When you first start a business, one of the most important choices you will have to make is about where your business is located. Can your business function out of your home office, a storefront, or a formal office? Each business is different and requires different spaces to interact with their customers, while also providing a space for employees. Another aspect of selecting an office is how upscale it needs to be. Keep reading to learn about choosing the right space for your team.
One of the most important questions to ask yourself is, “What will this office space be used for?” Is it strictly for your employees? Will you be meeting major clients or important people here? These questions alone can help quickly determine the type of space that is needed. If you will be conducting all meetings over the phone, having a big, fancy conference room is unnecessary. You want to make sure your office space is laid out to fit the needs of your business. Having a space that is too large or too small can prove crippling when starting a business.
Each business is unique – from the products or services they sell to the number of people they employ. Another component in choosing the best office option is looking at the size of your staff and the needs your employees will have. According to Officefinder.com, “The general rule of thumb is to allow anywhere between 125 and 225 usable square feet of office space per person. This, of course, depends upon the type and style of the business and the workspace layout.” If you have a small team, how important is it that you all work in the same space? Your employees are the most critical part of your business’s success or failure. Making sure they have adequate space to work should be among your highest priorities when looking for an office. Your employees’ daily jobs and interactions should also be considered. Will they be meeting with clients in person? Is ensuring that your employee has a clean and stylish space for clients to meet with them a major part of your business’ success? If so, a higher-end commercial space may be needed. Still unsure of how much space your team will need? Use this calculator to determine the best-sized office for your team.
Unfortunately, office space is rarely free. It costs money to rent or purchase a property/office space for a business. When starting a business, funds may be limited so it is important to come up with a realistic budget. The first few years can be highly unpredictable for any new business. You may be able to afford office space in the beginning, but will you continue to make enough revenue to support keeping the office? Your budget and future profits all need to be considered when deciding on a location. This should also be a huge factor in deciding on how fancy of a space you actually need. Yes, we would all love to have a fancy corner office in a big-city high-rise, but how realistic is that really for your business and your budget?
Your First Impression
The final piece to think about when looking for office space is the impression you want to make on any potential clients. A business space should directly represent the type of business being done there, as well as the amount of professionalism that your team has. For example, your auto mechanic would not typically work out of an office building. This would be a strange setting for that type of work and people may question your ability as a mechanic. An organized shop setting is an accurate and professional environment for any good mechanic. The same could be said for other jobs such as an insurance agent. An insurance agent’s office is expected to be clean and professional looking. They should have space to have formal meetings with clients and typically there are separate office spaces for each team member – these provide adequate space for those team members to perform their job duties. If an insurance office was messy and unorganized, you may call their ability to properly insure you into question. The way your business presents itself is crucial. Here is a great resource to help determine the best features your office should have in order to make a great first impression on clients.
At the end of the day, every business is different. Whether or not you need a fancy space comes down to the type of business you are conducting and how you want current and potential clients to perceive you. Your main goal should be to find a functional, professional, and adequate space that represents your business and professional goals.
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