Knowing what to look for when renting an office that works for you and your business is no small undertaking. There are a bewildering array of options for office space. It helps to research the options available and have a clear vision of what your needs are before you sign up to any agreement.
We’ve curated a list of must-do items which will help you make your first choice the right choice when it comes to finding an office in Dundee.
Phil & Kirstie there are only three things to consider when it comes to property; location, location, location. We’d counter that there are several more but the ‘where’ should certainly be up there at the top of your list. It should take into account your needs as a business. Make a wish list of your needs and check them against any site you look at.
Your office space needs to be somewhere you are comfortable travelling to, would be proud to welcome clients or colleagues to, and has an address that shows you understand your business and your market. For example, if you are a furniture designer but your office is right on a busy city centre street, your potential clients might decide there is no way they can park close enough to get that gorgeous dresser to their car and may go elsewhere.
Now this is all down to personal taste but at the very least, you’ll feel more confident in renting an office space in a well maintained, clean and tidy building. Even more important if you have visiting clients or suppliers.
Make sure you get a tour of any sites you are interested in. Any serviced office space provider or estate agent worth their salt will provide you with a no obligation tour so you can check out the space.
Again, this is personal but you’ll know pretty soon if an office space ‘feels’ right or not. Visit or drive by at different times of the day. If it’s in a serviced building, talk to other users. Most leases run for a minimum of six months. That’s a long time in a space that doesn’t inspire you.
We’re not just talking coffee rooms and water coolers here. Check out car parking availability for you or your clients and whether there would be costs involved. If you take deliveries, research whether the access for large vehicles would work for you and whether there are any traffic restrictions.
If you are looking at a standalone office space, does it have easy access for staff and customers? Down a narrow lane or up several flights of stairs might not be the image you want to project. Look at public transport options and check timetables to see that the site is accessible during the hours you’ll be working.
Having good neighbours is vital. If you take regular deliveries or send out consignments, you’ll want to make sure that there is limited disruption to surrounding businesses or residents. In a serviced office space, make sure they know in advance that your business has a lot of visitors or machinery. That way, you’ll be placed in the space that best suits your needs. If the building is staffed, it might work better for you than one without a reception team. Particularly if you have a lot of visitors or take deliveries.Your neighbours may well end up being your clients, good relationships are vital.
Read the lease! Ask to view it in advance and read it all, in full! Private landlord leases should be checked to ensure the terms are fair and favourable. Make sure you check what is included. In many cases post-lease repairs, utilities, water and many other items are additional to the monthly rent, so make sure you are fully aware of what your total outgoings to the landlord will be before you sign anything. Set your budget in advance and start low. You can always upsize, particularly in a serviced office environment where there are other options available on site.
Serviced offices tend to work on licenses rather than leases which are more flexible and generally include utilities.
Have a clear plan and shop around!