Even Apple started in someone’s garage. (Well, sort of.) It’s common for business startups to housed in a living room, a basement, or a garage. It’s a pretty sweet setup, at least for a while. It saves you a lot of money, keeps you close to home and keeps all the workers in close vicinity to one another. (Which you may see as a bad thing, but hey.) But if business is going pretty well, then you’re going to want to move up from home and into your first office.
So what do you have to know when moving into your first office?
Find the Area You Want
Do you want to get an office in the city? I’m guessing you do. But while the city is usually seen as pretty expensive, there will be areas that are a little cheaper than others. For your first office, you probably won’t be moving straight to the affluent business heart of, say, London or New York City. But you may be able to find somewhere nearby without having to pay extortionate fees. Remember to inspect the area thoroughly, though. You don’t want to move your business to an area with a high crime rate, for example. Or somewhere without shops or others businesses close by.
Check the Office – The Space and the Infrastructure
Obviously, you want to find somewhere that isn’t totally cramped. You’ll need a little bit of superfluous space in case of expansion. There are also guests to consider! You’ll also need to use your smartphone or laptop to check the Internet connectivity of the place. Your business is going to need fast Internet, even if it isn’t a tech company. If the Internet is slow, it could be a problem with the provider. But more likely it will be a problem with the specific area you’re in.
Inspect the Materials That Come With the Place
If the office furnished? Many offices come with desks and seating these days, as well as fridges and other appliances. If it does, you want to see how well these work. Are the seats comfortable? Are the desks big enough? You’ll also want to check the safety and security features. Is there a fire extinguisher? Are there alarm systems for fires and break-ins? How do employees enter the office – keycode? Keycard? And are you provided with ID cards and lanyards for your identification needs or do you need to get your own?
Get Yourself Legally Protected
Go through the lease with a fine toothcomb! If you find an amazing office, you can’t just put your name on the dotted line right away. Calm down. Make sure to read every single detail of the lease. Do you understand everything? Is there anything you don’t like? Is there something you could negotiate? If you’re a new and blooming business, you’ll probably need a pretty flexible lease. You also need to ask about insurance. Is the property already insured? Will you need to sort this out yourself? And don’t’ be tempted to go without insurance! It may seem like another expense you don’t need, but it’s incredibly important to protect you, your employees and your business at large.