For any entrepreneur, moving into your business into its first office can be a daunting task, especially as there are a range of issues to keep in mind that can range anywhere from logistical to legal.
Any office relocation should be strategically planned and executed to prevent last-minute hurdles. This blog post will help you examine some of the crucial issues that come with moving and how to deal with them as well as access the following six areas.
Your Needs and Situation
You first need to thoroughly assess exactly why you are moving into a commercial office building, as this affects how and where you plan to move.
For example, if you are setting up an office outside of your home because you need to hire more employees, then factors such as availability of public transportation, parking spaces (for you and potential employees) and desk space will be critical to the decision making process.
If you are moving with your long-term growth objectives including a substantial number of new clients or projects in the pipeline, you might want to consider a longer-length lease with the possibility of expanding the hired space further in due course.
Budgeting and Costs
Carefully considering and calculating the costs involved is key for efficient planning in order to ensure your move does not end up costing you more than you can afford. Budgeting ties in with a strategic relocation plan to help keep finances in check with the processes involved.
Additionally, don’t forget to think about the costs other than just rent. There may be additional business taxes to pay (depending on where you are) and you will undoubtedly have other servicing costs to think about – cleaning, heating/AC, insurance, WiFi, and more
The Lease Itself
Obviously you hope that your business will continue to grow, but what if things go wrong and you can no longer afford the rent? You should check whether you have the option to break your lease and whether you can renegotiate or otherwise get out of your obligations.
This is something that you should negotiate from the start, before you sign anything. Don’t feel like you have to sign a five year lease just because that’s how it normally works – everything is negotiable.
For a small office space you may even be able to negotiate a monthly rolling contract, at least for the first three months before you then commit to a longer contract.
Think about whether you will still run your business in the same way once you have moved. This is a good chance to modify how your business operates and it is a good idea to formulate processes and consolidate before you put your efforts into growth.
For instance, you may want to:
- Discard all unnecessary items and make sure unwanted files are disposed of securely.
- Archive old documents so that they don’t take up too much office space.
- Scan and destroy old paperwork and aim for a paperless operation from here on.
- Invest in new equipment that saves space and works more efficiently.
- Review your suppliers to see if more flattering terms can be arranged.
You probably already know what technology is most important for your business, but if you are planning to invest in upgraded software or equipment you will need to think about getting this in place as soon as possible to ensure that your office is operational right away.
Don’t take for granted that the building will provide wireless connections, due to issues surrounding security, the volume of tenants within the building and the service provider. Ask your landlord in advance what facilities are provided and plan ahead to ensure that you have the right services in place. There is nothing worse than taking ownership of your new office and then realizing that you will have to wait two weeks before your internet access is set up!
One of the most exciting and important things to consider when moving into your first office is the layout of the space and where everyone will be sitting. You need to be practical when making decisions about layout because it affects the efficiency and productivity of the staff and the overall work process.
If you have a number of teams within your business, or are hoping to hire once you make the move, it is perhaps the best idea to position the teams based on the synergy of their output. This will make sure that communication is not hampered.
Also think about lunch options for employees, as eating at the office desk can make a mess and be smelly depending on what kinds of food are brought in. A cafeteria or break room keeps things organized and has a positive impact by providing an additional informal space for employees to refresh themselves and interact with each other.
You may also want to keep growth options in mind too. If you plan to grow your business significantly, think carefully about how much room for growth your office provides. You need to strike a balance between keeping costs low, but also provide enough space – since moving offices in six months time again can be pretty expensive.
About The Author
This guest post was contributed by George Peters from airconditioningservices.com. George is a business consultant who advises small businesses and office owners about air conditioning installation and servicing.