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Choosing the best office space for your small business

Finally! After months of hard work and worrying, you have set up a viable business. You have hit your targets and recruited your staff and it is time for the next step. You want to move away from working at the dinner table and get some office space. But where do you start?

1. Size is important
This one obviously goes without saying, but make sure you think of all the possible implications of the office size you choose. It might be the right size for your employees now, but if you want to expand in the near future it would be sensible to avoid the hassle of moving before you have even settled in, and go for something slightly bigger than your immediate needs.

2. Is the office in a good location for all staff?
There will always be one awkward person who commutes from Timbuktu, but it is worth boosting morale in the office a bit by helping as many people as possible to have a simple journey to work. If everyone has a two-hour journey on five trains then it stands to reason that they will arrive less relaxed and ready to work. Of course, even if you use a fair method such as running a poll, the people who lose out need to be kept positive and reminded that you used as diplomatic a process as possible to decide on location. Making parking available where possible is another way to placate those who have had to travel longer distances. Letting everyone have a say in décor and planning fun team-building activities to celebrate the new space are a good way of setting things off on the right foot, even if some staff have had to get out of bed a little earlier than others.

3. … and clients?
Where you have office space says a lot about your business. If you are a trendy media company, for instance, Soho is the place to be. It could be worth considering the benefits of moving in somewhere less flashy but more impressively placed, depending on your type of business. It might seem as if making your office as lavish as possible is the way to go, but that is not the only factor in impressing a client. Indeed, in some cases you can go too far – especially if you are a charity or not-for-profit. Clients want to see that you spend your money wisely rather than just splashing the cash without thinking. Again, remember to consider parking facilities. Working in a gorgeous office with chandeliers and marble floors is all very well, but if you end up with a large group of clients who all need somewhere to leave their cars, your efforts will seem less impressive.

4. Have you priced it up properly?
If you’ve never hired office space before, it is easy to get caught out with hidden costs. Utilities, construction costs, etc can all build up – especially if you plan to drastically revamp your space. If it’s within your budget, hiring a broker to help you can really cut your costs in the long-term.

5. Is sharing space an option?
Sharing an office with another company does not have to mean feeling as if your working space has been invaded. If you share with another small business, splitting costs on communal spaces such as kitchens and toilets, you can really help yourself save money. Sharing with a similar business can even provide the opportunity for useful networking and joint ventures.

 

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