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5 QUESTIONS STARTUPS SHOULD ASK BEFORE RENTING AN OFFICE SPACE

 

The decision to transition from a virtual office to a physical one can be daunting, especially for a startup. Why wouldn’t it be? A lease is potentially one of the biggest contracts a small business owner will ever sign. While it is crucial for a him/her to pay attention to every word and detail in the contract, the real assessment begins long before the contract is drawn – and it is one that is self appraising in nature. It pays for startups to ask themselves these 5 questions before searching for an ideal office space.

HOW MUCH SPACE DO I NEED?

This is the first in this list because it prompts the startup to consider several other key questions related to the business at the same time. For example, the owner must first determine how many people he/she intends to hire. Should there be a designated storage area? Are meeting rooms required? How many? And how about a pantry? Attempting to rent a space without considering these sub-questions can lead to renting a space that cannot sustain the business’ operations for the duration of the lease.

WHAT DOES MY EXPANSION PLAN LOOK LIKE?

It is also important to consider the business’ expansion or growth plan in the near future before searching the market for a space. If growth is not expected immediately, it makes sense to rent only the square footage required at the moment. It saves precious money and helps the startup channel its finances where needed most as it stabilises and adapts. If further hiring or space is anticipated within the next few months, this obviously has to be included in the budget.

WHAT AMENITIES ARE NEEDED?

Some startups may plan to employ students and part timers who may not necessarily own a car. For these groups of people, an office close to MTR station would make it not only accessible but also safe if they have to work late. Others may hire seasoned employees with cars that may require a parking lot close to the office space. Consider the nature of your business and the needs of your employees when searching for office space to avoid having headaches later.

WHAT TYPE OF LOCATION WOULD BE BEST?

Central locations such as Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay are typically strategic, easily accessible, and have high foot traffic. The rental rates however, will likely commensurate with that fact. Offices located further away from city centre may cost less. If the startup does not depend on foot traffic or is not a store front, it is fine to rent further away from central locations to save money.

IS THERE SUFFICIENT BUDGET FOR BRANDING?

Unlike virtual offices, a physical office needs interior decoration to incorporate the business’ brand. It’s easy to budget for the square footage and overlook the branding aspect, but tasteful branding leaves a positive impression among potential recruits and stakeholders. So, make some room in your budget for potential renovations, signs and fittings.

A virtual office is a lot cheaper and easier to manage due to its typical size, but a physical office is a great sign of the startup’s growth and prosperity. If you are ready to take the next step, read 5 Things You Need to Ask About Your New Office in Hong Kong or contact Skybizcentre HK now and let us take care of the details for you.

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