If your business is ticking along nicely at home, the thought of upping sticks and moving into an office location could well be the last thing on your mind. Conversely, business might be going so well that you are beginning to think about taking on staff, or having meetings with clients, and for one reason or another, the home environment is probably not best suited to this.
Perhaps the distractions from home or the temptation to spend the day working while in your pyjamas are best avoided if your business moves out.
Where to look
When scouting for office space to move your business into, there are a number of factors that you will need to consider. The size of your premises will usually be proportional to the cost of the lease, so you want to balance the room for expansion against the need to economise over space. Similarly, finding a location which is easily reached by your staff and clients is of paramount importance.
While not crucial, it is often useful to have your office space fairly close to other businesses which work in similar sectors to your own. When you consider areas such as the M4 corridor, which is home to a large number of the UK’s IT companies, it makes sense to work alongside the competition, rather than in isolation from it.
A professional look
While in some sectors it is acceptable or even preferable to have your business premises actually based at your home, for many it does not look professional, especially if you are hosting clients. Having a business premises in a sought-after location can work wonders on the first impressions that clients will have on your business. The sleek and professional looking office space St James has to offer for example can give your business a more prestigious feel than basing it at your home.
Amenities within the office
It should go without saying that the modern office space should come with phone and network capabilities, so that your day-to-day business needs can be carried out within the premises. The use of these facilities, and how they are charged for, will generally differ greatly between offices, so it is wise to get a breakdown on these before you commit to an office space.
Other things to look out for is whether or not the office building has an in-house reception service, so that your visitors are greeted by someone, or if clients are required to use an intercom to gain access. Of course the former brings a feel of prestige, but this will generally come at a cost.
Don’t make your reach exceed your grasp
When looking for your first office space, it can be tempting to go for broke and look for an office space that will make Lord Sugar’s boardroom look like your spare bedroom, but caution is advised against looking too big in the first instance.
Remember that there is generally a minimum lease period, and that your monthly payments could be too high to be sustainable if you have chosen an office space which is too decadent for your needs. This is especially true in areas such as London, where the demand for space far outstrips the supply.