When starting a business it makes sense to keep costs as low as possible by setting up a home office in your kitchen, study or bedroom. But at some point your own success may push you out of the kitchen and into commercial premises.
Moving into your first office is a big step and you want to get it right. So we take a look at the things you should consider when making the move from home.
Before You Start Looking
Do you really need to move?
Think carefully before you take on the additional cost and distractions associated with commercial premises. Don’t make the move just because you think it’s the done thing.
Would a virtual office be a better solution?
Before jumping into commercial premises consider a virtual office. This service can set you up with a mailing address, telephone answering service and access to meeting rooms without having to commit to office space.
Would a serviced, business incubator or conventional office be a better solution?
If it’s definitely time for your own office space then consider whether you want a serviced or conventional office. Serviced offices can be a good stepping-stone, often offering flexible lease arrangements, furniture, secretarial assistance and access to shared meeting rooms.
Business incubators generally offer business support and the camaraderie of other start-ups, along with shared office space with reasonable and flexible rental arrangements. This can be a comfortable and supportive space for businesses moving from home for the first time.
A conventional office lease will offer greater freedom then either serviced or incubator space – but the set up costs and associated risks are considerably higher.
What are your needs?
Before you start looking for office space, carefully consider your needs. How many desks are you going to require? Do you need 24-hour access? How accessible and visible must the business be to customers? What location is best for you, employees and customers?
When Assessing an Office
What are the hidden set-up costs?
Make sure you take into account the capital cost to furnish your office space, any security deposit required and the cost for any necessary communications wiring. These costs can really add up and you need to be sure you are prepared.
What internet speed is available?
Most businesses are heavily reliant on the internet these days, so make sure that the speed is up to standard.
Is the location suitable for employees and customers?
Consider how far your employees will need to travel to the location and also how suitable the location is for your customers.
Does the space enable your business to grow?
Moving is time consuming and costly, so you want to make sure your business has room to grow. Is there space for additional desks and/or room to expand the operation?
Avoid long-term leases if possible.
You don’t want to tie yourself into a long-term arrangement while your business is still finding its feet. You need the flexibility to grow and change. Consider all other options before you sign a long-term lease.
Get legal advice and read the fine print.
Leases for conventional office space are usually complex and a wrong decision can have disastrous financial consequences. Make sure you get legal advice before you sign anything. Generally the lease arrangements for serviced offices are simpler, but you still need to make sure you read the fine print.
Some Options on the Coffs Coast
Virtual Office Services
This list is provided simply as a place to start looking. It is not meant to imply an endorsement of any of the above providers.