Congratulations on a growing business and hopefully we have engaged in the process of finding you a new space. One of the things I always start with when we initially begin the search for a new office is creating a detailed needs and wants list. It is always a little bit of work on the clients part but always saves everyone a lot of time and effort, and sometimes money. Below I will create a descriptive list of questions you need to answer or begin to think about as you assess what your current space is not giving you that you need to continue to grow your company.
–Size-Knowing what you currently use and what you think you need is a lot to talk about. Your current layout may not be the best use of space and really looking at used space verses leased space is key. Is there a bathroom or huge closet you don’t use? You need to share this with your broker to be sure you don’t pay office rates for unused space.
–Floorplan-There are lots of free and simple tools out there to help layout your planned spaced. By putting together a quick sketch of an ideal space, your broker can do a couple of mockups and then use it to decide how your floor plan may work out. This will help you visualize new spaces already built out or wide open space to be finished to your specs
–Budget-Each new foot of space costs more money. Knowing a realistic budget for the space you need is most important. Always go in with the Gross amount for rent or be sure all Triple Net charges are being stated with considering a space. Many building owners will market a property for $10/sqft/yr but leave out the $8/sqft/yr NNN charges. That can make a world of difference when you are trying to double in size.
–Location-Knowing an area where you would like be locate is great but be open to suggestions. Give your broker a radius and see what they can deliver. Many times brokers know of local listings that are not “typical” but would be a great fit for your business. Also, be specific on areas you would for sure not want to move into for instance: specific neighborhoods, industrial parks and across busy highways.
–Broker-I can’t say this enough not only because I am one but I watch this mistake come to bight small business owners far too often. USE A LOCAL BROKER! By using a local broker they will have expert knowledge on the type of space you are considering. They will know new off market listings and be able to give you landlord feedback. They have watched business succeed and fail at certain spots and may have insight on that. But most of all, they can bring you to an up and coming area before the mass market comes, giving you the first in rates and exposure.
–Have Fun-Moving a business should be exciting and fun. Don’t let the numbers and timelines wear you down and rely on your broker to make those details a breeze. Take some risk and be open to something the competition may have overlooked and most of all don’t rush into a space just because of timing. Plan ahead and be sure you get the space you want and need.