What You Need To Know About Sourcing Your First Office Space

Written by Chloe Harwood

The space your business needs is an individual as what you do – it’s certainly not an area where one size fits all. Identifying the features of a space that are right for you comes down to understanding a few key basics about the way you operate nd the requirements you have – whether it’s for a modern co-working space with lots of breakout areas for inspiration or a gleaming showroom with polished concrete floors.

What’s Your Price?

It’s worth remembering that business progress very much comes in phases, and while it’s correct to keep half an eye on future proofing – it would be a false economy to expand without including a little capacity for growth in the equation – you also don’t want to end up either overpaying for what you have or over expanding too early and breaking your budget.

To understand if your business is achieving value with it’s overheads, you need a solid, current idea of what rents in your city will get you now. With the steady growth of entrepreneurialism in recent years created by the Internet revolution, the cost of commercial property is climbing. Most major cities have a shortage of suitable Grade A office space, but there are still deals to be found if you’re careful and flexible.

Serviced office spaces offer the security of a bundle of services for a fixed monthly cost, which can be great for budgeting in the slim margin days of a start-up company. You will gain amenities such as meeting rooms, security services, a shared reception service and even sometimes IT support and discount deals on utilities such a broadband provision.

Co-working hubs are aimed more at freelancers and smaller set ups. Everything is set up out of the box and ready to go, and although most offer a less comprehensive service than serviced space, you do have a lesser cost, all the essentials and frequently brilliant networking opportunities that are sector-specific.

In a traditional office space, there are longer-term leases with some legal fees, and they are mostly supplied unfurnished, so you will need to factor that in as an additional cost. For this reason, this option is more suited to more established SMEs with a small number of staff.

Move With The Times

As circumstances change over time, so you need the space your business occupies to be adaptable.

In the very early days of starting up, you may be quite content working from your kitchen table or spare bedroom. But over time, and especially as you start to employ others, a co-working hub may be a better fit for your operations. Most operate on a rolling monthly contract basis that suits precarious new businesses, and usually you can add or take away desk space as needed.

If you become more established, a serviced office lets you have more ownership over the space, as sections are generally let in a building as separate offices that are self-contained.

Becoming a leaseholder means you’re then responsible for the maintenance and management of the company premises yourself. If your growth is on a consistent upward trajectory, and you can be reasonably confident it will continue that way then you have the ability to take future expansion in your stride and customise the space more to your individual business needs.

If control over the workplace is a key concern for a business, a traditional lease is the best bet. The leaseholder is responsible for the property’s outfitting, maintenance and management. While this is a lot of responsibility, it comes with the benefit of knowing you’ll have the space for the foreseeable future and the ability to make it perfect for your business.

About the author

Chloe Harwood