Finding office space for any start-up is important work and with more and more organisations adapting to new working realities, finding something that meets your needs and provides a flexible office space area to match those needs is essential. Before signing any contract, there are a few things that you need to consider. In this blog we will go over those very considerations.
The first thing you need to do is decide whether you’re in a strong enough position to commit to signing a contract. Have discussions with business partners and other small businesses that have made the move from non-office to office spaces. If you have decided after these talks that you are ready to move forward, then you need to speak to a specialised commercial property agent.
Agents have a deep knowledge of the market and will be able to give the best professional advice especially when it comes to many of the legal landmines you may not have considered. Think about “get out” clauses or even works that may be required before entering a contract. You want to make sure that you are covered on damages or if the building may even get sold and what your tenancy rights will be. Discuss with the property agent your lease and make sure that the terms are suited to you as a tenant.
Budgeting for your new space
When looking at your options, you will need to determine what your budget is. What are the current expenses that you are accruing as an organisation? Things like the internet costs to replace technology and even building up the right number of staff to develop the business. What do you need to be able to live? What emergencies can you think of that would have an impact on your cash flow and therefore, the budget you need for your new office space.
Once these details (large and small) have been figured out alongside your income stream, you can factor in the best- and worst-case scenarios you should be able to estimate within a 90-95% parameter what your real budget for an office space is.
Choosing a location
You know what space you want; you know what your budget is, but now you need to choose where you want to be to match the two things together. You will need to make compromises, sometimes the office you want won’t be where you want it because, in some locations it can cost too much for rental.
Also, you want to be able to attract good talent to your business. That means having an office space that is easily accessible, good for commuters and even has the potential to grow with your team. On the flip side, if you want to keep your office space smaller then a flexible space may be an ideal solution – in many cases these are central to cities and can be scaled with leases as and when they are required.
Understanding how you will use/what you will need from your space
This may be the first step for many but for others it comes into play when you have made the decision to go and search for the flexible space you need. You want to think about how you will use the space and what is required. Such as, do you need parking? Will staff need the same parking requirements or a good cycle shelter? Do you need to be in a high traffic area for access to supplies and deliveries and so on.
Second to that is considering what you will need from your space. Do you need meeting rooms? An event area where you can hold fundraising? Do you need wheelchair access or maybe somewhere that will cater for smaller, more intimate events? Do you need to be near other businesses to help with feeling less isolated as an organisation?
Planning for future growth
You always want to be considering options for business growth and whether or not the office location you choose will satisfy the needs you will require in the future. Do you plan on expanding? Is it too early to tell if you will? You want to think about the needs that are going to be present, 6, 12, 18 months away. If you need a more flexible structure and contract, then that’s what you need to arrange with your landlord.
Where to look for office space for start-ups
If you are looking for co-working spaces for your charity there are many different avenues you can take. Whether it is dealing with a broker who can advise you on where the latest offerings will be as well as giving advice on some of the things that you need to be mindful of with contracts to even asking the local council about facilities.
Another option is to use organisations like the Ethical Property Company who has dedicated coworking spaces around the country in major cities dedicated to helping you get office space for nonprofit organisations.
When it comes to finding the flexible office space for your start-up, you want to consider a few key things. From the budget and legal questions, you have to pick the right location and even think about future growth. Where you establish yourselves may not be the destination for your business which is where flexible solutions may suit you best.