build up or purchase nearby additional office space should you need it—any business’s aim is eventual growth, after all.
Frequent the neighborhood
It’s a no-no to have an office space in a part of town that people would rather avoid, either due to crime or simply because nothing else of interest exists there.
You should also be looking for an area that is close to your business’s core clientele demographic, or those you do business with regularly. While it’s not necessary for an office space to be smack-dab in the middle of a city’s busiest intersection, it is typically wise to choose an office space in an area that’s more populated than barren, and in a neighborhood that is welcoming to the eye.
Analyze the lease
If you find a perfect space, then you may feel an impulse to sign on the dotted line right away.
However, make sure you read every detail of the lease, because there may be areas that can be negotiated in your favor. If not, it’s still important to ask questions, such as what would happen in certain scenarios like expanding or breaking the lease.
Since your company is new, it’s preferable to find a relatively flexible lease, or at least one that isn’t overly restrictive.
A particularly important area for any new business owner to inquire about is insurance.
Property damage inflicted by a natural disaster or otherwise could cause a new business to crumble. In addition, USA Business Insurance states that when customers or clients injure themselves in your building, they have a right to sue your business.
As a result, it’s important to make precautions, specifically via a general liability policy that you can negotiate with your landlord. This significantly reduces the chances of a business being dissolved in the case of an accident, specifically in regard to bodily injury, property damage, product malfunctions, and medical payments coverage.
Insurance may seem like just another expense, but in reality it’s a hugely important aspect for all new business owners to consider when moving into an office space.
Shape the atmosphere positively
After the lease is signed, the furniture inside, and the staff acquainted with their new space, it’s an opportune time for a business owner to shape the space’s climate.
You’ll want to create an atmosphere that values work ethic, but also permits a certain freedom of expression and keeps employees from feeling overworked. A lounge area with a TV and gaming system could be one great way for employees to unwind.
Wherever you end up, it’s important for business owners to make the transitional period a positive one by highlighting the benefits of relocating from a familiar space to a new office space.
By having comprehensive knowledge of a space’s infrastructure, surrounding neighborhood, lease agreement, insurance options, and by creating a positive atmosphere, you’ll be in a fantastic position to find an office space that fits your budding startup best.