Wisely determining the most optimal office space lease is a decision that requires maximum effort and careful consideration of all the variables involved.  In fact, deciding on the right office space lease is important to ensuring the long term viability of a business. Sound daunting? It can definitely be overwhelming if not approached thoughtfully.   Fortunately, some tried and true advice has evolved over time, enabling conscientious business owners to be more informed before signing on the dotted line:

    1. What’s your budget? Affordability is probably the biggest factor that needs to be addressed realistically, honestly and head-on. Know your budget—make a budget!—and only consider office space lease options that fit within it. Particularly if yours is a new company, it is best to choose conservatively; upgrades can happen later if needed or desired.
    2. Read the fine print! Be aware and ask about the hidden or comprehensive costs of the space; aside from the rent, it’s important to calculate any utilities, parking, or other amenities for which you might regularly be charged.
    3. In good times and in bad…Basically, think long term. Consider space that you will be able to afford in both the good times and the lean times!
    4. Negotiate! Use an agent with market knowledge and access to varied properties, and negotiate a reasonable rent. Don’t be afraid to counter-offer!
    5. Layout matters. Your office space lease needs to make sense in terms of what your business is about. How much space do you need, and what shape would be most efficient or effect the best flow?
    6. Storage solutions and stuff. The kind of space you need is largely dictated by the people and things using it. A large staff may need open, collaborative spaces; an electronics-based company may need special equipment rooms; a distribution enterprise needs places to store products, and so on.
    7. Location…for operations. The place where your office space lease is secured will greatly impact the success of your company. For example, ensure convenient proximity to the services, facilities, or amenities that might be vital to your company.
    8. Location…for your employees. Employee satisfaction with a rented office space lease goes a long way in attracting and retaining the kind of employee you want. Is it a professional and comfortable setting? Don’t forget to calculate the time and monetary costs of employees getting to work, either. Is it a straightforward and easy commute?
    9. Location…!  You want office space that is welcoming, and that clients will be willing and able to visit. An office space lease in the suburbs may be cheaper than downtown, but will clients be less apt to visit? Make sure real ‘face time’ meetings remain convenient.
    10. Prioritize parking… This is largely an accessibility issue for employees, visitors and clients. Limited or expensive parking can literally and figuratively drive away customers, and frustrate employees. It again goes back to promoting the smart business practice of having satisfied workers and clients.

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