Setting up the first place of business is a big endeavour. Apart from costing a lot of money upfront, it seemingly takes forever to find a perfect location and organize the work. On the other hand, setting up a brick and mortar office with a plaque on the wall is a huge step in moving your business forward, so pay attention to these essential tips.
Know your needs
Before you sign any papers on the lease, you should think about why you need a physical space, and how will it affect your operations and business practices. Also, you should consider what can the new space do for you, your employees, your company, and your customers. With a clear idea and expectations from the beginning, you can make more intelligent decisions ranging from the budget to the properties of space you’re looking for.
Location is king
While the geographical location is surely important, you also need to consider whether customers can get to it easily and whether it offers enough parking spots or public transport lines for your employees. It helps if the office is in an area where you can easily recruit new talent, as well as close to an airport or other transportation and shipping services you may need.
Determine your budget
The size of your budget will determine where to look for properties, how to organize the move, and how to set up the new space with proper equipment. Stay honest to yourself and your credit limit on what you can and can’t afford, as well as how to allocate the resources. Your budget should also cover possible remodels and setting up utilities at the new address.
Lease or buy
Every option of moving into a new office space comes with its pros and cons. Working with your real estate agent and accountant, you should figure out the best way to fund the move and the new space, which will automatically narrow down your choices. You may get a clearer picture if you focus on basic requirements only, at least in the beginning.
Hedge against hidden costs
When it comes to real estate, potential hidden costs include repairs that you’ll be taking on as a new responsibility or the possibility of increasing rental rates. By looking ahead you’ll be able to see if the office suits your budget now and in the future. A commercial real estate agent can give you a lot of heads up on the property you’re interested in as well as development plans for the neighbourhood.
Work out the move
When you’ve settled down with a new space, you need to figure out the best way to organize the move, including what needs to be done before and immediately after the actual move. You can execute the move yourself, relying on your workforce and equipment, rent a moving truck, or hire a professional moving crew with their vehicle.
Mind your employees
Apart from focusing on how the move will affect your business, you should also consider how it affects the people who work for you on both professional and personal level. For example, employee productivity and satisfaction will be affected if they have to commute significantly longer to the new workplace.
Plan for growth
As your business keeps growing out of your pace, it doesn’t mean you should move every few years. A great location is hard to come by, so make sure it provides room to expand. In expansion, take advantage of technologies that allow for reduced building times and use precast concrete panels which are far superior to traditional concrete. Manufactured and cured off-site, these panels speed up the completion of extension projects.
Have the services connected
Although you’re going to move all your furniture and equipment to the new office and set it up in a functional layout, before you start working again, you’ll need to have services set up again. Apart from utilities like water, electricity, and gas, these include internet and other telecommunications.
Announce the move
Update the contact information on all your company materials and presentations, like your business cards, website, and listings, and make sure you notify your current customers where to find you. At the same time, plan for a new campaign of announcing that you’re open in a new area.
Opening the first office requires a lot of input and support from different parties. To make everything as simple and streamlined as possible, focus on creating layout and workflow that supports your company’s primary tasks and increase productivity from day one.