How to Establish a Satellite Office in London
Exploring the idea of launching a London office for your regional business? We take a look at some tips and tricks to help you find the right space to get started.
Once youΓÇÖve got your goals in place and know how youΓÇÖll measure the success of your new London office, itΓÇÖs time to weigh up the options.
KNOW YOUR OPTIONS: HOW TO FIND A LONDON┬áOFFICE
Essentially, youΓÇÖre looking to establish a satellite office which allows you to build up your presence in London gradually, as you establish whether itΓÇÖs going to work for you. So what are your options?
Make a short-term commitment with serviced offices
London has the strongest property market in the UK which means youΓÇÖll need to be prepared to make a significant commitment if youΓÇÖre looking at leasing conventional space. The current average leasehold is five years. If youΓÇÖre new to the London market you may not be ready for this yet ΓÇô which is where serviced offices are ideal.
Serviced office space offers a comparatively low-risk way to try out if London will work for you. Unlike conventional space, serviced offices can be rented on short-term licences ΓÇô typically months rather than years. So if you do need to upsize, downsize or simply re-evaluate your strategy for expanding into London, you can do so, usually by giving just a few monthsΓÇÖ notice.
WhatΓÇÖs more, serviced offices allow you to focus on your core business activities, because a site management team take care of the day-to-day office issues.
Could co-working work for you?
Co-working is huge right now, particularly among businesses in the media, creative and tech sectors. This means youΓÇÖll find options in most of the popular locations. It also means your office space comes with a ready-made networking opportunity of other business owners and freelancers. This could be particularly useful if youΓÇÖre new to the London scene.
The appeal of co-working for most businesses is the buzz which comes from working in a more open and collaborative environment. Compared to a private office, you will have less privacy but itΓÇÖs important to weigh this up against the networking opportunities you could gain. Many co-working spaces also have meeting rooms for hire which can be booked for client meetings, so you wonΓÇÖt have to conduct all your business in the open-plan office.
Co-working is ideally suited for establishing smaller satellite offices ΓÇô six people or less. ItΓÇÖs also highly flexible, so if some or most of your team spend a lot of their time out and about meeting clients in London, you may not need to rent a desk space for every single member of your London team.
Consider club lounges
Ideally suited to those who are only in London for a couple of days a week, club lounges work particularly well if youΓÇÖre looking for a business base for account execs and business development managers who spend much of their day out and about.
Be aware that this may not be the best option if youΓÇÖre spending most of the day on the phone as use of landlines in club lounges can be expensive.
Share space with a client
This is quite a common practice for companies looking to get a foothold in the London market, particularly if they work with a large London-based client. While this might seem like a convenient option in the short-term ΓÇô not least because it may help you to cement the relationship with your client ΓÇô there are potential drawbacks further down the line.
For example, as you look to grow your London-based business, you may want to take on additional clients. Sharing space with a current client will make it difficult to keep your business plans confidential and you wonΓÇÖt be able to pitch for other business here.
You may also pay a premium for this kind of space ΓÇô and if itΓÇÖs a big client making you the offer, it can be difficult to turn down. And of course, the success of this arrangement is completely reliant on you maintaining a strong relationship with your client. So before you go down this route, itΓÇÖs worth considering your other options.
LOOKING AT LOCATION: WHERE WILL YOU CHOOSE?
Firstly, look at your transport route into London from your regional HQ and consider locations near to that route to help reduce the cost and hassle of commuting. This is particularly important if your team will only be based in London for part of the week.
There are plenty of great locations without you needing to head into Mayfair or the City, where space is available at a premium. Key locations to consider are:
- Shoreditch: Home to world-famous Tech City and a whole host of startup tech, digital and creative businesses.
- Soho: Traditional location for media companies in the West End; youΓÇÖll also find plenty of PR agencies here.
- Fitzrovia: Popular alternative to Soho for media companies; office space north of Oxford Street has traditionally been more affordable than office space to the south.
- Camden: Urban, creative and close to Euston and KingΓÇÖs Cross, space in Camden is in high demand among media and creative agencies. ItΓÇÖs currently home to the London HQs of Young & Rubicam and Asos.
- Waterloo: This up-and-coming location is being dubbed ΓÇ£Soho overspillΓÇ¥ and is already home to some fantastic, design-led space.
- London Bridge: Another location to watch, providing office space suitable for a wide range of businesses from startups right through to larger businesses.
Of course, you donΓÇÖt have to go it alone with your search. Specialist office brokers can help you understand your options, arrange tours and even help you to negotiate terms on the right space.
Work with the London consultants at officebroker.com ΓÇô our office search service is completely free. Speak to our team today on 020 3053 3886.