What to Ask When Renting Office Space
Looking for, and securing, office space rentals can be an intimidating task. Not only is the process often complex, but you must carefully analyze your business’s needs, budget, and growth goals in order to find a location and terms that are most favorable. Because this is one of the most important decisions you will make for your business – and one of the most significant investments in its present and future – careful thought is essential. Start by asking yourself the following:
7 Questions to Ask When Renting Office Space
- What are our growth projections? The last thing you want is to get locked into a long-term lease that does not accommodate your business needs. A trap that startups and new companies often fall into is overvaluing themselves. That is, they take initial success and project based on that – without accounting for plateaus and other ups and downs. This is a dangerous tactic: it is best to stay on the conservative side in terms of profitability and operating capital.
- How much can we really afford to spend? The monthly rent may be affordable – but that one figure does not give you the full picture. You need to account for the security deposit, furniture, equipment, parking, telecommunications, improvements/upgrades, attorney fees (a legal professional should review your lease), and commercial liability insurance. Factor in all of these expenses before making a decision.
- How much space do we need? This can be difficult to determine, but you need to look ahead six months, a year, or two years into the future. Your team may grow; your equipment needs may become more extensive. Plan for this; you need a space that can grow with you.
- What amenities do we require? Besides a physical space, what amenities do you need to ensure productivity and a great work environment? Consider factors such as storage, conference rooms, security, kitchen/break rooms, receptionist, etc. Will these amenities be included in your lease, or will they come out of your own pocket? If so, what are you prepared for in terms of budgeting for them?
- What type of lease are we looking at? The type of lease agreement into which you enter has a great impact on your finances and flexibility. Common lease types include:
- Full Service or Gross. This is common in multi-tenant buildings. Here, you pay a single monthly sum. This covers the space for rent, as well as all building expenses (e.g., maintenance of common areas, janitorial services, utilities, insurance, property tax, etc.).
- Triple Net. With this type of lease, you’ll pay a monthly rent plus a portion of other expenses, such as those mentioned above. This is typically based on your square footage.
- Modified Gross. This is a hybrid of the previous two lease types. Some expenses are included, while you are responsible for others, usually utilities.
- Percentage. With this lease, you’ll pay a base rent and/or a percentage of the gross revenue you earn in that location. This is not favorable for small and startup businesses.
- Is the location good for us? Think about your needs, as well as those of your employees, partners, investors, etc. Is the location in which you are looking at office space conducive to your business? Does it have access to public transit? Parking? Stores, restaurants, and hotels? Is there a wide, deep talent pool from which to draw if you need to hire? Renting office space in Downtown Tampa, for example, puts you in the hub of the business/cultural district – certainly an advantageous location.
- Do we really need our own office? When looking for office space rentals, the most important question is one that’s often overlooked or dismissed as a no-brainer: do we really need to make this investment? The answer may be “no.” Locking yourself into a lease can be dangerous if you grow or contract quickly, need to scale down or up, or have a sudden change in your financial situation. You limit your flexibility and ability to move with agility.
There are alternatives, however, that give you the freedom you need. Flexible office space, for example, meets your needs as a startup or small company and allows you to pay for only the space you need, when you need it, without the necessity of a long-term contract.
Office Evolution takes the hassle and headache out of renting office space in Downtown Tampa. With our comprehensive solutions, ranging from dedicated desks, private offices, and events space and conference rooms as needed, you have the space you need – no more, no less. You can also take advantage of amenities, like furnishings, utilities, WiFi, phone, onsite receptionist, and more.
You will have a prestigious business address in one of Florida’s most sought after locations – one in which you will be proud to meet and greet employees, candidates, partners, investors, and other key stakeholders.
If you conduct an honest assessment of your needs and find that renting office space on a long-term basis is not the best fit for your business, consider our flexible solutions. Contact Office Evolution’s Harbour Island location in Downtown Tampa today at 813-536-6188.