When a startup chooses to rent an office for the first time, it is a huge step on its road to success. Renting an office as a startup can be daunting at first and there are several questions you should ask before beginning the process. We have had several startups in Connecticut rent offices from us and we are there to support them through the whole process. We hear a lot of questions from customers who are renting an office as a startup. Here are the top 5.
1. How much space will my startup need when I rent the office?
It always helps to know ahead of time how much space you will need for your startup’s office. There is a rule of thumb that the average square feet per person should range from 100 to 300 square feet. When planning out your space requirements, remember that you will need to compensate for the space needed if your company expands. Consider also that certain employees may need more space than others. For example, a bookkeeper may need more space because they require equipment such as filing cabinets and printers for record-keeping. If you have employees such as attorneys, they may need enclosed space where they can have private conversations with clients in person and on the phone.
2. What perks are included in the office rental lease?
Always ask about the perks that are included in the lease. One of the most popular perks for startups that are in cities is free and off-street parking. Employees that are forced to park on the street often end up late while trying to locate parking in the morning. Even if you choose to get a city parking pass, they are often expensive and the parking might be extremely far away. Another perk for startups is free, high speed internet. We all know that most businesses can’t run without it. High speed internet can be pricey so if it is free of charge with the lease, it is a great perk. Other office perks that can be attractive to startups are a full kitchen, locking mailboxes, and after-hours service.
3. Can my startup afford to rent an office?
When renting an office as a startup, always remember the rent is just one of the costs you will incur. It is always a good idea to make a list of the things you will need to purchase before signing the lease. Also consider the continuing costs of monthly office necessities and expenses. Common things your startup may need when first renting an office may include but are not limited to furniture, office supplies, electronic equipment, food, beverages, and décor. Furniture and electronic equipment are usually the biggest expenses while office supplies, food, and beverages will have to be restocked monthly. Remember your other monthly expenses as well. The may include software, bookkeeping, advertising, taxes, and insurance. Before you sign the lease, make sure you can afford all these expenses and the new rent expense.
4. Who are the other tenants I’ll be sharing the space with?
This may sound intrusive, but it is important to know ahead of time who the other tenants are. Depending on the layout of the space, you want to make sure there is enough space for working and privacy. If there are a lot of other tenants in the space, things may get loud and distracting. If the other tenants have the same startup type as you, you’ll also want to be cautious about sharing your startup secrets with the competition!
5. Will my startup’s clients like the office space I rent?
If you regularly host clients at your location, you’ll want to make sure that is appealing to them. The things that they will want may include safe, easy, and close parking, fresh coffee, and a place where they can have private and productive meetings with you. As the business owner, you’ll want a place where you can offer pitches to clients. That is why it is wise to ask if the use of a conference room is included in the lease. If that conference room includes video and audio equipment that is an even better incentive.