Just Because You Can – Doesn’t Mean You Should
When moving to new premises businesses are often tempted to indulge. While it may seem like a great time to spend on the latest mod cons it is advisable to think long-term and ask yourself do we really need this? If the answer is no then are you simply wasting resource that could be used more effectively elsewhere in your company.
Consider Your Stakeholders
While the business may benefit from a new address, possibly in a more central location, bear in mind the impact on your employees. You need your business to grow but it is important to balance this with good staff relationships. Moving to a difficult or more expensive to reach location could see key employees losing productivity or even moving on.
Don’t Lead With Price
Yes there is no doubt that as with all business expenses (office space being one of the largest), cost is going to be a significant influencer of decisions, but it shouldn’t necessarily be the first consideration. Analyse what your company really needs and remember that often you get what you pay for.
More important than price alone is the value a certain office space adds to your business. To understand the real “value” to your business, ensure that your comparisons are like-for-like. Also look into the added costs of space – as with budget airlines you could be faced with a low initial price but with expensive add-ons such as internet or rates which when totalled up actually make your space more expensive than one which you may have written off initially due to cost.
Understand The Importance of Culture
Many firms, particularly start-ups which are just getting off the ground, prefer to work in business hubs, surrounded by other similar sized firms – and there are many advantages of this. However, moving to another hub may mean you are surrounded by a totally different demographic of businesses. For example, if you work in a formal industry such as accountancy or law you might not want your clients coming to visit you in a space with a bar, pool table and lots of people in jeans and t-shirts.
A change of culture may be just what your business needs but it might be worth speaking to some of the incumbent firms to get a better understanding of what the general culture is in the building and whether they felt you’d fit in ok. Remember – no one likes to be the odd one out.
Office space can be a large cost to your business and so you should always aim to get one which best fits your requirements and also your budget. When starting out on your hunt, list all of the things your business needs from the new office and get out and see a few. Then, when you gain a better understand of what is out there refine your list, striking out anything you feel won’t benefit your working environment. Repeat this process until you find your ideal space.
Of course like with most things in life you may need to compromise but by having a clear vision of what you really need you may be able to get almost everything you’ve wished for.
As with most areas of business, companies – especially small ones – are usually keen to seek out the most flexible option with the smallest commitment. In many ways it’s the equivalent to loaning a footballer instead of buying them.
Long-term commitment to property, as has been highlighted in the last few years, can be a heavy weight to bare for firms in terms of cost. With the most expensive space being dead space, firms can find themselves in a difficult position of having to secure a sublet (if this option is available) or paying for empty space can be costly so look at the other options available to you.
Why not search for shorter term serviced office agreements? This way you aren’t locked in if your situation changes yet you still have the benefits of a great office space.
Similarly this flexibility can allow you to scour the market for new space and move quickly if you need somewhere bigger, smaller, cheaper or in a new location.
For many businesses the office market can be a minefield which consumes a lot of your time and often money. Why not get somebody to scour the market for you and come back to your with a range of options for you to peruse at leisure? This way you can concentrate on moving your firm forward whilst someone else concentrates solely on moving your business.