In some of our previous blogs like “Your Office Space Toronto Location is Key to Your Success” we talked about the importance of where you locate your office and the much-touted “location, location, location.” But there is much more to finding the perfect office space for your business – you have to find somewhere that is ideal for you and your employees too. You have to consider that your office space not only affects your day-to-day operations and your staff morale, but also your brand image. So besides location, what are the other things that you need to consider?

Price is a very important factor to most businesses when choosing a new office, especially their first office. If they spend too little, they either end up with an office they are not happy with, or they may find themselves moving out after a few months. A business that spends too much may struggle to pay the rent, or have to move again in order to downsize. These scenarios indicate that they have not yet found the best office space.

When looking for an office space, how much you choose to pay is incredibly important to your business. This may sound like you can simply negotiate costs with a commercial landlord, but it actually means that your business is willing to pay for office space at the prices being offered. Some of the factors that you need to consider when choosing an office based solely on its price are:
• Can your small business afford to pay a three-month rent deposit right now?
• Do you know about any hidden or unforeseen costs such as utilities, cleaning, cost of parking, communal space, upkeep, etc.?

The next thing you need to consider is the size of the space you require and what flexibility is available for up-sizing or downsizing. There is nothing worse than signing a long-term lease on a perfect office space, only to find out mid-way through the lease that your company is expanding and you need more space. Even worse is when you need more space and the location you chose does not have the additional space to offer you. On the other hand, if your perfect office space becomes too big for downsizing your staff or using more remote workers, you are stuck with office space that is under-utilized.

Office size and needs can often be met best by renting office space in an office business centre that allows you to rent month-to-month, and choose the amount of office space that fits the needs of your small business (up-size or downsize) without having to change your business address. Also, a business centre will give you access to boardrooms and meeting rooms that are included in the rent – and you are not paying for a meeting space that you are not using all the time.

How can you start off your perfect office space without office infrastructure like telephone lines and high-speed Internet? When choosing your office space, you have to consider if the infrastructure is already in place. Or will you need to get the office wired and set up before you start running your business out of it? Again, when you choose to locate your small business office in an office business centre, all the infrastructure is in place and there is nothing for you to set up. You also do not need to worry about who to call when your Internet goes down or the telephone is not working. The office administration staff most likely already knows about the problem before you call them.

What does your perfect office space provide in terms of postal mail and courier access? First, I want to say YES, there is still a need for a postal mail address in these digital days. Besides an address for customers to remit payments and vendors to send invoices, your postal address says a lot to your customers in terms of where your office is located. People are still reluctant to do business with a company that works out of a P.O. Box, for fears that the company is “fly-by-night” operation.

Lastly, but sometimes the most important consideration, does the office space fit your company style – and if not, can you alter it to fit the look that you want for your small business? This can be especially true if your small business is one that hopes to become a “brand” and wants your office space to project your brand image. You also want the option of giving your office space a branding “feel.” It is important to find out what sort of changes or modifications you can make to the space you are renting and what changes you cannot make. Most office providers will allow for custom paint and logos on the walls (as long as it is returned to their specifications when you move out). But others will not allow any changes to the colour scheme or décor of the office space (they may have their own “brand” to protect).