Initiating your first start-up is an exhilarating experience, and an increasing number of entrepreneurs are finding themselves doing just that.

These entrepreneurs work from their own homes, basements, garages, cafés and shared workspaces. Others are taking the leap, to either buy or lease commercial office spaces to authenticate their start-ups.

Is that really a smart move to make early on for a new business? Probably not. On that account, if you are considering leasing a private office space, limit your enthusiasm long enough to ask yourself the following five questions.

What is the cost for office space in Ottawa?
When considering leasing office space, the number to pay the most attention to is the cost per square foot per month. That is the minimum monthly requirement you will be paying for your office space. But there may be other costs to consider as well:

  • Insurance to cover your assets
  • Liability insurance
  • Supplies
  • Electronics
  • Furniture and decor
  • Utilities (internet, electricity, water, waste removal, etc.
  • Maintenance fees that the proprietor or management company may apply

The general idea is to take into account the total overhead cost that comes with leasing a private office space, in order to maintain a healthy margin on your business.

What does your growth-projection look like?
The general period for a lease can vary remarkably from short-term (three to six months) to long-term (three to five years). Commercial proprietors may not be interested in businesses cycling in and out quickly, since that can create an undesirable image of the property.

Consider how your business may grow and develop before considering private office space. Growth may come in fits and starts — or be explosive – during the early phases of a start-up.

If you’re confident that office space is required, think wisely about how much space you will need, based on your predictions. You don’t want to find yourself stuck in a commercial lease with little or no room for growth and expansion.

Will private office space bring value or contribute to revenue generation?
Founders and entrepreneurs to consider their spending prudently. If expenditure does not contribute to revenue generation, you possibly do not need it.

Will your business model gain from operating in a private space? Will it improve the productivity of workflows at your start-up, the team spirit or the client experience?

Commercial office space can foster trust and authority in a start-up in the eye of investors and clients; is it absolutely necessary at this current time in your start-up phase?

Is privacy important to your business?
Businesses need a particular level of privacy for its operations. Especially if they are dealing with personal employee information, client records, and phone calls among other things.

Office space may enhance clients’ comfort level during private meetings versus meetings in a public place.

Office space can also guarantee that any records you keep, both hard copy and electronic, are protected from outside interference, theft or loss. If such security isn’t a serious concern for you, ask yourself if your start-up can function in a less-private setting, like a shared or co-working environment.

How will office space impact your existing workflow?
Moving your business and your team into a private office space may change the overall dynamic of your operations.  It may also change how individual employees get their work done and communicate with each other.

This is not essentially a bad thing. There are many benefits to bringing your team together under one roof. You must consider how changes to an office space will impact your workflow, and plan accordingly. This way, the transition happens on your terms, and reduces the number of blunders and errors during your start-up phase.

If obtaining office space is a necessity for your business, also consider how the search for office space will affect your workflow and development. Do not treat it like a search for your dream home. Ask yourself what you need, to function and grow, and make your choice.

Looking for Office Space in Ottawa for your business? We can help find the perfect location to suit your business needs for Office Space. At Metcalfe Realty Company, Limited, we strive to satisfy the property requirements of Ottawa’s varied and dynamic business community. To assist you in your search for the right office, warehouse, retail or medical suite we invite you to browse through our portfolio. Please contact us for further information or to arrange a tour of a specific suite. At Metcalfe Realty Company, Limited, we will work to ensure your satisfaction.