How to Choose the Right Office Space Location for Your Business
As a business owner or entrepreneur, picking the right office space location can feel like a daunting task. How do you know what makes a great office rental decision — and what makes a bad one? What are the factors that you need to consider when you begin your search for an office space?
As with many things in business, it’s important to have a plan to choose the ideal office space location for your company and workspace needs. Thinking through the fundamentals can help you determine exactly what you need to target your search accordingly. In this article, we’ll walk you through the top factors to consider so that you can find the right office space location for your business.
8 Factors to Consider When Looking for Office Space
When you’re considering where to locate your business you should always consider your market segment. Maybe your clients are young professionals; maybe your target market is baby-boomers; perhaps you’re a service provider for other businesses. Whatever the case may be, consider whether the area you’re considering renting office space in makes sense for you and the business.
Does the population of your intended state/city include enough members of your target audience? Knowing this can help you decide if you’re looking in the right locations as you begin your search.
So, you’ve found an office space to rent within your price range and it looks pretty nice. The only downside? It’s in the middle of nowhere. No immediate transit, poor parking options, low foot traffic – but does this matter?
Think of it this way: How hard do you want to make your customers work to find you? Many businesses rely on passing foot-traffic and visibility to attract new customers. If you’re located far from heavily populated areas, this is going to be much harder to do. Making it easy and convenient for both new and existing clients to find and come to you is an important factor to consider when choosing an office space location.
You may also find it harder to attract and retain employees if your location is too inconvenient. Commutes are a key consideration for many employees, and you risk driving good workers away with a bad commute.
As any business or entrepreneur knows, it’s important to know what you can afford. Before you plan your move, you should have a clear idea of what type of rent you can afford and start your office search from there. Remember, there are more factors than just rent to consider when you’re looking at the cost of renting office space.
The costs of running a business differ widely across jurisdictions. Have you considered the different tax implications of operating in one state versus another? If you’re near a state line, this may be worth looking into. Different cities can also come with different regulations and by-laws, which may impact your bottom line.
On the flipside, different cities offer different economic incentives to businesses. Have you investigated what is available in different locations to help you offset your costs?
Before you sign on the dotted line of an office lease, take some time to figure out how safe your potential new neighborhood is. Check local crime data and talk to other local businesses in the area to discover the rates of break-ins, vandalism, and other crime in the area.
Safety is also a consideration for your employees and customers. When visiting a site, look for how well-lit areas near to the office are and availability of parking. If you are looking at a managed location, ask questions about the security arrangements.
When looking at an office space location, take the time to discover whether your competition has already oversaturated the area. For example, if you’re an accountant, run a web search or check online maps to see how many other accountants are operating in the same neighborhood.
If you find a lot of competition, moving in may mean a struggle to attract clients in an already saturated market. By moving somewhere with less competition, you can make life easier on your business — and tap into a previously underserved market.
As you begin to look at specific office spaces, it’s time to consider your infrastructure needs. How much space do you need? What layout would work best for your business? For example, can you conduct your business in an open plan environment or do you need private offices for confidential client work? You may also want to consider what amenities there are in the local area. If you frequently take clients out for lunch or coffee, are there good options close by?
Some other key infrastructure factors to consider when looking at office space include:
- Technology (phone, internet, etc.)
- Mail and delivery services
- Reception services
- Conference and meeting rooms
- Kitchens and bathroom
- Parking and transit
7. Professional Image
Your office is part of how you present your business to the world; you should think of your office space as a marketing tool. What do you want your office to tell your clients about you? As you look at office spaces, try to see it from your clients’ eyes. For example, if you’re a high-end consulting firm, potential businesses may be put-off by an edgy, formerly industrial location. However, that same location may have the perfect look for an up-and-coming tech firm.
If you are looking at shared office buildings, pay attention to the upkeep of the communal areas and the overall impression the building makes too.
Before you even think about signing an office lease, check the zoning laws for the city you’re in. As many cities have strict zoning laws, you need to make sure your business is allowed to operate in the location you’re considering.