Monday, September 30, 2013

Are you a start-up or a growing organization? Find the checklist before you lease your next office space.

Author: Sachin Gupta | Find me on Twitter
Are you a start-up or growing organization? As a small company looking to bring new and innovative products and services to market, you want all your focus on the job at hand. You simply need no deviation from your core activities. While in large companies there is always a team to look into the non-core activities of a firm. The start-up can simply not afford it. The non-core activities include finding the right office space, manufacturing facility, admin tasks, and many such activities. Whereas the focus of a start-up is always on its products, customers, etc. However, there is no getting away from non-core activities.

Being a start-up ourselves, we understand how difficult is to perform these non-core activities within the constrained time and budget. Therefore, let’s start from the first step itself, i.e. finding your next office space. Make no mistake, having a right office space will not only allow you to focus on your core activities but at the same time it will help you to attract talent on your path to glory. So what are the things you as the founder of the start-up should keep in mind before going for office space hunting?

Tip 1 – Area Requirement:
Assess your current team size and the short term increase or decrease in team size. Let’s be clear, that most of the leases with landlord/developer will have a lock-in period of 3 years (it can be negotiated though). Therefore, having an eye on future expansion on team size will help you a great deal to justify the office space you lease for your operations. Having done that, now you need to calculate the area required. Our estimate based on the historical data assigns 80-100 Sq Ft per employee. Therefore, having a team of 10 should mean 800-1000 Sq Ft of carpet area requirement.

Tip 2 – Building efficiency:
It makes sense for you to look for office space buildings with greater efficiency. Now, what is building efficiency? Building efficiency is basically the ratio of usable (carpet) area to super area. In other words, higher the efficiency, the better is the space utilization in the building. Therefore, look for buildings with higher efficiency. For example, the building efficiency for Office Space in Gurgaon varies from 65-80%. Let’s take an example, having assessed your team size; you came to conclusion that you need 1000 Sq Ft of usable area. Now, for 80% building efficiency, the super area (the area on which you will pay rent) will be 1250 Sq Ft. And for 65% building efficiency, the super are will be 1540 Sq. Ft. It’s a no brainer that you will choose the building with 80% efficiency to cut on your monthly rent.

Tip 3 – Parking and Location:
Make sure to check for parking spaces available for your office space. As a standard practice, one parking is made available for every 1000 Sq Ft of area leased. One can also rent or buy the additional car space. If your business requires that your customers visit you frequently, it make sense to find the office space in a locality which is located in central business district, and is easily connected by road, metro, etc. And if you operate a back office call center, then location becomes irrelevant for office space set-up.

Tip 4 – verify other charges in addition to the rent:
Make sure to check the other charges in addition to the monthly rent. Typical charges include CAM (Common area maintenance, electricity, taxes, and lease registration charges). In Grade A buildings, CAM charges would typically be 12 to 16 Rs. / Sq Ft. Electricity charges will be as per actual. And taxes, lease registration charges vary from state to state.

Tip 5 – Read the lease documents carefully:
You would have heard of this phrase a many times “Read the documents carefully” :). Typically, a lease paper should comprise the parties to lease, lease date, lock-in period, minimum rent deposit (6 months, although it is again negotiable), lease term including the lease renewal options, rent appreciation format, CAM charges format, size of the area, and other legal clauses. For more about the lease document, Download "Points to remember before leasing your Office Space in Gurgaon"

Go through the process carefully, and all the best in building a great company!

Have any Questions?


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