10 January 2019
Renting office space can seem daunting, it’s the next step on your journey to success. It gives you that little extra credibility and your productivity is inevitably going to increase. It doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you might think, however. Whilst there are choices to make, many of them don’t ask for huge deposits or long-term contracts. Either way, we’ve got you covered because we’ve put together a guide to help you through.
If this guide doesn’t contain everything you could possibly want to know about renting office space, just get in touch and let us know. We’ll be more than happy to answer your questions, and then throw something at the copywriter for missing something out.
There’s little doubt that you know the answer to this already, you’re here because you want office space, we’re here because we know all there is to know about renting office space, so explaining why you need it seems a little futile. That being said, it would feel odd jumping right in without an introduction, so let’s take a look at some of the benefits, shall we?
Fortunately, renting office space isn’t a one-size-fits-all thing, you have options. You’ll also be pleased to know that you’re not going to feel overwhelmed with choice, we promise!
Leasehold office space is the most common method of renting and normally involves a fixed agreement between you and the landlord. Effectively, what you’re paying for is the space. Furniture, utilities, maintenance and other building administration tasks are your responsibility in this type of agreement. Leasehold is always the best choice if you want control over your office and freedom to personalise it to suit your business.
- Usually costs less than serviced office space
- You’ll need to buy your own furniture and furnishings
Serviced offices come with furniture, utilities, internet and various other amenities along with the space itself. The main advantage is that it’s easy to move into serviced office space and even easier to move out with many agreements detailing notice periods of three months or less. The cost of servicing, administration and all the other building maintenance responsibilities fall onto the landlord’s shoulders, lowering the long-term costs. The biggest upset is you have no control over the appearance or features of your office, making it difficult to make the space truly your own.
- The convenience of moving straight in to a fully equipped office
- It’s harder to add your brand personality. If the space is fully furnished it probably has to stay the way you moved in
Coworking offices are the cheapest of the renting options and do exactly what they say on the tin – your office is shared amongst multiple businesses. Apart from this distinct difference, coworking office space is very similar to serviced office space as you have the same amenities dealt with by the landlord and you can’t change the office. One of the key bonuses of sharing space is the obvious social benefits that comes with working around other small businesses, not to mention the networking opportunities. Just be aware that visitors may struggle to locate you and there will be very little privacy, so coworking office space isn’t suitable if you’re dealing with sensitive or personal information.
- Price, this is by some way the most reasonable option.
- It’s more difficult to invite customers or clients to come and visit you, though there is likely a shared office or canteen space that you could use
Before the digital world, there was only one…the brick and mortar office space, but step into the modern world and you’ll find two types of office space - the physical kind and virtual office space.
A virtual office is a perfect way to “boost your rep” as a company and take advantage of services that come with a business address, without the cost of renting a physical space. This is ideal for business owners who don’t really need a physical office but still need somewhere to have their mail delivered and want a professional address to put on their business card.
On top of the credibility and mail management, most virtual office renting (including ours) also boasts additional services like handling your calls, hiring meeting rooms and using photocopiers – your one-stop business solution. The idea of virtual office space is that you stick to working and have a fancy business address, whilst someone else handles the extra bits. For all intents and purposes, most of this guide will be geared towards those looking to find a physical office to rent but if you want more information on virtual office space, follow the white rabbit here.
Now we know what the options are, we need to decide which is best for you? If your business requires clients to regularly visit you, then it makes sense that you would want to have an office that they can associate with your company. Similarly, if you’ve just started up your business and you’re looking to trial the benefits of a physical office, then renting office space is ideal as you will only have to stay for a short, fixed period and can then easily make the decision to stay or move.
Here at BizSpace, we make a point to try and adapt to your needs. If you want more detailed tips on whether renting is suitable for you, get in touch with us and we’ll be happy to advise you.
Location is a key reason many people choose to start renting an office. Although, it’s essential to check the location of your potential new office and consider important points like neighbours and security. Business parks and company buildings tend to have dedicated security systems and are surrounded by similar businesses, with self-contained car parking spaces. We have offices all over the country that are hand-picked by our business team to ensure the safety and security of our wonderful occupants.
