Choosing a space for your business is a huge decision, especially for start-ups. There’s much to consider, from hiring a real-estate broker to finding the right location.
First, determine how much space is necessary for you to operate. Be realistic. If you lease more space than your business requires, your monthly rent could consume an excessive chunk of your precious resources. If you’re a startup, you’ll want to account for future growth. But how much? Be thrifty.
Don’t take on more space than you need. Watch out for costs beyond your per-square-foot rental price, such as utilities and common area maintenance (CAM) fees, which cover the expense to maintain the building–cleaning hallways and restrooms, removing snow, keeping up the landscaping. An all-inclusive office space is ideal so your costs are fixed and no unexpected costs come your way.
If you’re not sure whether the rental price covers CAM or utility costs, by all means, ask. The terms of your lease are just as important as your rent. Try to find a space that will offer flexibility, such at a 6 month lease, until you know your business will get off the ground. Most of all, go with your gut. You have to be comfortable with your decision.