Many small businesses will need an office expansion or two at some point. Several situations can lead to these situations, such as adding new employees, needing additional space for equipment and files, or taking the organization into a new territory. The key to a smooth transition is knowing when and how to expand.
A small business might be unsure about when it’s time to grow their business and what they should consider before expanding or renovating office space. There are some key signs it’s time to add more space, plus a few questions you should ask yourself before you sign a new lease.
6 Signs It’s Time to Expand Your Office Space
An office expansion is a big undertaking, so you want to make sure you’re expanding at the right time. Certain conditions indicate your business is growing and may eventually lead to cramped spaces. Here are some signs it’s time for a bigger space.
1. You’ve Got a Solid Client Base and a Consistent Influx of Cash
These are indications that your business is not just stable but perhaps growing. Companies often require a bigger office with more staff as they grow. If you expect your business to increase soon, you may want to look into an office expansion.
2. You Need to Hire Additional Staff
Planning to add more employees is a good sign that it’s time to expand. Each should have a comfortable and spacious workstation to ensure maximum efficiency. If you’re having to double up or use conference rooms as offices, that’s a possible indicator that you need more space.
3. You’re Running Out of Room for New Equipment and Storage
Depending on the nature of your business, you may need to acquire new equipment over time. It’s important to have adequate space for office equipment as well as file storage to avoid taking up employee workspace or cutting into communal spaces such as break rooms.
4. Workstations Are Cluttered and Too Close Together
Offices and cubicles that feel too cramped may also be an indicator that more space is needed.
Employees will value comfortable working spaces with room to spread out, and clients will also appreciate a spacious and pristine office environment when they visit.
5. There’s High Employee Turnover
High turnover can indicate a range of issues, including an uncomfortable work environment. If exit interviews consistently mention a cramped or crowded office space as a reason for leaving, it may be time to consider a larger office.
6. Parking Issues
Parking problems may also indicate that it’s time to think about expansion. Your parking lot needs to have enough spaces for your whole team, otherwise it could signal that you’ve outgrown your office.
A growing business is usually a blessing and a sure sign of success, so be thankful and make the most of a prosperous time. Maintaining a comfortable office environment is crucial for you and your team as well as your clients.
What to Keep in Mind When You’ve Decided to Expand Your Office
There are a few factors to consider to be sure you find the right working space for you and your team. Perhaps the most important question is what you can afford. Are you simply renting a larger space, or are you hoping to add an additional location along with your current one?
You’ll want to consider other costs such as maintenance and utility fees as well as your monthly rent. Once you’ve settled on a budget, here are some other factors to consider.
- Your Business’s Projected Growth
When scouting new office spaces, be sure to assess how the new space will support your plans for future growth. You’ve likely got an immediate need to expand, but you’ll also want to consider your future needs and how a new space might adapt to fit those aspirations.
What’s your staff count going to look like in three to five years? What kind of storage and equipment do you think you’ll eventually need?
- The Number of Remote Workers
If a portion of your workforce is fully remote, you may not need a grand expansion plan. Perhaps some smaller-scale changes will better suit your needs.
Think about whether you expect the number of remote workers to grow, and let the answer inform your plans for a new space.
- Whether to Work with an Architect
Hiring an architect or designer will be more costly than simply renting a new, larger space. The benefits of working with a professional may pay for themselves. They’ll be able to design your space according to your exact specifications, for example — and perhaps even improve efficiency and flow.
- Cubicles Versus Open Space
If your team needs time and space to collaborate, then you may want to limit the number of cubicles. Conversely, if your employees thrive in focused individual spaces, then cubicles or offices may suit you. Whatever the decision, it’s likely to affect your ideal square footage and preferred layout.
- Special Floor Plans
Do you need a large conference room for hosting clients or staff meetings? Is a sizable lounge area important for your team? Do you need storage space for large equipment or technology? Is outdoor space a priority? All these questions can help you select the right floor plan for your business.
- Electrical Needs
Older buildings may not have the proper electrical capacity to support your operations. You may even find some newer buildings lacking proper outlets and hookups. If you evaluate your electrical requirements before beginning your search, you can find a space that suits your needs.
Considering these factors will help you find an appropriate space and office fit-out that matches your current and future business needs. Businesses will change over time, so it’s best to settle on a space that can grow along with you and your team. There’s no need to go it alone, though: An office space expert can make the whole process easier.
Looking to Expand Your Office in D.C.?
If you’re in the market for office space in the greater Washington, D.C. area, The Genau Group’s team of experts can help. We provide a wide range of project management services — including lease negotiation and management, new office brokerage, move coordination, and sublease marketing and tenant generation — to help our clients secure spaces that support operations and allow their team’s talents to shine.
Contact us today, and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have about leasing office space in Washington D.C.