5 Mistakes to Avoid When Looking for Office Space

    By | Small Business

    The right office space is integral to the success of your company, but finding it isn’t easy. Identifying these five typical problems will give you a better chance of improving your search.

    Not Considering Your Options

    The best way to find a suitable office is to consider all your options. Looking at only one type of space is a common mistake. It can not only prevent you from finding the right place, but can also force you to pay more than necessary. The more options you look into, the more leverage you have when negotiating a deal. If you have a short list of five properties, you will have a better opportunity to negotiate price and terms than if you only have one or two options.

    Miscalculating Company Growth

    There are a few ways to miscalculate company growth, and all of them result in undesirable scenarios. If you anticipate growth that’s faster than what’s realistically possible, you’ll lease an office that’s too big for you and waste money on space you aren’t using. In this case, however, there are plenty of opportunities to sublease your extra space to another company. There are also communal space services that will let you rent out parts of your office for short and long terms.

    If you lowball your company’s growth, then you’ll be stuck in a space (and lease) that can’t accommodate your company. Your team may not work effectively if they don’t have the space they need. Subleasing the entire office is your best option here too, as it will allow you to relocate to a bigger option. Plan to have at least 100 square feet (and up to 225 square feet) for each person at your company.

    Underestimating the Total Cost

    People do this all the time. They think that rent is all they’ll pay to use a space. After factoring in things like utilities and maintenance, the total monthly cost may be markedly different from the dollar amount you see on your lease. In older buildings, these extra costs can build up quickly. See exactly what you’ll need to spend money on to make your space “work ready” and leave some wiggle room for unexpected costs.

    Overestimating What You Can Do on Your Own

    So much more goes into finding a commercial space than just picking an office you like. Engineers, brokers, designers, insurance agents and office planners can all assist in the search. Designers, for example, get discounts on (and have a lot of knowledge of) office pieces. They’ll know exactly what you’ll need and what you won’t. Office design is about way more than just picking things that look cool. Realistically decide what you can and can’t do on your own so you’ll be well-prepared to find and move into your new space.

    Being Stubborn on Area

    Instead of sticking with an area by intuition, define the traits you want in your office’s location. Do you want a place that’s close to transit, good for parking or in a popular area? By deciding what you want before actually choosing an area, your broker can help you find the right place for you (even if it’s somewhere you never expected).

    If you can identify and fix these common office search problems, you’ll save money, time and effort and find a space that drives success and employee satisfaction.

    A version of this post originally appeared on The Huffington Post

    Currently the co-founder and CFO of TheSquareFoot, Aron began his career in the International Mergers & Acquisitions group at Deloitte in Houston. Most recently a Vice President with MDTech, a healthcare technology company, Aron oversaw the company’s financial, accounting, and business development efforts. He graduated cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a masters degree in accounting and holds a CPA license. 

    BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.

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