The decision for a small business to move to a different premises can be motivated by many factors. For cafes, restaurants, bars and retailers a move to a bigger or more centrally located premises may imply prosperity and the need to meet a growing demand. Likewise businesses of all sorts may wish to downsize in order to reduce their overheads. A strategic move, however is not exclusively prudent within the retail and service industries. Many businesses that require the use of an office can enhance their brand by moving to a premises with better facilities and visibility. Likewise, freelancers may wish to reduce their overheads by switching from expensive office space to hot desking in a communal office setting.
Whatever the motivation, there are certain considerations that owners of SMEs should consider when it comes to moving to a new premises…
While cost should never inhibit a move, it’s obviously a consideration that must be born. Business owners should think long and hard about how they can limit the impact of a move on operations, cash flow and liquidity. Sinking all of your cash in a new premises (which will likely require several months’ rent in advance in addition to a hefty down payment). Check out workingcapital.co to get an understanding of how working capital loans can help to facilitate a move. Many businesses use these short term loans to facilitate a move without impinging on payroll or other day-to-day operations.
Size and layout
You could be forgiven for thinking that moving to a bigger premises will lead to a more flexible working environment, but in some cases the reality is quite the reverse. The layout of your new premises could lead to very different working configurations and you may need to shuffle teams and departments around to facilitate better collaborations. Involving your employees in decisions pertaining to working configurations is a surefire way to make sure that the work force gets on board with the decision.
Will your new building have its own security provision, or will this be another overhead? Will security staff need to be subcontracted? The physical security of your premises should be seriously considered when shopping around for a premises. Will your tenancy agreement allow you to instal security cameras or movement, metal and security tag detectors. Your stock and / or equipment needs to be kept safe and secure from thieves but you should also think about the premises’ digital security. If the premises uses a shared wifi network, for example, then this can seriously undermine your online security.
Whether you have employees who use wheelchairs or not, failure to account for accessibility could potentially alienate clients and customers. While this is primarily the concern of retailers, no business is immune. Imagine trying to secure a lucrative contract with a wheelchair user client whom you’re unable to meet at your office due to your lack of accessibility. It’s a potentially embarrassing scenario that could lose you a valuable client. If your chosen premises has poor accessibility then you should plan your budget to supplement it.
Despite the numerous financial and logistical considerations, a move to a new premises can be a fun and exciting time that could represent a bold step forward for your business.