Happy Friday! What else can I say after that?

But I’ve been thinking about some cases I’ve recently heard about when they’ve signed up for an office in a business center, and were (not pleasantly) surprised with their monthly rent invoices. So I’ve come up with a bit of a checklist for when you’re interviewing for an office at a business center.

Be sure to find out:

  • Which office will actually be yours? Some places may show you a “model” office but then actually put you in a different one.
  • What is included in the base rent? Are there additional fees beyond or in addition to rent?
    • Utilities
    • Furniture
    • Internet
    • Telephone
  • What are the costs for copying, faxing, postage, etc.
  • What will be my invoice at the end of the month? You may even ask to see a sample invoice from an existing or prior tenant, then get an explanation of all the charges on it.
  • What does the receptionist do? Is there an additional charge if the receptionist does more than just answer the phone?
  • Can I get extra furniture on an occasional basis?
    • If you have a visitor and need additional chair(s) in your office, what’s the protocol?
    • Is there a charge? How much?
  • Can I bring in my own services: Internet, telephone, etc.?
  • Can I bring in my own furniture?
  • What are the parking facilities for me as a tenant? for my visitors?
    • Are there costs involved?
    • If so, what are they?

You may also want to ask yourself how convenient your location would be for any clients who may come to your office.

Those are just a few things that come to mind after hearing about other people’s experiences, and questions I’ve received over the years. If you don’t get a satisfactory answer to any of the questions or issues above, you might want to keep looking.

Don’t be swayed by a name or a “prestige” address if you don’t really need it! Will your clientele be impressed by your address or will they wonder if they’re paying for it? If you don’t have clients visiting you, do you really need posh surroundings? You only need something professional and conducive to work. You need a place where you can concentrate when necessary, a place to keep your stuff, a place from which you can effectively and efficiently run your business, with support you can count on (without being nickel-and-dimed to death).

Just some things to think about.

Have a good weekend,