Congratulations! You’re generating revenue, you have employees and your kitchen table is no longer cutting it as a viable headquarters. The time has come for your small business to legitimize itself with a “real office.”
That first office search tends to be an overwhelming time for entrepreneurs, it can be equal parts thrilling and terrifying. However, knowing the market and a few tips can help startups find a property that works for your needs and your budget.
Matt Druten, co-founder and managing director of Edison Spaces, is no stranger to rolling out startups and the frustrations that come from searching for office space.
As an entrepreneur himself, Druten gets the deep work needs of teams and the budgets of small businesses. Before launching Edison Spaces in early 2017, he worked for four years as the CFO and then President of Freightquote.
Here are Druten’s top five tips for finding the perfect office space for your small business:
1. Know Your Budget
The first step in planning about your office space is determining a budget. This can be tricky for a startup, but it is important to estimate your current and future expenses as best you can to determine your cash flow.
2. Know What You're Looking For
How much space do you need now and how much do you anticipate growing in the next three months, six months or even a year? Also, what kind of space are you looking for? Do you need space or privacy? Make sure any office choice will comply with the best practices of your industry. For example, attorneys need private WIFI and privacy more than a solopreneur graphic designer might.
3. Know Your Options
Not all office space is created equal. Don’t get duped into a multi-year lease if that’s not in your best interest. Find flexible options in your area and allow yourself to scale up or down as it make sense for your company.
4. Know Your Team
If you have a team, makes sure your office is centrally located to them. Don’t go for a hip downtown office if your entire staff lives in the suburbs.
5. Know Your Market
Every market has rental spaces available, but they’re not all created equal. Try to look for locally-owned and operated commercial real estate when you can. They’ll be more willing to work with you on terms and pricing.