Most people will agree that moving to a new house is one of the most stressful things a person can go through, but relocating your business definitely comes close. Items can be forgotten, lost or broken, only for you to arrive at your new office and realise that you’ve not got enough space for all of the furniture you’ve brought along anyway.
But this can all be prevented if you thoroughly consider a few points beforehand.
It’s tempting to just rush into signing an agreement for the first premises you see and like, but is it the right size? Are you truly happy with the location? What’s included in the price? Does it really tick all of the boxes?
The team of commercial property experts behind LondonOffices.com have revealed the seven things business owners should consider before committing to an office move. Relocating a business not only means up-and-moving your entire workforce, it also zaps valuable time and money.
1. Understand commercial leases and common leasing terms
It’s easy to feel bogged down and overwhelmed by leasing jargon that’s thrown at you left, right and centre when you’re viewing properties, so before you arrange any viewings, make sure you’re up to date with the most common terms and phrases such as CAM fees, sub-lease and serviced offices so you don’t get caught out.
2. Determine your budget
Before you jump head first into signing contracts or notifying your employees, you should sit down and figure out how much you can afford to spend not only on your new premises each month, but on the process of moving too.
Look carefully at what’s included in the price of the properties you’re looking at. Does it include business rates, utility bills and cleaning? If not, these items can add up significantly so make sure you know what you’re taking on.
If you have a specific budget amount assigned for your move, it will be important to identify costs before you hire movers or pack the first box.
3. Decide on the size premises you need
Although you may be tempted to look for the biggest and fanciest office space you can afford, ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Don’t try and scale up to something bigger than you can handle – particularly if you’re a modest start up or SME. Instead, keep your premises as small as you reasonably can whilst still trying to plan for your future needs if you have to commit for a long period.
4. Find your best location
Chances are, the location of your current business is what’s driving you to find another premise, so now’s the time to figure out where you really want to be. The most requested and highly-sought after places usually come with a premium, but if you’re willing to move just a few miles out of these centres, you’ll get a better deal.
Finding the right place for your business is one of the most important decisions you will make, but the solution will depend on the nature of your business so think hard about this and draw up a life of requirements in priority order.
5. Plan the move
Create a timeline that will allow for all the necessary stages of your move. For a small office, you’ll need at least three months to prepare and for a medium to large office, set aside at least six to eight months – but the key is to start as early as possible so you’re not dashing around frantically on moving day.
Make sure you get hold of blueprints of your new office space if they’re available too – this will help you plan where furniture and decorations will fit.
6. Donate items you won’t need
Now is a great time to get rid of the old phones, copiers, printers, PC’s and office furniture that you no longer need or want. You shouldn’t be paying for moving items you don’t need – this includes unused stationery!
7. Pack thoroughly
If you want to save yourselves a massive head ache when you finally get in to your new space, don’t cut corners when it comes to packing your things away. Mark all of your boxes (every single one), use labelled bags to keep cables and wires neat and tidy, and be specific. Instead of just “desk supplies” – who do the desk supplies belong to? Exactly where in the new office will they live? If you’ve planned thoroughly, everything will have a specific place and your move will run smoothly.