3 Apr 2020
In times of uncertainty, many small businesses are forced to take stock and re-evaluate their service levels. Whilst it is a challenging time, if a small business can survive a crisis, it can also be found to thrive as the economy recovers and often, the most innovative ideas can come about during a crisis.
For small business owners, a change of location may be high on the priority list once recovery begins and there are many things to take into account when it comes to setting up or relocating to a new office. Here are our recommended five things you may need to consider when you’re looking for new office space.
One of the first things to think about is the type of office you would like to have. If you decide to move into a separate building or suite of your own, then you’ve got a lot to think about. Firstly, the budget. It will be more expensive than moving into a space in a serviced office as you will not only be paying for a larger square footage, you will also be responsible for paying for the rates, utility bills, cleaning and maintenance, damage, insurance etc. In a serviced office space, all these bills are paid for by the owner of the building.
The other advantage of a serviced office in terms of bills is that they’re always the same. Your monthly fee will include utilities, rates, maintenance and cleaning, all of which can fluctuate according to seasonal use. With a single bill that’s the same every month, you can manage your budget much more easily.
But there’s more than just money to think about. Small business owners have to become adept at doing everything, so if you’re spending a lot of time making sure the building is running properly, how are you going to concentrate on your core business? By letting your serviced office provider take care of finding the right electricity company, mending the leaking taps, and arranging the refuse collection plus all the time-consuming admin that goes with it, you can concentrate on earning an income and growing your business.
As a small business you are bound to have growth plans. If you look for your own office, you will have to take your future growth plans into account. As moving is such an expensive business, the less you need to do it the better. This means that when you first move into a new office, you may have to pay for some extra space you hope you’ll need in the future, while waiting for enough business growth to justify taking on any extra members of staff. On the other hand, in a serviced office, it is a lot more straightforward to take on new members of staff, as there’ll always be space for you to expand into, and you’ll only ever have to pay for the space you’re using, making it far more cost effective.
And as we’ve seen with the Coronavirus crisis, things can change very quickly in the world of business. So if, for whatever reason, your company is forced to downsize, those paying for more office space than they need could find themselves paying more than they can afford if business dies down for a while, whereas in a serviced office you can quickly downsize the amount of space you need to rent, keeping the kind of tight rein on costs that may well mean the difference between survival and going out of business.
The location of your office is hugely important – the better your location, the better impression your clients will have of your business. Having your office in the centre of an attractive town – like the UOE Hub offices in Hertford – is not only an indication of a successful company, it also makes it more likely that clients will be happy to travel to you for meetings, saving you the time and expense of travelling to them.
A bonus is that a serviced office will have a fully equipped conference room that can be used by everyone in the building, giving you a professional setting in which to conduct your meetings and create an even better impression.