5 Things to Avoid When Entering Into a Lease – Office Space Edition

Congratulations –  You have, or are working within a successful business that demands office space. Now’s the time to either obtain your first office, or expand into an exciting new space to more adequately accommodate your growing workforce. Not so fast, though. As with anything, there are a few pertinent components to selecting your company’s ideal office space. Eliminate potential stress triggers when deciding to enter into a lease agreement to better focus on what matters most; your business.

5 Things to Avoid When Entering Into a Lease – Office Space 

Failure to Align with Corporate Ideals

It’s easy to get excited about a big move and disregard details that could potentially effect crucial goals of a business. Failure to clearly identify current and long-term priorities is a significant mistake any company can make when looking for office space. It is critical to take a step back and view the bigger picture in terms of what is important to you and the company. Similarly, it is important to identify how corporate image will be impacted based on the commercial space selected. Corporate image is important to convey to your customers, prospects and employees. You don’t necessarily see luxury brand retail stores situated next to a fast food restaurant or with similar aesthetics for that matter. Same ideals stand for office space, in the look, layout and feel of that particular office.

Not Properly Evaluating Layout of the Space & Location

You just signed the lease to your new office space and are over the moon with excitement. It’s move in day and the stress hits immediately by lack of storage, desk space or room for specialty equipment. Not adequately estimating the amount of space needed for equipment and employees is huge! For instance, on average, for every employee you should account for at least 151 square feet of workable space. Having too much space could pose as a short-term issue if massive growth is anticipated in the near future, otherwise those are just more budget-straining dollars that could have been allocated more effectively. Contrarily, if there is not enough space as-is with your new lease, this can hinder employee productivity and effective forms of collaboration.

Additionally, the question needs to be addressed in what type of environment does your business require? Are you going for a more traditional office space with some cubicles and closed offices? Or perhaps a modern open floor plan to maximize collaboration efforts on massive projects.

Location, location, locations – a seemingly obvious factor that is too often overlooked. When considering locations for your next office space, take into account traffic patterns, visibility from the road, what’s in the immediate surrounding area and notice if there is ample parking and public transit nearby.

Throwing Away the Budget

Easily one of the most important questions of them all – what can I afford? Do your operating expenses, payroll, HVAC, furniture, insurance, maintenance, and moving costs align with your budget? It’s also important to educate yourself on what the current market is and trends presenting themselves. Does it make sense to hold off for another year due to the stability of the economy, or will the space you desire already be occupied by then? Lastly, ask yourself if your budget matches up with your corporate image? If you’re a rising leader in the technology industry, an attractive, modernized office space in heavily populated Silicon Valley sounds like an ideal move for you. On the contrary, if you’re a smaller startup with not much funding, this would not mirror the same office space options that would better suit the technology company with more prestige and capital. To play devil’s advocate for a moment, it’s also necessary to think futuristically. Is there a lot of buzz about a specific area you’re interested in about massive development happening in the near future? Perhaps budget isn’t everything in a decision when considering the future benefits of occupying that specific location – but critical nevertheless.

Not Considering Corporate Growth & Technology 

To nod back to a the previous point of “Not Properly Evaluating Layout of the Space & Location” ask yourself what’s the future growth of the company? Are there additional options to grow my business in this location in the future, or will it require another move? Technology is also a factor in every business now which impacts the day to day functionality of operations and the execution of best industry practices. Is there a certain technology that the business needs that is only available in certain locations? Perhaps your business needs access to data centers, requires a larger electrical capacity,  or may need backup power and servers.

Choosing The Wrong Broker – Or Not Having One At All 

This can inevitably be a costly error, but does happen often. Not only on a monetary value of cost deficit – but time as well. Considering commercial real estate contracts from beginning to end average between 60 days to a couple of  years, should be enough information to call your favorite local broker right away. In addition, the fact that a company’s second or third largest cost is typically office space lease, should inject concern into the budget-conscious business mind of the decision maker. There’s infinite reasons why about 90% of all office space leases signed in the U.S. are executed with a knowledgeable broker.