The Ultimate Guide To Finding The Perfect Creative Space For Your Agency
Smart business owners know that the workspace is much more than a building filled with tables, desks, floors and walls. It’s a living environment that comes together to facilitate a specific desired culture.
That’s really important in today’s work environment. The culture a company creates has a direct impact on the bottom line. With a healthy culture, employees are markedly more productive, collaborative, motivated, and engaged.
And your workspace can either facilitate that culture or ruin it.
This is why creative spaces are so important to every business, whether you’re a creative ad agency or a financial agency. While certainly not the only defining element of your culture, your workspace contributes significantly to the personality and perception of your business.
So how do you go about locating the right type of space to facilitate the needs of your culture? Here’s our ultimate guide to finding the perfect creative space for your agency:
Set Your Budget(s)
You’ll want to create two budgets – a pie in the sky budget (the best case scenario) and a flex budget (what you cannot go beyond). Remember to leave room in your budget for upgrades and construction. From flooring to furniture to garage doors, these elements will uniquely brand your space. Don’t shortchange them.
And yes, it is possible to stay within your budget and get the type of space you’re looking for – especially if you’re willing to get a bit creative.
Don’t Rush It
Finding the right space won’t happen overnight, or even within a couple months. Ideally, you’ll want to plan a minimum of 6 months to find the right place – and another 2 to 4 months for upgrades and construction to make the place uniquely yours.
Allow yourself plenty of time for the process. Remember that the end goal is to find a long-term solution that supports the growth of your business.
Understand Your Culture
Your culture is the personality of your business. It’s the personification of your values, traditions, behaviors, attitudes – and it’s the thing that makes you different from the other businesses in town offering similar services or products.
So, what is it that makes you, you? Ask your team to get a sense of what they perceive as well. The more voices at this stage, the better.
Pinpoint Your Vision
Factoring in the feedback from your team and your own personal ideas, articulate your vision for the new space. What is it that you want your space to accomplish? What do you expect from it? What personality do you want it to have or image do you want it to convey?
Combined with your culture, this will serve as the blueprint you’ll use to begin finding the type of space that you want for your business.
Determine The Square Footage You Really Need
Now it’s time to start getting down to some nitty gritty details. Before you begin looking around to see what’s out there, you’ll need to know how much square footage you’ll want for your space.
It’s important to factor in your future growth goals when determining square footage. You’ll want to find a space you can grow into, but not a space that feels large and empty when you first move in.
Similarly, you don’t want to move into a place that’s exactly the size you need now, as you’ll quickly outgrow it. It’s best to look for a space that gives you expansion options.
Identify The Way You Need To Work
Take inventory of your current workflow and processes. How does work happen in your organization? Identify the following:
- How many conference rooms you’ll need
- If you want a café area or a more traditional break room
- How many offices, desks or workstations you’ll need
- If you’ll need to have private areas or a wide open space
- What type of reception area you need to properly greet clients
- How much parking you will need for employees and guests
You’re looking for a space because your current office has some limitations – and chances are, those limitations affect the work your team is producing. Your new space should definitively overcome these barriers.
Identify The Way You Need To Work Better
At this stage, you’ll want to think about the daily habits of your employees. How can their lives be improved by your new workspace? How will a new space increase their happiness? Consider the following:
- Outdoor patio and seating
- Nearby bars and restaurants
- Creative collaboration areas
- Gaming options (like a ping pong table)
- Gathering spaces (such as a bar top or a “third space”)
- Visually inspiring cues
Your new space should be exciting to your workforce. When you find the right space, it’ll serve as a recruiting tool for new employees and a retention factor for your existing team members.
Accessibility and Location
The where factor of your workspace is about more than where the building or campus is located – it’s about what’s around your new space. Is it lively and energetic with lots of options to schmooze clients? Are there great places for employees to get lunch or enjoy a happy hour together?
You want a location that gives your business the best foot forward. Is your new place easy to find? Are there free parking options for visitors and guests? Will your new location position your business well?
Search Around The Market
With an ample timeline and a clear vision in mind, you are ready to start searching the market to see what’s available. This will give you insight into the market rate for the type of space you are looking to lease or buy.
It’s best not to go this stage alone. A real estate agent who specializes in tenant representation can provide you with behind-the-scenes information on properties you like – Such as actually achievable lease rates, improvement allowances for construction, lease terms, insight into good and bad landlords and a good understanding of construction costs.
See Creative Opportunities
We’d venture to say that 99.99% of the time, the space you really need (and want) simply doesn’t exist. Catch you off guard?
Often times, we find our client’s solutions by creatively utilizing spaces they never would have considered. We can make any space work in your favor with a little vision, creativity, and construction. Remember, nearly any space can be transformed into a dynamic representation of your culture.
Negotiate A Lease That Works In Your Favor
The final step is securing your property. And the negotiation process if often dreaded by many business owners. But, it doesn’t have to be.
Remember, the end goal for both parties is the same: a satisfied tenant with a space they take great pride in. A tenant representative with experience will help you secure favorable leasing terms – potentially even involving creative trade-offs for more manageable terms.
Enjoy The Benefits Of The Perfect Space
Your hunt for the perfect space is about much more than a building or a location. It’s about finding the right environment that will champion your culture, enrich the lives of your employees, recruit the best talent to work for you, and make an impactful impression on your current and prospective clients.
This completes the ultimate guide for finding a perfect creative space for your agency. Capitol Equities can help you find your perfect space – from determining your budget, articulating your vision, establishing creative solutions and securing favorable leasing terms. Contact us today to find your new space!