Growing a business can feel like a whirlwind of evolution, where everything is always changing and decisions constantly need making. Office space is a major consideration and when we recently found ourselves bursting at the seams, hot desking took on a whole new meaning! With new roles to recruit for and new clients to look after, we had a team chat over bacon butties and all agreed, it was time to make a move.
Coming from a small serviced office we thought this would be a quick search – something local, bigger, not too big a rent leap. Not the case. We quickly started to feel a bit Mary and Joseph – everywhere was full, too expensive, crazy service charges, no parking – and as we’re not a global enterprise seeking thousands of square footage, we’re too small to be interesting to most commercial property agents.
We had to search smarter, so we did what we do best and wrote ourselves a clear brief and project plan. We’re by no means property experts, but we learned a lot and we thought you might be interested in a few tips that other small businesses could benefit from when its their turn to move.
- Make it someone’s responsibility
Looking for a new office is not something you can do off the side of your desk. Like home hunting, you need to be constantly alert to new opportunities as they’re snapped up very quickly. Allocate the search to a team member to make sure it happens.
- Be clear what you’re looking for
What’s the budget? What’s the location radius? What facilities does it need? How big does it need to be? How long do you think you’ll stay there? Think about what works or doesn’t work in your current space and build from there.
- Prioritise your requirements
Here’s the reality check. Having decided exactly what you’re looking for, you probably won’t find it. Decide what is essential versus nice to have. Parking for 5 cars might be essential in a busy spot, room for a table football not so!
- Be open minded
Be terrier like, don’t stop searching, calling and viewing. Be prepared to consider premises you haven’t yet seen but are recommended to you. You might be surprised to find something you didn’t expect.
- Make it a team decision
It can feel daunting trying reach a final decision, there’s so much to consider – business rates, cleaning, IT and more. As soon as you’re almost there, it’s time to involve the team. Ask for feedback about how they feel about the move and address any concerns so your final decision is a considered one.
- Make it home
Don’t be put off by how it looks today, instead think hard about how you could make it your own space. You’ll soon realise that it’s people that make your business, as long as they’re happy, so you will be too. Provide a comfortable environment, listen to ideas on décor, branding and desk layout. New signs and a few canvases and they’ll soon be feeling right at home.
So did Yebo find a new place to live? Yes, we did. We look forward to settling in to our new office in Rushden.
Special thanks to our new landlord Paul Freeman of Freemans Autologistics and Samantha Jones of Prop-Search.com (who did make us feel important) for helping us make it happen.