The office you choose for your small business can have a significant impact on your company culture, productivity, employee retention and much more.
One of the most important considerations is your employees and how they will feel in the space. Does the space offer potential for your business to grow, or is it only sufficient for the present?
Having to move again not long after moving in can be unsettling. The location, size and feel of the office are very important factors to consider.
Choose the right location
If you rely on suppliers for physical products, it is better to choose a location close to them. Moving too far away from them can be costly in terms of more delivery miles.
If you’re a retail business, you will want to be near customers so you can benefit from foot traffic. If you work with many local clients, they should be able to find you easily.
Your office will also need to be accessible for employees who catch buses or trains etc.
The type of neighborhood matters too. Where you choose an office can say a lot about your company.
If you’re looking for Philadelphia office space for rent, there are many options available, from coworking spaces in the heart of the business district to the entire penthouse of an iconic Center City site.
Decide on an office lease versus a coworking space
Office leases are more expensive, and you’re committed for a longer period, but you can personalize the space with your own branding, which is important to clients in more traditional sectors like finance.
You will be responsible for buying supplies, equipment and furniture.
Coworking spaces may be a better option if you’re a one-man show or only have a few employees.
They offer room for company growth, and you can scale up if you add a new client or capability. Many of the responsibilities of having an office lease fall away when using a coworking space.
Coworking space also offers more opportunities for creativity, brainstorming and networking. Even when you’re not networking, you are still part of a community of like-minded individuals.
Consider the office price
Find out about office prices in the area to see whether the price of office space is realistic.
There are often hidden costs you need to account for, such as renovations, utility upgrades, taxes etc. Sometimes landlords will charge for utilities and other things over and above the rent, so you need to be sure what’s included and what’s not.
You will need to weigh up whether it’s worthwhile having a more expensive office in a place that offers greater business opportunities.
The right office space at a higher price could help you land clients.
Spending too little may mean you end up with an office space that doesn’t really suit you. If you spend too much, paying rent could be a struggle.
Consider the infrastructure
There aren’t many businesses today that can function without a reliable internet connection. Some offices, especially those that are managed or serviced, include internet access as part of the rent.
If you end up leasing somewhere privately, you will need to factor in getting a line connected and your monthly payments for access.
Keep your brand image and company culture in mind
Your office vis an extension of your brand image, and you don’t want it to send out the wrong message. If you’re a legal firm, a dingy, rundown space will put clients off.
They expect an office with a fairly traditional, prestigious look. If you’re a tech startup, you need a modern-looking office.
Building a positive office culture often starts with the physical office space. Does the office reflect the company culture you want to create?
Go for amenities that will attract employees
Many employees enjoy biking to work today, so a bike rack and on-site facilities like showers will attract them.
Those who drive to work should have access to parking. Proximity to gyms, cafes, banks and shops can help employees to take care of their needs, and this contributes to their health and wellbeing.
Choosing the type of office space with the amenities that your employees value can help you to retain them.
Think about safety
You need to consider the safety of your business and your employees when you choose an office.
This is especially important if you’re a small business that carries an inventory that’s susceptible to theft or if you often need to work at night.