A lot of startups do not have the capital to purchase their own building. Leasing is almost always the best choice when trying to keep overhead low, but cost is far from the only concern. Startups that look for the cheapest option are often overlooking how their workspace affects their productivity and their long-term possibilities.
The right work building needs to be carefully chosen after considering how your company’s operations will be complemented and benefited by this potential work environment. Naturally, the physical condition isn’t your only concern — you also need to consider the terms of the lease and accompanying features of the property such as parking and security.
To assist companies in making the right choice, here’s a quick checklist to cover the bases when seeking out a new home for your budding business.
Working space layout
Every business will utilize space in a different way. You need to form your vision of daily operations before considering how properties will work. Review a prospective property with your work vision in mind. If the area is too small, don’t squeeze yourself in. If the square footage is too large, don’t lease with plans to greatly expand. Choose the right fit for that specific moment and adjust as the company changes.
Identify areas for improvement
Most landlords expect to make improvements on a property between tenants. Don’t be overly accommodating when deciding on a business site. Make your expectations known and find out whether property management will be able to meet your business’ needs. Verify that your preferred changes are in effect before you sign a lease.
Locate circuit breakers, phone and cable jacks, and outlets
For both businesses and homeowners, it is a common experience that cable jacks, electrical outlets and circuit breakers are either in odd spots or nowhere to be found. Access to a breaker box will also be critical if and when fuses go out or other electrical tasks need to be performed. Identify the location of these features on your first walk-through. If a breaker box is nowhere to be found, make sure there is space so a hookup can be added. If a property doesn’t offer these basic features, move on to the next option.
The interior workspace is important, but exterior features also matter. Find out about parking availability and what, if any, security is provided by the building. Ask about additional storage space, even if you don’t see an immediate need for it. And consider location: Are you in the part of town you need to be? Will location affect operations? Don’t compromise just to cut costs if you could also be limiting your revenue opportunities.
By conducting your due diligence before finalizing a property lease, businesses have the chance to mentally walk through their anticipated daily operations. You’ll also be minimizing your risk in an aspect often overlooked. With a great workspace in hand, you can put your effort into the many other demands of any burgeoning startup.