Should I Rent Office Space?

No. If you’re starting a service business and you don’t have customers coming to your physical place of business do not start your business with office space. Aside from employees rent and office expenses will most likely be your biggest drain on cash. Try to keep your business small until you start making good profits and then, and only then, if you must have office space, start looking for space.

When looking for office space go around to some smaller office buildings and look for the name of a commercial leasing company that looks like they specialize in smaller buildings or suites. If you call companies that are used to 10 or 15,000 square foot leases and you only need a small space they will blow you off or try to talk you into more than you need. When you call ask them if they have someone that specializes in smaller suites and they will probably pass you on the new person…That’s okay, they want to make a transaction and they’ll be the most interested in helping you find something that works for you.

Tell them you are looking for space that you can either sub-lease that is already furnished or smaller space that you can move right into without any tenant improvements. This will be the only way you will be able to get a short term lease with some decent rent. If you need build out, new carpet or lots of improvements they will require you to go with a 3 or 5 year lease to recoup their costs of improving the space for you and they will want PERSONAL GUARANTEES. You should move into space on a month-to-month basis to start or sign only a short-term, 6 or 12 month lease.

If you can’t find a furnished place, keep in mind you can always look for Executive Suites. These are usually small offices that you can rent on a month-to-month basis and you will have access to conference rooms, copy machines and phones as you need them and you can pay for these services as you go.

Work out of your home as long as you can and if you need to get office space, think small and short term to start!