You may have started out by sitting with a laptop at the kitchen table; however, at some point, you will probably need to branch out and find a professional office space for your business.
It’s an exciting yet daunting time for most entrepreneurs. Your business is making good progress and, suddenly, you need a bigger and better space to work. But choosing an office space is an incredibly important decision and it shouldn’t be made lightly. Not only does it affect day-to-day operations, but it can also influence staff morale, company image, and long-term success. Ultimately, it has the potential to make or break your start-up or small-medium sized business.
In the following blog, we take a look at the top three factors that should be considered when making this decision and offer a range of handy tips on how to choose the perfect office space for you.
Clients trust a brand with an official location – somewhere they can visit, meet with the owners, and find out more about the business. This location is often key to your success and, before signing on the dotted line for a new office, it is important to think carefully about where it actually is.
Primarily, your office space should be in a location that is ideal for you. You are the owner, after all, and you need a space that will facilitate and simplify the operation of your business. Try to make life as easy as possible for yourself, yet at the same time, perhaps consider the following:
Public transport and nearby traffic
Easy access to your office can have a very positive impact on your business. In many cases, it can significantly reduce commuting time, improve your work-life balance and clients will find it much easier to visit. When choosing a new office space, it is therefore important to find somewhere that can be easily reached by road or public transport, with a relatively low volume of surrounding traffic.
Proximity to existing clients
Clients are integral to your business’s success and, when picking a new office space, it is crucial that you take them into consideration. Ideally, you need somewhere nearby, perhaps just a short walk or drive away. Then, when it’s time to meet for a catch-up, there will be no time wasted on a long journey and there is no need to worry about expensive transport fares and parking costs.
Once you have found a potential new office space, be sure to do a little research into other businesses in the area. Perhaps find out if they are professional, whether they have a good or bad reputation. Are they the type of people you want to rub shoulders with? It is also advisable to find out exactly what they do. The last thing you need is to move into your new serviced office space, to find that your main competitors are firmly settled in next door.
Depending upon the services or products that you offer, passing trade could be the key to your success. Your business needs to be as visible as possible, thus creating brand awareness, attracting the attention of potential customers and taking advantage of every possible sales opportunity.
It’s also a good idea to find somewhere with access to local amenities. Whether you like to grab a skinny latte in the morning or want to impress new clients with a fancy business lunch, it’s nice to have a few nearby shops, cafés, and restaurants to choose from.
This may not seem like a very important factor to consider; but if you’re working late to hit a deadline, and you’re in need of caffeine or a snack, you’ll be grateful that such amenities are there.
When it comes to choosing the right office space for your business, the building itself is just as important as its location. It should be a place that reflects the professionalism of your company, somewhere that you would be proud to bring your clients and customers for an important meeting. As such, we recommend considering the following factors:
Quality of the premises
Be sure to visit a potential new office space and inspect its overall quality before making a final decision. You need a building that is presentable and in a good state of repair, and it’s a good idea to ask if there are any major building or construction works planned for the near future.
This is especially important if you are looking for an office space to rent, as you may be expected to pay for any maintenance and repair costs yourself – and, over time, this can become expensive.
Perhaps you are looking for somewhere to collaborate, network and meet new clients. Or maybe you just need a private space to work on your upcoming projects? Either way, when choosing a new office space, it is important to make sure the building offers the right facilities for you. This could include anything from meeting rooms and break-out areas to internet access and phone lines.
Safety and security
It goes without saying, you need to feel safe in your place of work and – when choosing new premises – it is important to consider the reputation of both the building and its neighbourhood.
Check if the office space has sufficient security measures in place, including security staff, CCTV, and a reception area, and be sure to ask about the fire evacuation facilities and procedures that are currently in place. Yes, the rent may be cheaper; but if you have to settle for a low-quality, potentially unsafe office, this could discourage clients from visiting and it just isn’t worth the risk.
This is arguably the most important factor to consider when choosing the right office space for you.
Before you start your search, it is important to create a budget – and it is even more important that you stick to it. Ultimately, you want to find an office space that does everything you need it to do, whilst still being affordable. Therefore, it is a good idea to think about the following:
Gone are the days when business-owners had to sign up for a long-term office lease with a commercial landlord. There are now a variety of different office rental options to choose from. Here at Signature Works, for example, we currently offer serviced offices, co-working and shared office spaces, and hot desking – and we only charge our members for the office space that they need.
Our advice is to not rush into any decisions. Think carefully about whether you can afford the office rental before you go ahead and be sure to find an office space that suits your specific budget.
It’s also a good idea to find out exactly what you get for your money. Sometimes, you may find that certain facilities and services are not included in your monthly rent. There could be numerous hidden costs that you haven’t accounted for – such as having to pay for maintenance, cleaning, and internet access – and these little extras could be the difference between your success or failure.
Before signing on the dotted line, you should check the small print and ask as many questions as possible about what is included in your monthly rent.
The Perfect Office Space by Signature Works
Choosing an office space is one of the biggest decisions you will make as a business owner. It needs to be right for you, your employees, your customers, and your business as a whole. It is imperative that you think carefully about the building, its location, and its cost.
Here at Signature Works, we understand the difficulties that come hand-in-hand with this decision and we strive to make life easier for you. All of our buildings are chosen with the above factors in mind and they are often the ideal solution for freelancers, start-ups and small businesses.
Take for example The Bling Bling Building. Situated in the heart of Liverpool’s shopping district, it offers access to a wide range of local amenities (including shops, bars, restaurants, coffee shops and more) and is served by frequent and reliable transport links. The building itself is slick, modern and guaranteed to impress your clients – and it is currently available at a very reasonable cost.
We offer a variety of office rental options, including co-working space, serviced offices and shared office spaces in Liverpool, and all of our members gain access to a fantastic range of facilities, services and events. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate your growth as a business and we aim to make sure that, with the help of the perfect office space, your business goes from strength to strength.
Browse our website today to find out more and, if you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch. Simply give us a call on 0151 558 1566 or, alternatively, book a tour and visit our amazing office spaces in Liverpool city centre for yourself.