Congratulations! You're looking to move into you own office space. You will have your own company address and will be able to rest easy knowing you don’t have to meet with clients in a coffee shop anymore.
First step: Start touring spaces. But wait a second, I search Google and have a million hits for office rentals and shared office space around me. Where do I start?
Find the area of town that you want to work in, and start there. For most people, location is at the top of their list when deciding on an office space. Next, book tours! Seeing a space in person is really the only way to fully grasp what working there will be like. Plus, online photos just don’t do it justice. It’s also good to feel out the vibe of the space, the friendliness of the front desk staff, the noise level, etc.
Chris has been a Sales Manager with Work Better for over 3 years now, and he’s the expert on all things tours and shared office space in Manhattan. Here is his list of the top questions to ask when on a tour.
What is included?
Besides making sure you understand what your full cost will be, this information should be compared this against what you actually need. Another provider may have offered a product or service for free and made it feel important or generous… but if you don’t need it, then why does it matter? Make a list of your needs and wants prior to touring and be willing to share that information. Where are you now? What does that look like? How do you operate? Where do you want to be? What are you currently missing?) Are you expecting growth, and in what time frame? Tell the sales manager EVERYTHING. They should want to know.
Tech Platform Questions
There’s a good chance your company’s success hinges on your ability to remain connected with internet speeds high enough to keep you working. So, DO NOT settle for generic answers like, “bandwidth is ‘super fast’” or “nobody has ever had a problem with network security.” Assuming you don’t have specialized needs, the core tech platform questions you should ask are:
- Is it secure?
- Will I be on a public network?
- What is the guarantee for bandwidth?
Square footage doesn’t matter - especially if comparing raw space against a fully furnished, turnkey option. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. If you are asking this while standing in the office, look around, sit down (if it’s not currently occupied), and take it in. Can the space accomplish what you need?
Will this space represent my business well?
While the shared office provider is a business, they should still be focused first and foremost on representing you and your company well rather than themselves. So, look around and notice whether they are branding themselves in a way that will take away from your business when clients visit. Be sure to ask how they handle your visitors both in person and on the phone.
Will my budget cover everything I need?
Don’t be afraid to talk budget. The sales manager SHOULD want to know the scope of your entire need (including telecom, meeting rooms, additional technology services, etc.), so that you can start with everything you need at a price that works for you. Holding back what your budget is will likely only cause problems down the road as you add services. The easiest way to feel ‘nickeled and dimed’ is to not have a plan of action or package in place. Known costs will help your budgeting and monthly expenses.
What additional monthly costs, if any, can I expect?
In the same vein as the previous question, it’s important to know all possible costs that you will incur. That way, you can focus on running your company rather than worrying about how much your office bill will each month.
Second step: Negotiating your lease. Stay tuned for our next post with tips for negotiating your lease. In the meantime, click here to book a tour with Chris today.