As you begin your own business, it is very important that you select the proper office space. Your office will be one of the key reflectors of the state of your business. Office spaces will serve as the moment of truth for your stakeholders, shareholders, employees, prospects and customers. You prospects and customers form their impressions when they first see your office space, and how attractive your office space is will be a key factor in determining whether they are going to work with your business.
The most important thing when you are selecting your office space is the location, and there are many things to think about when choosing the best location. All businesses would like to be near their customers, meaning a business that is central would be best. However, there is not one location that will be the best fit for everyone, and therefore you need to evaluate what your business is looking for.
2. Accessibility And Connectivity
While your prospects and customers are very important, the location that is chosen needs to meet the needs of the employees and the business as well. You want to ensure that the business will be accessible.
The following are some things to think about when choosing the location of the office space:
- Proximity to Customers – being close to customers is important for all businesses. It’s the customers that are running the business.
- Proximity to Workforce – While the customers are providing the business, your workforce will ensure that the business is running successfully. Your employees come from all over, therefore having your business somewhere that is centered between all of them is convenient for everyone.
- Costs – For many businesses it’s the economics of doing business that will drive the location choice. If costs in your central business area are beyond your budget, and out-of-town solution may become a necessity.
3. Cost of Office Set-Up
As soon as you have chosen the location, it is time for you to evaluate the cost of the set-up to get your business up and running fast. The range of set-up steps that you require will depend upon the space that you are renting or leasing. It might extend anywhere from buying furniture to laying carpet and wiring the space. Otherwise, if it’s a space that is serviced already, all you will need to do is walk in and begin your business.
4. Services – Quality and Cost
Services like purchasing, business support, client refreshments, postal services and reception services can be very important for running a smooth business. The quality of these services can be a significant factor in your customer’s satisfaction levels. Once you’ve figured out the service quality you are aiming for, you will need to decide if you would like to outsource these services.
5. Hidden Costs
You don’t want to be paying more than you have budgeted for! Avoiding hidden costs calls for a detailed evaluation of the prices that are involved in setting up the space. It’s important that you read through the finer details and conditions and terms when you sign the contract. Don’t be afraid to ask every question that you can think of.
6. IT Infrastructure Support
You will most likely have printers, servers, computers, and other equipment that will determine the efficiency of your operations. Any breakdowns in IT infrastructure may lead to stoppage within your business.
7. Internet Bandwidth
Internet is the key to the future. However, this important resource is subject to traffic congestion and slowing down. Check out the bandwidth available in your chosen option, and whether it can handle excessive amounts of traffic in order to keep you up and running. Also consider whether there are any back-up options if the main ISP fails.
8. Fire Safety
Although the laws relating to this area vary from one country to another, this is something each business must have. Good protection of fire safety is important in a work environment. Ensure that you and the employees are as well protected from fire as possible, and that a sensible evacuation plan can be implemented.
9. Services and Telecom Equipment
Along with the equipment for IT, telecom equipment and services may form a major part of your business. Spend some time thinking about whether you require landline-based telephone services (or whether mobile telephones will suffice) and if so what your landline requirements are. Do you require a PABX service, with customizable voicemail and variable call-forwarding dependent on time of day? Or, if you are relying on mobiles, don’t forget to check the level of network service for several networks in your office.
10. Conditions and Terms
You are going to feel almost cheated if you overlook important conditions and terms that are found in the fine print of the contract. Therefore you should make sure there is enough flexibility and not too many restrictions.