The space you need to start your business may be very different from the space you need to grow your business. While you might have initially been comfortable in a small home office or a co-working space, you may find over time that your company needs to stretch its wings.
Whether you are a startup looking to find your first real office space or a retail store looking to expand its brick and mortar footprint, there are a few things you need to consider before you relocate your business. Movers Corp provides detailed information on these topics and moving assistance for local moves.
Relocating your business is involved and complex. To make sure that you don’t do it more often than necessary, prepare a list ahead of time to determine what factors are non-negotiable, and what factors are your priorities.
Perhaps you are completely comfortable seeing your overhead costs increase as long as you stay on a public transportation route, or perhaps you can find a spot in a building where you only need to rent one office for now, but over time it is likely you will be able to take over more of the building if needed.
When you’re relocating, it’s very simple to just look at the rental price of your new space and think you’re comparing apples to apples. In fact, the numbers may be more complex. Overhead costs like utilities, snow removal, flooding possibilities, commuting options, and more, need to be considered to successfully compare two separate locations.
A new location might have a higher rental cost, but be overall a better economic choice because more of the overhead costs are included in the rent. Many buildings now include heating or cooling, wifi, and parking, for example. They may also provide game space or a gym for employees.
As you relocate, it’s important to consider your staffing. There are two factors to consider here. First, will you need to increase staff, and is that feasible to do at your current business income levels. Second, will you be able to attract new employees in your new location, and will your old employees still be able to get to work?
This can be a particular issue in metropolitan areas where many employees rely on public transportation to get to work. If a business has been located right on a subway line, and then needs to move out to the suburbs, it may find that not only does it need to hire new employees, but that several of its older employees need to leave. Be prepared for these sorts of changes by talking to staff before a move is finalized.
Perhaps you’ve found the perfect location on a historic main street or in a gorgeous old building, but it’s important to consider if it’s up to code for accessibility purposes. If either customers or employees are unable to access your store because doorways are too narrow, there’s too much of a step up, or for other reasons, a business could be subject to a lawsuit. As you tour a new location, measure doorways and double check step-ups; if there are concerns, address them with the landlord before you sign a lease.
Remember that even if the landlord is technically responsible for making the building accessible, it’s your business that will appear negligent if customers or employees can’t reach you.
If you’re sure that your company is going to stay the same size indefinitely, then moving to an office that is just the right size is perfect. If, however, your business is trying to continue to grow, then you will need to balance between what you can currently afford in terms of office space and what you will need in time. Otherwise, you will simply be moving again in a few years, which doesn’t benefit employees or potential customers.
If you’re not sure whether or not your company is getting the right-size space for its needs, it’s a good idea to talk to a local business mentor who can offer you some suggestions about the right way to move forward.
Will your new location have wifi for your employees? Will it be accessible to customers? If your company needs a physical data room or server room, will the current wiring support those needs? Older buildings may not have sufficient data lines or phone lines in place to handle your needs. Again, talking to the landlord about what is available is one solution, but if the office space you are considering can’t meet your needs, then you may simply want to find another space.
Consider all the factors and make sure that once you’ve moved, you won’t need to relocate again unless you want to.
About the author:
Margarita Hakobyan is a businesswoman, startup consultant, and an entrepreneur who is addicted to creating. She brings a wide range of education and experience including business strategy, business ethics and leadership.