Opt for a longer lease. For a young business, renting space for two whole years sounds like a heck of a long time but it goes by too quickly. If instead you’re brave enough to sign a longer lease for four to six years, your largest overhead cost is locked in, and that puts your business on a secure foundation. It even pays to give your landlord pre-set incremental rent increases within the terms of the lease because it costs you less in the long run.

Rent twice as much space as you really need. I find spaces are just like empty closets and they never stay empty for long. When you have extra space to fill, it forces you to grow your business more quickly. Many businesses are held back because they simply don’t have the space to grow.

Ask about ALL the costs.  Ask above the actual quoted rent, such as heat, electric, gas, water, and even snow removal. Ask the landlord for a schedule of past values that you can rely on so there are no surprises when it comes to paying on the first of the month.

Negotiate the rent fee.  You need space and the owner wants to fill the space.  Its a win-win.

Talk details.  Its so important to let the owner or leasing manager know as much information as possible.  Remember, they know the building better then anyone.  Do you need a loading dock?  Will you have a lot of packages being delivered?  Where is the nearest post office? How well is UPS drop off?  Look at crime statistics in the area and do not underestimate the value of secure parking for you and your visitors and clients.  They have the expertise to find you the right space and they can also help you envision your future in that space.

Always count the windows. Good light makes people far more productive. The sun-filled space creates happy space which means more productivity.