Choosing a flexible business space – What everyone needs to know (Part I)

This topic will be in 3 blog parts for simplicity:

  1. The physical factors used to determine your business location (part I)
  2. The on going costs which determine your business location (part II)
  3. How you should actually go about searching for a business location (part III)

For business owners, where you decide to put down roots is one of the most momentous decisions you can take as a business so it pays to give it sufficient consideration.

Maybe you’ve started off in a bedroom or garage, or are just looking for a new place to operate from. Whatever the key drivers are which underlie this decision? We outline a list which hopefully will act help you consider carefully all the important factors which will impact your business.

As mentioned above, in this first blog, we’ll tackle the physical factors influencing your location decision:

The physical factors determining where to move your business to

Workplace flexibility needs to be front and centre

Any location needs to enable you to operate as a business as efficiently as possible without excessive costs. These costs can be a drag to growth at any stage of a business cycle, but are most critical in your business’s early stages.

One of the prime considerations should be flexibility.
What do we mean by this?

Well, the length of any lease needs to be carefully considered. Also, whether the building itself lends itself to mixed usage which can be changed as your business grows and develops.

So really, one guiding principle should be finding somewhere that has room for growth and facilitates your evolution as a business.

mobile_flexUnderstand the physical working space

Try to visualise what the business space will look like and how the space will be configured once you move in. What will it be like to work in?

All those visible and tangible considerations are one of the biggest factors influencing whether you sign on the dotted line or not.

Below are some of the considerations to be thinking about. Its not meant to be exhaustive but should give you some thoughts :

  • Appearance of the site: do you need to impress customers? How easy will it be for your clients to get find you and park?
  • Size and layout of the space: think about desks, communal areas, storage and equipment
  • What amenities does the unit contain: is there a kitchen or showers? Is there a cafe on site?
  • Is the building suitable for mixed use: do you need to both have office as well as working areas? How will you separate? Are there any noise considerations?
  • Are you allowed to alter the setup: Will your lease allow it? How accommodating is your landlord? Do you need some form of permission?
  • Transport links: Are there car parking facilities on site or nearby? Is it close to train or bus stops? Is there a local taxi firm?
  • Health and Safety considerations: check fire equipment, fire exits and PAC testing etc.
  • What is the energy efficiency of the building: single or double-glazed? Are utilities included? If a workshop or industrial space, will it retain heat?

Factors in the area around your new workplace

Any location has a particular set of factors which are going to influence your decision about whether you will consider the property seriously or not. And the old location, location, location adage is as true for commercial property as it is for residential.

Major roads intersection, aerial view.But there are other considerations which are very different to the residential market. Here are some of the factors you need to be looking at when it comes to the area your business is located in:

  • Where is the office, workshop or industrial unit located? Is it with other businesses, and does the area support smaller enterprises well?
  • What is the  overall rental cost?  Even taking into account that cities are  generally more expensive than out of town locations, is it on offer for the ‘market rate’ and are there any hidden charges?
  • How much passing trade does it have? Will moving make a noticeable difference to your overall custom
  • What’s the broadband connection like? All businesses need to be well connected, make sure you have enough bandwidth to help you grow
  • Are there any local grants that come with this locality? It is always worth investigating as there are often startup grants and discounts available. Definitely look into Rates Relief and other forms of small business support. Councils do want small businesses to move into and succeed in their local area and might provide help

So there you have it – a very quick sift through some of the physical considerations when deciding on a new premises for your business.
Of course, you could always save a lot of legwork by coming to the experts – Flexspace, and let us do all the hard work. We have a range of business premises across the country close to major arterial connections, together with some very favourable terms (up to 3 months free for some localities).

Some of our sites have additional amenities like on-site cafes etc. So what better time to contact Flexspace, and see where we can make an offer you can’t refuse. Flexspace: Managed workspace for the modern business.
Call 0800 033 4444 or complete the form today!

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