Top Property Tips For Business Start-ups
MWB BusinessExchange looks at how young companies can make
property space work for them.
1. Before making any property decisions, think about what
your true cost of occupying office space will be. Occupiers
will often look at rent and rate charges as an indication of
their total office costs, but these can account for as little
as 40% of your total property cost. Consider additional costs
such as building repairs and maintenance, security and cleaning,
as well as the cost of 'non-productive' space such as meeting
rooms, reception and canteen facilities.
2. Don't forget set-up costs. By just concentrating on rent
and rates, businesses can be miscalculating their total office
costs by as much as £360 per m2 (Ref : Total Office Cost Survey,
3. Carefully consider the length of your lease. Conventional
leases typically are between 12 and 15 years. Once committed,
it is very difficult to break the contract term or assign the
lease without incurring significant penalty charges. Shorter
terms are difficult to find and are often more costly due to
the added flexibility. The most important implication in these
circumstances is that long term lease commitments do not take
account of your individual business requirements such as requiring
extra office space due to expansion.
4. Serviced offices can often be a viable option for many young
businesses as they offer maximum flexibility. For an all-inclusive
monthly fee, your business will have access to high quality,
fully managed accommodation in prime locations. Additional benefits
include plug and play technology and a range of business support
services such as reception, call answering and secretarial support.
5. Many companies use 'hot-desking' or 'virtual office' solutions.
These offer admin support and a desk where and when you need
it at cost effective rates.
6. Location is often the primary factor when choosing property.
Consider proximity to transport links and your customer base
and remember property costs vary across the UK.
7. Be realistic about timescales. If speed to market is a business
priority, consider a short term solution as lead times for space
which requires fit out, furniture and installation of IT and
telecoms infrastructure can take anything up to three or four-months.
8. Once you've moved in, make the space work for you. Think
about style and design. Break-out areas, for example, can boost
staff motivation and creativity.
9. Remember first impressions count - the professionalism of
your front of house staff can strongly influence how clients
perceive your business.
10. Impress important clients - consider hiring a boardroom
for the day and have your meeting professionally managed.
Prepared by leading suppliers of serviced office solutions
Tel + 44 (0) 808 100 1800