For startups, choosing the right office space is more than just finding the right physical attributes and amenities. In fact, your office location is just as important as any other factor to consider. To that point, you should take the following criteria into account when deciding on the location of your startup's new office space.
Finding office space in an already existing startup or local business community can significantly improve networking efforts immediately upon moving. Furthermore, such networking can pay substantial dividends -- both literally and figuratively -- down the road.
Nearby businesses and attractions are important when employees work long hours and need to rely on your office's proximity to other businesses. Restaurants within walking distance or a very short drive away are especially important for lunch and other team bonding activities. Similarly, bars, local nightlife and other recreational attractions within walking distance can be crucial in attracting young talent and entertaining clients.
Commute times are an important factor no matter the size of the business. Heavy traffic can be a concern for many employees and create additional stresses and expenses for your staff. Traffic should also be considered in projecting your delivery and shipping costs. As a possible solution for employees, clients and customers, consider nearby public transportation options.
Your office should be easy to find in terms of both the drive and general neighborhood. You will need ample parking for your employees, as well as any visitors to your office. The facility should also offer bike racks or storage areas. If many of your staff happen to live within a concentrated area, walking distance from that area to the office should also be taken into account.
Depending on the nature of your business, it might be wise to find an office in a high foot traffic area. There might also be a strategic advantage in being close to other businesses, like placing a health food store next to a gym. Of course, these needs are specific to individual businesses, so this might not be important to you.
If you are actively searching for investors or strategic partners for your startup, you need to be certain your space is easily accessible for visitors to your office. When funding is a particular focus, having a community of investors nearby can be a valuable network to rely on and exploit.
Be certain that the office space has the necessary framework for the technology you need. This might include fiber-optic lines or other means of high-speed internet access -- a particular concern for most tech-based startups.
Choosing the right space for your startup is dependent on careful consideration of the many details involved. Take a methodical, organized approach, using these guidelines to assist on choosing a location, and you’re one step closer to finding the ideal office space.