Create a Checklist for Your Small Business in a New Office Rental Space in Kansas City

Small business owners tend to be more successful the more organized they are with determining and executing their start-up needs. Before actually putting a business plan into action, it is important to make a checklist that includes financing, business registration, legal work such as licenses and permits, and leasing a space.  Think about what order these things need to happen in, such as creating a business plan in order to apply for a loan and registering a business with the necessary government offices before applying for a banking account.  Here are some tips for what to include on a checklist of essential steps to getting a small business up and running, as suggested in the article “Setting Up a Small Business”:

#1 Business Plan

The absolute first step in setting up a small business is creating a business plan, which will serve as a road map showing how you will get financing; how your budget will be organized into money for leasing, licenses and permits, employee costs, advertising, improvements and build outs to a space; and your overall vision for how your business will operate and generate profit.

#2 Finances

Once you have an idea of what your budget will look like, the next step is to get the necessary loans to start your business.  A good place to look is through the Small Business Administration, which keeps a list of recommended commercial lenders for start-ups.

#3 Hiring and Employee Expenses

Employee wages and benefits can be one of the biggest expenses for small businesses.  The hiring process is time consuming and can involve a little bit of a financial investment on your part to look into candidates’ legal backgrounds and references.  The expenses of paying employees—benefits included—must be factored into your initial operating expense plans.

#4 Registering Your Business

In order to establish your business legally, it is necessary to register with the correct government agencies. There are several options for how a small business can form: a corporation, a sole proprietorship, a limited liability partnership (LLP), or a limited liability company (LLC).  An Article of Incorporation is necessary for a corporation, while LLCs and LLPs require Articles of Formation or Organization.  All of these articles must be filed with the state, and a business’s name must also be registered with the county or state of location. Finally, in order to be able to open a business banking account and register for federal taxes, a start up has to apply for a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) through the IRS.

#5 Rent or Buy?

The next step to establishing a small business is finding a space in which to operate.  If you are hiring employees, it is likely that you will not have enough space for them in your home, so it will be necessary to find a commercial space in which to operate.  Most small business owners choose to rent instead of buy to save on initial costs.  Many small businesses opt for Triple Net (NNN) Lease, in which lessees pay for space by the square foot and also pay for a portion of maintenance needs and property taxes.

#6 Storage

If you have a small space for your office, you will most likely need to look into off-site storage options—which are typically relatively inexpensive—to leave more room for working in your commercial space. Look for a place that has both a strong gate and a combination lock, and be sure to check to see if it is climate controlled if you need to store important paper documents.  If you do need storage for your office, try to go for file cabinets and containers that can be stacked to take up as little floor space as possible.

#7 Setting Up Communications

Another thing to add to your checklist is setting up a phone line for your office.  Look into IP broadband phone systems with voice over versus a traditional phone system to potentially save a little money.  You can also look at online auctions or used office furniture stores to try to find a secondhand phone system—often you can get a good deal on a functioning phone system if you look carefully.

#8 Creating Workstations

The next step is purchasing furniture for your office, which you can find deals on through used office furniture stores or even closing sales held by local businesses.  In addition to looking for deals on furniture, try to maximize your use of each piece so you do not have to buy as much.  For instance, a cabinet will do just fine as a place to put a printer, versus an entirely different table for it.

#9 Equipment

Instead of outright buying equipment for your office when you are first starting out, try to lease as much as you can, including copy machines, computers, and fax machines—if possible try to get units that can fax, print, copy, and scan all in one piece of equipment so you don’t have to purchase as much toner or ink.  If you have major copy jobs, you can outsource these to a printing shop in your area and save a little money.  See if you can set up a corporate account with a print shop and maybe get some discounts on regular print orders.

When you are planning a startup, make sure you create an extensive checklist before taking action!

Give us a call at 913-685-4100 to talk to a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City about our affordable office space in Kansas City!



3 Ways to Create a Creative Kansas City Office Space

Companies like Google are setting a trend with creative work environments.  Do yourself and your employees a favor by considering ways you can make your space more conducive to creativity, and ultimately productivity:

  1. Make Some Green Space.  Studies have shown that natural lighting and plants can boost the mood in a space, which in turn boosts creativity.  Add plants and any other natural materials, as well as natural light when you can, and enjoy the relaxing effects.
  2. Create Background Noise.  It is similar idea to being in a coffee shop or restaurant.  Many people like a constant buzz and sense of energy, because it gives them the freedom and privacy to carry on their own interactions.
  3. Think in Zones.  Again, it is a similar concept to a restaurant, or even to a city.  Create areas where people can talk, such as a kitchen area, or have privacy, like a corner with a few comfy couches.  Creating these areas will allow people to choose where they need to get certain types of work done, and will make for better collaboration opportunities.

Even if you are not ready to start replacing your staircases with slides, you can still design your office following simple principles for fostering a creative environment.  Encouraging creativity and collaboration, as well as making your employees more comfortable, could ultimately boost the overall mood and productivity in your office.

If your business is interested in commercial real estate in Kansas City, give us a DDI Commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100!


How Do I Pick a Kansas City Office Space Location for my Business?

Once you have decided that renting an office space is the best move for your business, the next step is to start finding the best location.

Commercial real estate agents will tell you that the most important factor in establishing a successful business is true to the old adage: location, location, location.  This does not always necessarily mean that a high traffic, high cost area is best for your business.  To make sure you find a space that meets your financial and physical requirements, consider the following questions.

  • How important is location to your business’s success?  Does your business require you to be near other stores or in the area of a certain client base?
  • What kind of location best serves your business?  Do you need to be in an area that gets a lot of foot traffic or is easily visible from the road?
  • How much rent can your business afford?  Know your budget going into the search, and do not let yourself make leasing decisions that put your business at financial risk.
  • Is your potential location appropriate for your business operations?  Have you looked into zoning requirements or other legal restrictions on business operations in the area?

Before you enter into serious negotiations, make sure that a potential space meets your location needs.

If your business is looking for an affordable office space in Kansas City, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100!


TI Allowances and Credits for Your Office Rental Space in Kansas City

If you have found the perfect space for your business, but have decided it needs improvements, consider asking your landlord for a Tenant Improvement (TI) Allowance or TI Credit, which is a fixed amount of money a landlord agrees to give a tenant to improve a space.  This can help you do things like repaint a space, put up new signage, or even reconfigure the entire layout.  Here is some information on how to go about the process of obtaining a TI Allowance or Credit:

  1. First, both parties agree that improvements are necessary, and they put this agreement in a lease addendum called the Work Letter.
  2. The landlord maintains the right to oversee and approve each step of the improvement process.  It might be the tenant’s responsibility to coordinate the work or get estimates from contractors, but it is the landlord who ultimately reviews all of the work and invoices before paying the contractors.
  3. If a landlord does not agree to the proposed improvements, they might still allow the tenant to make the changes to the space—but at their own expense.  However, even in this eventuality the tenant might still be able to get the cost spread out, or amortized, over the duration of the lease term.

Talk to your landlord to find out if obtaining a TI Allowance or Credit is possible!

If you would like to learn more about our affordable office space in Kansas City, give a commercial real estate broker in Kansas City a call at 913-685-4100!