As real estate professionals, we spend our days helping people move on from properties that no longer fit: too big, too small, too old, too far from the places they need to be – you name it. But what about our own needs when it comes to professional premises? Natalie Hastings shares some of her learnings from a recent office move.
I’m happy to say that hastings + co have just completed a refreshing office change which has impacted positively across all areas of our business. Although it took consideration, time and effort, it has been a real game-changer and a marker of business maturity.
Are your business premises still a great fit? If not, here’s some food for thought on moving.
There are some big indicators that it’s time to move: too many or too few people in communal workspaces, inadequate meeting and waiting zones for clients, and a sense that your space is no longer fit for purpose.
- You might once have been happy without a street presence, but now you need a storefront – or vice versa!
- If your lease is coming up for renewal, this may be a good time to evaluate your position
- Growth: if you observe business growth quarter on quarter, taking the next step into bigger, bolder premises might be just the thing to further cement confidence in your business.
WHERE TO NOW?
If moving is absolutely on the cards, you’ll want to make sure your new premises will stand the test of time. Look to locations which are central for your team, providing adequate street parking for staff and customers. It’s ideal to be close to amenities like cafes, banks, post offices – all the normal businesses you and your team would visit during a working week.
Think about the physical space. Is it naturally bright, and a welcoming, positive environment? And consider your neighbours; will your business happily co-exist within the business body corporate or community you’ve selected?
We knew that hastings + co had found the perfect new premises in a building housing a premium real estate group – being on the right wavelength with co-tenants can make all the difference to your comfort as a team.
BUDGETS AND LEASES
Money certainly matters when it comes to a business relocation. If you’re buying commercial premises, well done! If you’re leasing, think carefully about your lease terms and consider whether you are over or under-committing. Too short a lease or too long a lease can each have their own costs to bear. Whilst you’re at the negotiating table, can you secure a rent-free period associated with your move or fit-out? And don’t forget to look closely at your outgoings – if body corporate fees or rates are too high, they can swiftly make a long-term commercial lease problematic.
We moved into an empty space and enjoyed having a blank canvas upon which to create our perfect working environment. Will your business need a bespoke fit-out to make the most of the move? If so, consider investing in a project manager if funds allow.
Moving is a time-burglar: don’t let it take the focus off your business if you can share the burden with an expert.
Think about your office environment. Will you require private offices, or open plan zones? How are the electricals in the building – are there enough internet cables, phone lines and capacity for media, such as a TV screen in your conference room? Don’t forget plumbing either, as you will likely need a functional kitchen and easy to maintain bathrooms.
Warning: this is not a drill! Moving day can be challenging, as you’ll need to make sure both old and new offices are operational. Test everything before you move: phones, internet, electricity. Leave nothing to chance.
Think about when you’ll move, too; weekend moves minimise disruption to your clients. If you’re moving on a weekday, have half your team stay in your old premises and the rest involved in the relocation process. By getting the whole team excited and involved in the transition process, your new office will feel like home in no time.