As your business grows and expands, you might find that your property no longer suits your needs. It might not have enough room for the equipment and people you now need, or the office location could be wrong for your customers and clients – there are plenty of reasons why things can change. Whether it’s your first relocation or the tenth, it’s not a process to rush.
One of the questions our experts at Williams Sillitoe are often asked is how to find an office, and while it’s different for every client or business, there are some core factors that everyone needs to consider. We’re going to discuss these in more depth so you have a better idea of what to look for, what to expect and just how important each part is to your search.
What makes a commercial property perfect?
Perfect is subjective, and your idea of it will change over time depending on what you need or are looking for. What you thought was perfect two years ago – even only a week ago – might not be anymore, and that’s not a bad thing. It means you understand your needs better, and this will help when looking for the right office location, size or potential.
While it might be daunting to start your search for a new office, once you start, you’ll realise you have a lot more opportunity than you might have first thought.
The Size Of The Property
One of the most common reasons to look for a new office is to get more space. As your business grows, you’ll have more employees to handle the increasing workload and help even more customers. This is a great sign that things are going well, but it can lead to some very cramped working conditions.
This might work in the short-term, but the more workers you have the more equipment you’ll need for them, too. From desks, chairs, computers and other peripherals, you’ll soon find the space you have being used up.
Spacious working conditions make for a better environment for everyone, and stops the office becoming stuffy or crowded. A large, bright commercial property will improve the mood, atmosphere and productivity of any business.
The Office Location
Another big choice is on your office location – where should you be based?
This has an impact in two main ways; where your staff need to be and also how easy it is for your customers or clients to reach you. Not all businesses rely on visits to their commercial property, but for those that do, you should make it as easy as possible for them to reach you. Whether this is in a city centre, business park or elsewhere is up to you, but things to look for are:
- Public transport routes
- Parking spaces
- Road access
- Local or nearby amenities
- Good security
- Size of the building/space
- The visibility of the building.
These factors also matter to your employees. The easier it is for them to reach your office location, the happier they will be. Now, it’s not always possible to please everyone, but you can take into account what the effects will be. Some people won’t be willing to travel further or for a longer period of time and this could see some departures. It shouldn’t stop you from doing what’s right for your business and wider team, but it is something to think about.
An office in an area with high footfall can also increase your brand awareness if people know that you’re there. Sometimes this presence is enough to sway people to choose you over the competition.
Opportunity To Grow
When thinking of how to find an office, it’s not enough to find one that suits you as your business is now – or you’ll have to start searching all over again in almost no time at all. That’s a waste of your time and resources.
You should plan for growth as best you can. There’s no way to predict what will happen in the future, as the last couple of years have proven, but you can look at past trends and growth as an indicator and align them to your business plans.
This potential to grow means you might need a bigger office than your team currently needs, but it also includes infrastructure. Parking spaces for your staff as the team grows is one part of it, as is making sure there are power outlets for extra working spaces and equipment.
The location will also be a factor for people looking to join the team, too, so the future is very much worth thinking about.
Other Factors To Consider
While these are some of the obvious things to consider, there’s more to think about. The above factors will help you narrow down the number of commercial properties that would be suitable as a new office, but you could still find yourself with a large list depending on how wide your potential office location map is.
The following looks at more practical ways that you can use to refine your list of potential offices into a more realistic set of options.
What’s Your Budget?
One of the most important considerations is the budget you have to work with. Identify what range you can realistically set aside for your new office – you might not need to use it all, but prepare to use the upper end of what you can. This lets you account for a wider range of situations and properties.
This is a part of your business planning and making sure you don’t overspend and put your business at risk should times turn hard. Our team of experts at Williams Sillitoe will help with setting the boundaries you want to work with and find the properties that best match your needs while staying within this budget.
We want to help your business grow and succeed, and we’ll do everything we can on our end to make that happen.
How Can You Use The Space?
Is row upon row of desks the best use of space in your office? Are there better ways to utilise the space your office holds? You can look at different formations, such as groups of desks together to help teams integrate better, and layouts that promote inter team cooperation, too.
How you use communal spaces and meeting rooms can also play a part – if you need these areas at all, or want to prioritise some aspects over others. Viewing a commercial property in person can help you put this in perspective and tell you what you need to know. This goes a long way to making sure you choose the right property as your new office.
With the rise of remote working, you might not need as much desk space as you have been used to. With reduced numbers in the office, you can look at maximising the space for other uses, whether that’s with a community focus or hotdesking. Being open to different options can give your business new ways to grow.
Should You Rent Or Buy?
A big question for business owners thinking about a new office location is whether it’s better to rent or buy their next commercial property. There are advantages to both options, and it really depends on your business and what your long term plans are.
Renting does give you flexibility, especially if you’re expecting significant growth that might force you to move locations again in the future. You can find a good office and have some say in how long you’re looking for the contract to be.
Buying, on the other hand, represents a much bigger commitment and investment. You may still grow but changing locations will be more difficult and you’ll need to have even more room for growth than you originally might have thought. This can push the price up, but it means you’re not paying for someone to profit off your business.
How Can We Help Find You An Office?
When you’re thinking about how to find an office, it can be tempting to assume this is something only you can do – and while you do have to make the final choice, you can rely on experts who know the area, what it could benefit from and how communities will react before taking the plunge. You’ll also get insider knowledge on what’s good value for money and what kind of investment of developments are happening and how this could impact you.
When you’re ready to get started on finding your next office, contact us today and let our team of experts help you get started. We’ll work with you to understand what you need, what you want and what you might need to be a success.