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What you must know before renting an office as a startup

Felix Oloyede

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What you must know before renting an office as a startup

Many startups are always quick to go for office space, which may not be what they actually need then. They think renting an office would portray their level of seriousness in doing business. Worse still, some people why they are still conceptualizing their business, rush to get an office space. At the end of the day, they may end up exhausting the rent without earning a dime there.

In order not to fall into this trap, there are some factors you have to consider before going for an office space. You must think through it if you actually need an office at this stage of your business. To play safe, you need to provide answers to some of these questions satisfactorily before conclude on renting office space:

Cost

The first thing you consider as a start-up before you rent an office space is how much you would have to cough out to get an office space.

When you’re considering leasing office space, the one number that stands out the most is the cost per square foot per month. That’s the bare minimum monthly obligation you’ll be paying for private office space. But there are other costs to consider here, as well:

The overall message is to factor in the total overhead that comes with leasing a private office space, to maintain a healthy margin on your product/service. This is especially important if you expect to need to raise more capital soon.

Growth-projection

Commercial property owners are always interested in knowing how long you want to spend in their properties. The length of a lease for private office space ranges from a year to as long as five years.  Commercial property owners are often opposed to businesses cycling in and out quickly, as that can create a negative perception of the property.

You, therefore, need to consider how you expect your business to grow before going for a private office space. In the early phases of a startup, your growth could come in fits and starts or be explosive. No matter the case, you would need more hands as time goes on.

When you have concluded that you need office space, carefully consider the size of the private office you need, based on your projections. Don’t go from an office space that would not give room for growth and expansion.

Value-addition

One important thing you look into critically before deciding on the private office to lease is what value it would add to your business. You have to ask yourself these questions: Will your business model benefit from private space? Will it improve the efficiency of workflows at your startup, the team dynamic or the client experience? If the responses to these questions are negative, then, you don’t need an office space yet.

Meanwhile, investors and customers have more confidence in startups that operate from a commercial office space.  So, if it was necessary to rent an office space, ensure that it would add value to your business.

Privacy

Every business needs a certain level of privacy as it operates. You’re dealing with client records, phone calls and personal employee information, among other things.

Office space allows private meetings with clients that may enhance their comfort level, as opposed to meetings in a public place.

Office space can also ensure that any records you keep, both hard copy and electronic, are secured from outside tampering, theft or loss. But if such security isn’t that serious a concern, ask yourself if your startup can operate in a less-private) the setting, like a shared or co-working environment.

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