Moving your Business: Is it Time?
Moving home can be a stressful time – and there are only a few rooms and a family to move. Now imagine moving your entire business, and you can probably see why office moves can make or break a company. But moving your business also presents a perfect opportunity to rethink some of the aspects of your venture. When planning the physical move, you can also take a look at some of the fundamentals of your business and work out if there are any opportunities for cost savings, consolidation of resources, or new technology.
Is it really time to move?
To get an idea of the number of businesses who choose to move premises, it’s worth remembering that 900 companies ask BT Business for help with moving every week – and of course, not every company will talk to them, so the actual number will be much higher.
For most of these companies, the need to move has become obvious. You take on new staff, and find it hard to fit them in, or the location you’re in has proved to be less good for business than you’d first hoped.
The key thing is to think about the potential for a move before you actually get to the point of your premises constraining your business. In an ideal world, some ideas about when you plan to move from your initial offices should form part of your overall business plan – simple, key metrics such as number of staff or turnover. That way you can start planning the actual move early, which makes for both an easier move and more potential benefits.
However, if your business isn’t at the point of being able to move, but still needs more space, depending on the terms of your lease and the kind of property you are in it may make more sense to consider better ways of reusing your current property. Small companies often grow in an organic, unplanned way that may mean space isn’t used to its maximum extent.
In these circumstances, it may be worth talking to a chartered surveyor to see if you can make better use of the space you have available – the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors can help you find a local one. Also, talk to your IT supplier to see if there’s a way of consolidating systems to better use space. And finally, consider implementing flexible working policies, which can allow people to work at home, which has the duel benefit of cutting the need for business travel and potentially reducing required office space not to mention improving your business’ carbon footprint.
One other thing to consider, whether you are at the point of moving or just considering how to maximise the use of your space, is business storage. You’re probably familiar with home storage companies like Big Yellow Self Storage or Safestore, which let you store unwanted items in a safe environment for a small fee per month. For office equipment, furniture or other items which you’ve acquired but don’t currently need but may in the future, using self storage can be a good option. Look for services which cater to businesses as well as consumers.
As long as you are planning things in advance, a move is a great time to think about your IT solutions and whether there’s an opportunity to either invest in new technology or consolidate suppliers to get a better deal.
BT Business offers a free overview of how your current data and communication system operates and how future changes could make it more flexible so that you can increase productivity and potentially increase profit. This could, in the future, improve the way you run your business.