05 May 10 Startup Office Space Considerations
Before deciding on an office for your business, it’s important to consider the many aspects of renting startup office space. Though any type or size of business should think about each of these factors, a startup that’s running on a tight budget, crunched time, and an overall uncertain future has arguably much more at stake. The wrong office could be the end of the road for a startup, before the first milestone is even reached.
Luckily, you can avoid some common mistakes simply by giving some thought to the following 10 startup office space considerations before you sign on the dotted line:
Consider these important factors before renting a startup office!
1. Type of Startup Office Space
Which type of office space would work best for your startup: a coworking space, an executive suite , or a traditional office? Allow yourself to explore more than one option, as each type of office will have its pros and cons for your particular situation.
Reports state that, globally, the average amount of office space per employee has dropped from 225 square feet in 2010 to 150 square feet or less in 2013. Whether you choose to follow that trend or not, office size is still one of the toughest calls to make when it comes to renting a Houston office space for your startup. Get too little space, and you’ll be packed in like sardines, with no room to grow. Get too much space, and you’ll be wasting capital that could otherwise be invested in your startup.
Use an office space calculator to help estimate your current and projected space needs through the term of your lease. Then, consider expansion rights on adjacent spaces — a much easier way to grow than moving to a totally different office space.
Budget, budget, budget! To the price per square foot of any space, remember to factor in any additional costs such as utilities, insurance, parking, or other fees. You will likely also need a security deposit, which may be a real concern for a cash-strapped startup. Budget accordingly now to avoid financial strain later.
4. Lease Terms
How long is the lease? When can you move in? If you need more space before your lease is up, what are your options and penalties? Make sure to ask these very important questions at the beginning of your search, as lease terms differ greatly from one office to the next.
You pay for every square foot of space, so look for efficient spaces that you can get the most out of. A rectangular-shaped interior, the ability to add (or remove) partitions, and multipurpose common areas can help stretch your workspace.
Always an important real estate consideration, location matters for your startup office. Decide whether you want to position the company close to key employees, big clients, and/or competitors.
Startups require long hours, so you’ll probably want to secure a few creature comforts and conveniences in your new startup office space. Whether it’s an attached parking garage, a complimentary coffee bar, an on-site deli, FedEx and UPS drop boxes, an ATM, or the like, some “perks” can really turn into essentials when time becomes your most precious resource.
The proven benefits of natural light exposure at work include more sleep, better sleep, and better quality of life. So, try to lease an office with direct daylight streaming in.
In addition, ask about the overhead lighting strategy of a building. Hint: if there is no strategy, take heed. Poor lighting can cause a number of ailments, including eyestrain, stiff neck, and headaches.
Many startups deliver some sort of technology, so your new startup office space should be able to serve your needs in that department. A few features to consider include a wireless, high-speed Internet connection and a conference room with the latest high-tech presentation equipment.
Long hours to get your startup off the ground mean the typical 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. work window goes …well, out the window. Not every office has 24/7 access or a security patrol at all hours, so make sure to clarify this upfront — and know whether or not these features are deal breakers for your startup.