Decisions, Decisions! How to find your ideal business premises.
Steve Jobs started out small. Sitting on the floor of an unfurnished apartment with just a stereo and pile of takeaway pizza boxes for company. Flash forward 30 or so years to the space age Apple HQ in Silicon Valley. The site reflects the type of business Apple has become, the brand and workforce it attracts.
For any business owner you need to think about the type of business you’re running, and where you want to be in the future.
Think about what you need, list, prioritise and most importantly set a budget you can afford.
Start humble or think big?
Be realistic. What do you need? What can you afford?
A detailed business plan will help you understand exactly how much money is available to invest and sets the pace for business growth.
If you’re just starting up think short term leases and basic needs whereas if you’re established and looking to expand start thinking long term investment and create a detailed wish list starting with location.
Location, Location, Location.
Think about the type of clients or customers you’re looking to target and your proximity to them.
If you’re starting up and able to work from shared office space, your kitchen table or store stock in a garage you can keep risk and costs low.
If you’re in a service industry your location and footfall could make or break your business. Weigh up the benefits and costs of city centre space or cheaper out of town premises. It’s worth checking the availability and cost of parking and transport too.
Transport and parking
Whether it’s by bus, rail or road you want to attract customers, attract staff and be within easy reach of your suppliers.
If people can’t park or your suppliers can’t access you the business will soon struggle.
Size and layout.
The freedom to expand and a space that fits your staff comfortably and works well for your customers is an essential ingredient for growth.
If you rely on specific power supplies or communications ensure the building’s services are compatible with your requirements or any regulations you need to satisfy.
Pricing and negotiating
Is there room for negotiation with the landlord or seller?
Investing in property for the long term affects your bottom line, cash flow and profitability. So think carefully how long you’re planning to stay and exactly what you need to function.
Strike a balance between affordability now and offset against savings of signing up to a long term agreement or buying property outright.
Do you need to make changes?
If you’re renting space that’s been unoccupied for a while or requires a makeover then you could point out to the Landlord you’re making improvements. Why not ask for?
- reduced rent
- rent free period
- contribution for refit or installing new facilities
Remember. Before signing on the dotted line it’s a good idea to ask a lawyer to have a look over the documents. They could spot something out of the ordinary or hidden costs.
Might seem obvious but do factor in extra time to move out of your old location and switch facilities. This is key to avoiding any disruption to your business or upsetting your customers.
It’s worthwhile letting customers know about your move and reassuring them its business as usual.
How can Chartered Accountants, help with your move?
At Murrison & Wilson we help our clients with practical business planning and decision making. We can set a budget for costs such as mortgage or rent and help with managing cash flow to secure future expansion.
This may be the last move you make. Take your time, be fussy and keep an eye on the costs. How do we know?
We’ve decided to move premises too.
Murrison & Wilson is moving!
Two years down the line and Simon and I thought it was time for a move. We sat down together and used all the criteria mentioned above. We’ve found the perfect place just next door at No 10 Newton Terrace. We hope to move early in March 2015 with phone numbers staying the same.