When looking for a new home for your cybersecurity company, there can be special considerations depending on the nature of your work. For instance, your space may need to be fit out in accordance with certain government requirements. If this is the case, you’ll benefit from choosing a landlord who can help you with the specialized build-out you need for your space.
But, there are other considerations as well. If you haven’t leased space before, some general guidelines can greatly simplify this process for you. When looking for a new home for your cybersecurity company, here are six things you should consider when looking for office space:
Location & Access to Teaming Partners
The right location could provide opportunities for growth by providing proximity and access to your customers and current or potential partners. It might be advantageous to have other cybersecurity companies in your building or business park. Ask your landlord if the company has helped facilitate increased collaboration within the local cybersecurity community.
Specialized Space & Connectivity
If you’re working on government and defense missions, you may need a SCIF (Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility) space that is certified according to certain government/DoD requirements. Or, you may need a secure server room for your data equipment. If a space isn’t already properly equipped for your needs, ask the landlord if the company has experience designing and constructing a SCIF space. Your landlord may be able to help guide you through the process. You’ll also want to know what level of connectivity you will require, so you can work with your landlord to ensure the space fits your particular needs. Is there already fiber running to your building or at least within the park?
Employee Recruitment & Retention
There is a lot of competition among employers for hiring talent in the cybersecurity industry. Your office space and location should support employee recruitment and retention. You will want to take commuting distances, access to transportation and proximity to amenities into consideration. Your employees’ happiness is crucial. The location and physical appeal of their workplace can significantly impact recruiting efforts.
To determine what provides your company with the best value, consider your company’s priorities. Will you be willing to pay a little extra for a more visible, newer, more sustainable, higher quality building or space, that may help you attract or retain employees and reduce operating costs, or are you simply looking for the lowest cost option? Ideally, a landlord will be able to help you make an educated, “apples-to-apples” evaluation among alternative office spaces in an area and types of leases (such as “full service” versus “triple net”). Ask them to assist you in calculating the total cost of occupancy, which includes rent, property taxes, insurance and common area maintenance (CAM), so you won’t be surprised by any hidden costs.
Your business is an evolving entity, so you will probably want a degree of flexibility in your lease agreement. Ask your landlord how flexible they are and how they will work with you during expansions or contractions. Can the space be altered to meet your changing requirements?
Partnering with the right landlord is a critical part of your search for office space. You will want to know if the landlord’s company is financially stable, so that regardless of the economic climate, they will be able to maintain the property and make improvements. Find out if they have a demonstrated track record of providing best-in-industry customer service.
You will also want to find out if the landlord has other cybersecurity firms as customers. Some office leases offer exclusivity clauses, which prohibit landlords from leasing space to direct competitors. If you want opportunities for collaboration, this is probably not a good provision.
Ultimately, you will want a landlord who embraces transparency and openness with its tenants. If you are not satisfied with the way the landlord operates during the lease negotiation, you probably will not be happy with them as your landlord long term.
Your business is a specialized one, and traditional office space may not do. Engage in a serious conversation with your potential landlord about your particular requirements and evaluate if he or she will be able to help you meet your specialized needs.