FINDING THE RIGHT SPACE FOR YOUR INSPECTION BUSINESS September 15, 2020 | Business Tips | business growth By Adam Kiesel, NPI, Inc.'s Digital Marketing Assistant The majority of inspectors just starting out have business operations set up at home to help cut down on overhead costs. But as your business expands and you take on new employees, it might make more sense to set up in a commercial office space that everyone can report to. Check out these tips for finding the right business space for your growing team. Location, Location, Location As you begin your search for a new office, brainstorm several different locations and how they might factor into your day-to-day business flow. You’ll likely find that you want to be based somewhere around the center of your territory for easy access to all your most frequently traveled areas. However, if rent happens to be especially high at the heart of your service area, you’ll likely need to crunch some numbers, namely the cost of gas and vehicle maintenance versus the difference in monthly rent. It’s also a good idea to consider the areas where longstanding employees are based and their proximity to your potential new space. Think of Employees’ Needs Along with keeping in mind the traveling distance for your employees, think of how comfortable they will be in the new office. While you don’t need to have an overly large office, you also don’t want to cut corners by leasing a space that’s too small. Each person should have enough room to do their job without distractions or overlapping with someone else’s workspace. Noise level is one of the most important factors to consider. Can more than one person talk on the phone at the same time and still hear whomever is on the line? This will prove endlessly important during busy season! Don’t Be Burdened by Payments Accounting for the new bills that come with leasing an office is undeniably intimidating. Luckily, there are many options available to help save you money. One excellent way to test out an office setup without having to drop an entire year’s rent is to check out a co-working space. Offered in a range of layouts, co-working spaces offer the chance for your employees to interact and collaborate. These spaces can be rented out for short- and long-term periods, which allows you to “try out” the space for as long as you want. Another short-term option is to sublease an office on a monthly or weekly basis. Don’t be afraid to discuss rent prices and other expenses with your landlord. Now is a great time to negotiate! Work With an Agent While you can try to go at it alone, it is probably best to enlist the help of a real estate agent to get you the best spot for the best price. They can easily do all your negotiations and research which will save you time and money overall. When you look for an agent, ask for recommendations to make sure that you are getting one that will work for you. Going with a trusted real estate agent will help you avoid any hassles. Inspect the Building from Top to Bottom Renting a commercial building can be quite different from renting a residence--oftentimes, you’re in charge of repairs. It never hurts to put your eye for detail to work and inspect the building (provided you have permission from the owner, of course). If issues are racking up on your report, don’t be afraid to negotiate further or walk away from the property altogether. Determine Ease of Change In addition to choosing a space that will fit you now, think of how you can adapt it for the future. As mentioned earlier, you can simply sign short-term leases in case you find that you have outgrown your space. But you don’t want to be moving around constantly as it can be disruptive to your business. Think of what areas of your business you’d like to see grow the largest and the quickest. Are you hoping to eventually host agents for meetings in your own conference room? Do you want to go from one marketing employee to four? Plan accordingly by choosing an adaptable space or having a game plan for your next move. About the Author Adam Kiesel, Digital Marketing Assistant Adam's responsibilities on the NPI, Inc. Marketing Team include content creation for our websites, blogs and social media accounts. He also works on informational items to be sent to current and prospective franchisees. Adam joined the staff at NPI in 2020.