Deciding on where to set up your business is a lot like choosing where you want to live: it comes down to location, location, location, for both cases.

When looking for an office building or office space, it is important to consider where the building is situated, and what the neighborhood or general area is like. Do you want to move into a high-rise or a skyscraper? Maybe you prefer something smaller, more quaint or even a strip mall setting?

A good way to begin your search for the right location for your business is to hire a commercial real estate broker who can show you potential office space, talk about amenities, and help you sign a lease. You can also go it alone depending on the size of your business, but in the end it’s easier to hire someone with some expertise in terms of finding office space.

What do you need?

Try to ask yourself and possibly your employees, or if you have partners what area you want the business to be based? Would you prefer to do business in the center of a large city? A quiet suburb? Someplace more rural? You should also consider how far you will have to commute, and the type of community you wish to set up shop or if you’re simply relocating the business.

Start by driving around or take a walking tour of the neighborhood on your own or with an agent. Note the general appearance of the area: is it well-kept, is there a lot of foot traffic, regular traffic? Is it near a freeway, is there plenty of parking for clients?

Try to learn if the landlord who owns the building or space is easy to reach, and quick to fix and repair things. Ask around to see if the area is safe or if it’s a place where crimes occur often. Start by enquiring at the local police department, which could provide statistics and share reports. Check alleys and nearby buildings for graffiti and strewn rubbish.

As mentioned, do consider the commute to work; it’s always better to know the distance between the space and your home ahead of time. If it’s going to take you hours to get to the office, why bother? Find out how close trains and buses operate, as well as if there are nearby retail stores or strip centers. These could come in handy if you need to entertain clients or they might serve as places where employees will be able to get out for lunch, and/or do their own business when taking a break.

Is it noisy?

Check out traffic and noise by driving around the location at different times of the day and watch for any and all activities. Do you hear loud noises coming from the space next door or above? Do cars overload the streets during commuting hours?  These are things to could send up a red flag and save you from dealing with problems beforehand.

Also, check for future development by looking for new construction in the neighborhood. After all, you don’t want to be in the midst of construction noises and traffic day in and day out.

In the end, it’s about what’s best for you, and your clients, as well as your employees as to you where you will actually be doing business. You want to make sure it’s a perfect fit so everyone, including yourself, is happy and your business can prosper.