You’ve spent hours toiling away at a makeshift desk at home while developing your business from a dream to reality.
Now, whether it’s floor space or headspace you need, the time has come to invest in an office.
So far, so good. Where many people go wrong, is in failing to take into account the many factors involved in making such an important move.
Fortunately, there are ways to maximize your chances of success.
Be sure you’re ready
Many start-ups feel that they need a physical office presence to appear professional, and over-stretch themselves as a result. However, if renting office space is more to emphasize credibility than to accommodate staff, a virtual office could be all you really need. Virtual offices provide a business address, a telephone answering service, and often meeting rooms too. A quick Google search should result in a wide range of options to suit both your budget and your professional needs.
Location is everything
Think about your target and current client base as well as the third parties that you work with. Where are they located, and how do you communicate with them? If they’re city center-based, and you’re regularly called upon for face-to-face meetings, then perhaps you should be there too.
Consider how you want to attract customers too. If you’re hoping that many of them will simply walk in off the street, then a location with high foot traffic should be important to you.
Accessibility is also a factor. Is there parking nearby? How about public transport? Will your employees or future employees be able to get to work easily? Consider the needs of your staff as well as those of your clients.
Size is important
What are your plans for the business? Do you expect your workforce to grow in numbers over the next few years? If so, try and find office premises in which you could let more space as the business expands. Serviced offices are a good option for businesses of this type, as in addition to supplying phones, broadband, office furniture, and reception space, the service contracts are usually flexible and allow firms to move into a larger space as their business grows. Short-term leases in larger buildings also offer similar flexibility, so it’s important to do your homework before you sign on the dotted line. Whatever you choose, make sure you hire a great commercial mover for small businesses.
Stick to your budget
Searching for an office can be similar to house hunting, in that it’s easy to fall in love with premises that are way beyond your means and end up struggling to afford the monthly payments. Decide how much you’re willing to spend on commercial premises and stick to it, then don’t even look at those properties you know are beyond your means. Using a good agent who understands your criteria and financial limit will help, as they will only suggest properties that are right for you.
When you’re working out your budget, also factor in the cost of office refurbishments, plus any bills you might be required to pay, including gas, electricity, and other utility bills, as well as business rates.
Make sure there’s adequate security
Depending on the type of business you provide, the contents of your office could carry a huge value, both financially and from a data protection point of view. Look at what security your chosen premises offers, and check that it serves your requirements.
Make the most of your signage
An important part of being located in commercial premises is letting people know that you’re there, so signage is key. Find out what is and isn’t permitted, and whether the signage allowed suits your business needs.
Check the tech
As most businesses are reliant on fast and efficient broadband and good mobile phone signals. Who is responsible for internet access? Is the broadband fast enough? Who can you contact if the server goes down? Can you get a good mobile phone signal in the space you have earmarked as your office? Speaking to current occupiers, as well as the building manager should give you a good idea as to whether or not the premises have the technological capability required for your business.
These are just a few tips to get you thinking when it comes to planning to move your home business.