So you’re finally ready to have a real office space. Maybe you’re tired of having clients come to your home, or you’re having trouble separating personal life and work, or you just want to look more professional. Whatever the reason, renting or buying a space to conduct business is an important step in your business plan. There are many things that need to be considered when looking for a potential space to conduct business. We will go over some of the most important points to selecting the right office space.
The Right Location is Vital
An often-overlooked issue is choosing the right location for your loan broker business. If you plan on growing into a sustainable business, you’ll eventually need to expand your workforce as well. And this means navigating the murky waters of selecting the right business location.
The fact that you are renting office space is because your services need to be easily accessible to your clients. Having your office situated in high foot traffic areas with available parking is always a plus to your loan broker business. The closer you are to the financial district of your city, the more your location will support your company’s brand and better the targeted your audience. However, the rents for city office space are high and because this is a recurring expense, not properly planning will drain your cash.
When selecting a space for your brokerage, be aware of the issues that could hurt your bottom line and decrease employee motivation. A bad landlord could cause your rental costs to go through the roof, while an obscure location could make it difficult for employees or potential clients to reach you. In addition to renting the office space itself, you’ll also need to purchase desks, chairs, computers, and other supplies. You need to be careful to not dig yourself into a financial pit with these expenses, but a bare, rickety office won’t impress potential clients or help you retain employees.
Office Space Amenities
It is a given that washroom facilities are to be provided. However, choosing an office space with inadequate washroom facilities will turn into a nightmare for both your staff and your clients. Ensure that safety regulations for fire and evacuation routes are in place where you plan to set-up shop.
This also includes taking a close look at if all the elevators are functioning properly. The general upkeep of the office space will give you an idea whether the landlord maintains the place. This small detail is important because a not very well-kept environment will de-motivate your staff and also turn clients away.
Office Space Contract
If you are renting, important details should always be spelled out in the contract and should never be assumed. Details include the rental amount and when it is due and the amount of deposit to be paid. The contract should state explicitly the conditions that forfeit your deposit. In addition, the landlord’s responsibilities must be spelled out in this contract such as paying to maintain the building, trash removal, and if parking is included, that the lots will be taken care of in case of bad weather.
If your rent is subject to increase during your tenure, then it is good to have included exactly by how much and how many times it falls within rental increase. It may be a good idea to have your lawyer look over your contract before you make a final decision.
Shared Office Space
Some owners of certain businesses opt to share office space because it eases the burden of paying full rent on already limited capital. These arrangements usually come with amenities such as a completely furnished office outfitted with office equipment. The downside is that businesses fail and if your co-renters default then it can upset your business operations. You will either have to pay the rent in full or move to a new location.
A shared office space may be a good place to start if you’re just making the move from home office to work office and you’re short on funds and have no employees. There is usually no formal binding contract to sign between you and the landlord so if you’re finding you can’t work in the shared office for whatever reason, it should be relatively easy to move out.
Remote Offices & Telecommuting to Decrease Rent
Of course, today’s technology enables many brokerages to employ a mostly-remote staff, reducing the need to lay down cash for expensive office needs. Keep in mind, however, that working with remote teams introduces its own set of challenges, including potential difficulties with communication, retention, and accountability. Build remote teams with caution, and make sure you can handle the nuances of managing a remote workforce before you try this option.
When shopping around for the ideal spot for your business, your decision should be made with the understanding that you expect to be there for quite some time. Your space requirements will depend on the size of your staff and office equipment. Also make allowances for the growth of your business so renting a slightly bigger office space might be a good idea. And remember that your office is where you’ll be spending your time while working, and meeting clients. You want to make sure your clients feel comfortable and confident working with you and having an appropriate, organized office is a great way to instill that comfort ability and confidence in them.