Moving your Agency into its first office space: 5 crucial things to consider
So, after initially running your agency from home you’ve decided to take the plunge and move into your first office space. Congrats! As well as cementing a physical headquarters you can point clients towards, an office can help facilitate team building, strengthen your company culture, and bolster your productivity among other benefits.
But if you’ve never leased an office space before, your view of the property market is likely based on buying or renting a house. Although there are some crossovers between the residential and commercial markets, they’re ultimately very different, meaning there are various new things to consider when moving to an office. For starters, the legalities around the two are quite distinct, as we will explore later. The decisions you make when moving into an office will also significantly impact your agency’s future, from profitability to staff morale.
To help you make sense of everything and enjoy a smooth relocation, we’ve compiled some of the main things to think about when moving into your first office.
ThE TYPE OF OFFICE
You first need to decide whether you want a conventional or serviced office. A serviced office is a fully furnished and equipped workspace situated in a building managed by an operator. Perhaps the most famous operator is WeWork, which rents out single serviced offices or whole floors of a property to businesses. These workspaces certainly have advantages over traditional offices, including more flexible leases, immediate access to all the equipment you require, management services and more chances to network. However, you can make a traditional office completely your own. You’ll have full control over the workspace, lower long-term costs, and endless opportunities to emphasise your company identity.
THE OFFICE ITSELF
Once you’ve chosen the type of office you’d like, it’s time to pin down exactly what you need from the building itself. For example, are the aesthetics to your taste? Are the facilities adequate? The location is incredibly important too. Ideally, you’ll want somewhere close to you and your employees that’s easily accessible via public transport — with ample parking spaces to boot — and has plenty of surrounding establishments for staff and clients (such as restaurants, shops and bars).
The size of the office is obviously crucial as well. You’ll need to account for potential growth and determine whether the workspace in question can accommodate both your current and future ambitions. Of course, the bigger the office the more you’re likely to pay for it, which leads us on nicely to our next point.
As well as factoring in how much rent you’ll need to pay each month, you also need to consider other recurring costs involved when running an office. For example, you may have to employ a cleaner should you opt for a conventional workspace, as well as paying for things like heating, wifi and taxes. So, be sure to take a close look at your current finances and projected future earning to work out what you can afford. Don’t forget to account for the cost of the relocation process too, which may involve hiring a moving company to help transport equipment for you.
Although no two office leases are the same, they are typically drafted in favour of the landlord. As such, it’s incredibly important that you read through the terms carefully before signing on the dotted line. One of the main things to look out for is a break clause, which lets either party end the agreement before the default completion date. No doubt you’re confident that your agency will continue to thrive, but it’s crucial to prepare for the worst in case you can’t afford the rent in the future. If there isn’t a break clause in the lease agreement, however, you may have to pay a hefty fee to terminate the contract.
Another essential thing to consider is the length of the lease. Don’t feel like you need to sign a five-year contract because that’s what’s offered to you — almost everything is negotiable. In fact, you might even be able to negotiate a monthly rolling contract with a smaller property.
your insurance policy
So, you’ve finally chosen your dream office and you’re ready to move in. Well, almost. Before you actually relocate, it’s vital that you secure a comprehensive office insurance policy or you could put your business’s finances at risk. Imagine how much it would cost to fix the damage if your office was hit by a fire or flood, or if it was burgled? And if anyone sustains an injury within the office, they could take legal action against your business, leaving you to pay steep compensation to them. With office insurance in place, you won’t be the one forking out for any repairs, replacements, compensation claims or legal fees, as your provider will cover these.
Meanwhile, it’s crucial to have agency insurance too, giving you an even greater peace of mind as you begin your new chapter. This protects your agency against risks like committing professional negligence, harm sustained outside of the office and income protection if you or your staff are unable to work for a sustained period of time due to illness or injury. Agency insurance is also tailored towards your specific needs, meaning you don’t have to fork out for cover that’s unnecessary for your agency.
Here at Brisco Business, we can assist you in finding insurance that’s perfectly suited to your requirements. Simply use our quick quote system today to compare policies from the UK’s leading insurance providers and identify the best deal for your unique situation.
So, those are the main things you need to consider when moving into your first office. Good luck with everything, and we hope you love life in your new workspace!