When it’s time for your business to sign a lease for an office space, the multi-page document put in front of you might be surprising at best, overwhelming at worst. One of the benefits of using local, flexible and fully-furnished office space is the ease of slipping in and growing out of your lease.
Here are eight things to consider before signing on the dotted line:
- Price Per Square footage
Office space is priced per square foot. Make sure you know what the price differential is for all of the offices you’re looking at to ensure you’re not paying too much.
2. How move in ready is your space?
Like leases, not all move in ready space is created equal. Make sure the furniture is in good condition, that you have what you need and that the WIFI is already set up. You should be able to show up on a Friday afternoon and be back to work on Monday morning.
3. Are there hidden fees?
There is nothing worse than the "gotcha" moment of getting an invoice that is way more than you anticipated.
Ask what, if any extra fees there are. For example, Wi-Fi, copies, conference room usage, and additionals can add up if they are included.
4. Do you need to work with a broker?
A definite maybe! If many office options exist or if space is tight, it makes sense to work with a commercial real estate broker who can bring expertise to the table. Almost always, fees for the landlord’s broker and your broker, are both paid by the landlord. Therefore, it may not cost you anything to get a professional’s guidance and insight.
5. Who's responsible for maintenance?
Make sure that you understand what would happen if a major system fails who will pay for repairs and what you could be on the hook for financially.
6. What kind of accessibility do you need during off business hours?
If you need access during non-regular business hours, make sure the building is accessible to your team and that you won’t incur operating expenses for utilizing your space during those times.
7. Is there enough parking?
This is a big one. If you have employees, make sure that there is enough parking to accommodate your staff. Consider driving by your building midday (when parking areas tend to be at capacity) and check out the parking for yourself.
8. What happens when you grow?
Listen, if you’re a small business, it’s often unclear how much you might grow in one year, much less three. There are short-term and flexible lease options available. So, don’t bite off more than you can chew, find a situation that will let you scale in real time.