By Sarah Landrum
Unless your business idea has attracted the attention of venture capitalists from the outset, chances are that financing will still be an issue. While this is a perfectly normal state of being for most entrepreneurial endeavors, the reality of the situation is that first impressions count.
Businesses that are run from a home office might have a harder time transitioning to a larger work space for a variety of reasons, but it’s by no means impossible. That said, thinking outside the box for what you would consider a conventional office space may need to be factored in.
In this article, we’ll look at a few of the ways small-business owners can determine which types of commercial real estate are likely to fit their needs before going on to provide a few tips on how to narrow down the search.
Knowing What to Ask Is Half the Battle
While you don’t want to approach the subject of selecting a new venue without doing a fair amount of research, asking yourself the following questions can be as good a place to start as any.
- Are you looking for a space that can accommodate growth?
- Will you be setting up to work collaboratively or independently?
- How flexible is your budget and what’s your rent bracket?
- Is proximity to public transportation important to you?
- Will the building’s locale affect your marketing campaigns?
Of course, your answers will be largely influenced by the industry in which you operate. For example, a tech startup may place a greater value upon inspired office space designs than a finance agency might.
Navigating the Relocation Experience
Finding the perfect office location is usually about striking a balance between cost-effectiveness and functionality. Since there are so many available options, the undertaking can become a daunting prospect.
That said, if you keep a level head and weigh each course of action carefully, relocating your office can be a tremendous boost to your confidence and business operations. This brings us to a few suggestions.
1. Locate Close to Your Competition
Just because you’re a small business does not mean you can’t take your cues from the major corporations. In fact, it’s well-known that many of the largest enterprises in the world began life in rooms no larger than college dorms.
According to a recent article from HubPages, setting up shop near competitors can provide a business with a greater competitive edge. Why? Because a congregation of like-minded companies all catering to a similar demographic facilitate a network of influence.
2. Find the Right Price
As one of the biggest deterrents to taking out a new lease, price can – and often will be – a deal breaker. Just remember that when you’re enquiring about rent, figures are usually negotiable.
Typically, you’ll find that the best commercial properties for sale are available not from real estate agents, but from companies that offer a range of facilities in your local area.
4. Establishing Good Working Relationships
The dream of leasing a base of operations that allows you and your team to work productively while turning a profit is one that all entrepreneurs share.
For that to happen, you need to ensure that where you’re going will be conducive to creativity. This has a lot to do with utilizing the available space in a way that it directs traffic flow efficiently.
3. Consider Size and Storage Capacity
One thing that many startups forget about is the need for storage space. Regardless of how large the floor plan is, make sure it incorporates a place for you to put your underused or otherwise unwanted equipment in the meantime.
5. Don’t Be Afraid to Seek Professional Advice
As you’ll want to stay in your newfound locale for the best part of a decade or more, take the time to visit a small business development center or speak to an attorney and see if you can’t negotiate the terms of the lease agreement. In many ways, this is just as important as the location itself.
There are also a number of research and mapping services available to business owners that can help with conducting detailed analysis of consumer behavior, demographics, business econometrics, expenditure and more for those who feel the need.
Finally, remember to be strategic in your decisions, as every startup should be when contemplating where they’re going to call home. With persistence and a clear idea of what you want, you can guarantee you’ll be open for business in no time at all.
After graduating from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR, Sarah Landrum moved to Harrisburg to start her career. Passionate about writing and all things social media, she recently founded a Punched Clocks, a career blog for professionals seeking career happiness and success, and began her own journey in the world of Internet Marketing. For more from Sarah, subsribe to her blog and follow her on Twitter @SarahLandrum