Whether you plan on hosting the next Cirque du Solei or simply need to house a small team, you need to consider the space you are going to take up. If your office is going to be comprised of primarily computer-based workstations, then suggested guidelines indicate 150-250 square feet per person, although you’ll want to keep server room space and areas for additional appliances, such as those massive printer workstations!
On top of the space you need currently, keep in mind any plans for future growth. Does the office you’re looking at leave room for your business to grow, or is it ‘just right’? If it’s just right, then it may not be suitable when your business starts to grow
Regardless, make sure to fully investigate (and preferably visit) your potential office before committing.
Accessibility is an essential part of any good office. Consider the number of staff you have and the parking spaces available, as well as the possibility for future expansion. On top of that, make sure to keep in mind how easy it is to reach the office. Are you near a main road, or will staff have to crawl through city centre traffic for an hour to reach you? Furthermore, what if you want to work outside of normal working hours? Is there an electronic access system or will you be forced to stick with conventional timings? Fortunately, most of our locations offer 24-hour access, seven days a week, but these are all important questions you should ask.
The condition of the building you are moving into should play a big role in your decision, particularly if your agreement makes repairs your responsibility. Note that building condition doesn’t just involve the structural health of the property - it involves all the features that create a safe and comfortable working environment like ventilation and heating. Be sure to get a full assessment of the building from the landlord before committing to a decision.
An important consideration is whether you can make changes to the office whilst you’re staying there and if so, what are the guidelines? Most lease held offices give tenants a lot of freedom but be sure to get clarification before you move in and start knocking down walls or redecorating.
Renting an office can vary greatly in price depending on factors including the type of agreement you have, the location, facilities and amenities involved as well as much more. The only way to truly estimate price is to find an office that has the facilities you need and then see for yourself. There are also additional fees to consider that will vary depending on the agreement with your landlord and your location. These include:
It’s impossible to identify every possible combination of prices, amenities, facilities and additional charges, so all you can do is try and find something suitable for your personal needs but go with your budget in mind.
Payment is usually via direct debit, but the intervals can vary depending on location and your personal agreement. To find out more about BizSpace’s payment systems in your potential office location, get in touch with your local centre manager.
When it comes to agreements, there can be some confusion regarding all the different types and details. In particular, the difference between licencing and leasing. Whilst licences and leases are very similar on the most part, the key differences are in their length and ownership rules.
Licences tend to cover a short period of time maxing out at around two years, whilst leases run for much longer. This difference in length is because licences give you the right to use the property, whilst leases give you the right to exclusive possession of the office - two very different things.
We tend to focus on licences because we have found that most SMEs prefer the flexibility they offer, but we understand that many companies prefer the security of a lease and so we still offer these if required.
In summary, licences are short-term and flexible, giving you permission to use the property. Leases are long-term and more restrictive but give you exclusive ownership.
Break clauses are the failsafe of your lease or licence. A break clause details how the landlord or tenant may end the agreement early, under what conditions and after what period of time. Whilst most break clauses never get used, it’s important to make sure that you have one and that you understand the terms of it, as well as how much notice you must give.
At BizSpace, we include buildings insurance into your rent as well as business rates depending on your local council and area. However, you may need to invest in other forms of insurance depending on the type of office space you’re renting and the details of your agreement. Be sure to discuss insurance with your landlord if you’re not sure.
Before you go, here are our final two thoughts…
Remember, you’re likely to spend an average of eight hours a day in this office, so it’s important that you like it. Pick a space that you’re proud to show off and welcome your clients into. Loving your environment leads to increased productivity and that’s exactly what you need as a small business owner.
And finally, if you’re unsure about an office then please don't hesitate to go and find out more about it. If you can, try to visit it in person. Our centre managers are always happy to help because we understand how difficult it can be to make a final decision and sign that licence. Use our guidance - we want to help you get the office of your dreams.