Tips On Finding The Perfect Office
Businesses looking to take on an office tenancy should apply a highly strategic and considered approach in both searching for the right premises and then managing the resulting space.
Instead of jumping in feet first and taking the first available office space, businesses should to take their time as the right location can make or break a business. And once you move into your new office that strategic approach should continue to be applied to developing and maintaining a good relationship with the landlord or office management company – this relationship can be as important as the relationship you develop with customers and suppliers or indeed other stakeholders in your business.
Being a good tenant is like being a good neighbour – not only will it bring social benefits to the company and its employees, but it can also reap considerable business benefits such as being the first to hear about new business leads or great deals with local suppliers.
Before you make a decision
- Consider a short-term and flexible notice-period which allows you to take the space you need right now but with the option to expand as your business grows.
- Think of your employees’ needs as well as those of your business. Is the office close to public transport? Are their shops and leisure facilities in the local area?
- Ensure there are ample parking facilities for your employees and clients.
- Find out what extras are included in your tenancy such as access to meeting rooms, admin support or video conferencing. Are these included in the rental price or would you be better off opting for an office space where you can buy in these additional services on an ad hoc basis.
- Will you be looking for offices in multiple locations – or perhaps access to meeting rooms in other parts of the country or the world? If so choose an office provider which has multiple sites and negotiate access to other meeting facilities or a discount for additional office space. The added benefit of this is that it allows you to ‘punch above your
weight’ giving your company a national or international image without the additional investment.
- Don’t just go for the first office you see… shop around and consider different areas and styles of building work which will suit your need best and give the right impression to customers. View at least three different offices before making a final decision.
- Remember to cover your office contents with an insurance policy – your business centre will only provide insurance cover for the actual building.
- Get advice – before taking the plunge speak to an independent body. Simple, impartial advice from fully trained staff with specialised knowledge in certain geographical areas can be invaluable – they will know the offices like no one else. So you’ve found your dream office. What next?
- Meet the people who really count – developing a good relationship with the facilities or services manager for example, can mean you are given priority over other tenants.
- Never underestimate the importance of developing a good relationship with reception staff – in a serviced office environment they are the first point of contact customers have with your organisation. Make sure they understand your business and the approach you like to take with potential customers, importantly, don’t forget to keep them up to date with company developments and the movement of personnel.
- Anyone employed by the centre’s management company is a potential source of new business for you and, if you nurture your relationship with them they will often pass on new business leads or suggest valuable networking opportunities.
- Get to know your neighbours – attend any networking opportunities organised within the centre and make a point of introducing your company’s services to the other businesses. Not only can they pass leads on to you, but you may also be able to develop some mutually beneficial relationships or even pitch together to win new business.
- If you are looking to expand or downsize, make sure you are the first to hear about additional office space in your building by maintaining a good relationship with centre managers.
Mr Venables said: “There is much to be gained from locating the right office space and developing great relationships within it. Take your time, do your research and think about what other rewards you can reap before taking the plunge. And remember that while good relationships can only benefit your business, poor relationships can cause considerable harm not only from an operational perspective but also in terms of reputation.”