If your business is going through an expansion process, whether that's taking on more staff or making the decision to take a project full-time rather than part-time, there are a number of things that you'll need to consider. At the top of your list will be location. Where you decide to base your business is perhaps the most important decision that you'll make as an entrepreneur. You'll need to do research into cost, transport links, local talent, competition in the area and so much more. In the following paragraphs we'll go through the key points that you need to cover whenchoosing the right locationfor your business.
1. Know your budget
First things first, you need to have a clear budget in mind before you physically start looking for office space. You don't want to waste time searching for office space only to find that you aren't able to afford anything in the area that you want to be based in - you'll have saved a lot of time and effort if you had a clear budget in mind from the start.
2. Are serviced offices a good option?
Serviced offices are an extremely popular choiceamongst startups and rapidly growing SMEs. Often, moving into a new office space involves a lot of extra work, like installing telephone lines, setting up an Internet connection and carrying out the necessary health and safety checks. However, the beauty of serviced offices is that all this is done for you. Once you move into a serviced office you'll have chairs, printer access, high-speed Internet connectivity and so much more. All you'll need to do is bring any laptops or computers that you'll require. If you think that serviced offices sound like a good route for you, make sure that you double check what amenities and services are included in the package you are negotiating. Most serviced offices vary in size, so whether you are looking for a desk or larger office space to house your expanding workforce, there will be an option out there for you.
3. Check your demographics
You'll need to understand the demographics of the areas surrounding where you base your business for two core reasons:
- To determine if locals will be interested in your service
- To gain an understanding of what the local talent is like.
If you know people with skills you desire live in the local area, it makes it much easier for you to expand your business and surround yourself with the right talent. A great way of checking the demographics of an area is to use a website likeFind a Hood. You'll be able to check the average age of people in an area, what common professions are and much more. This will provide you with a far greater understanding of the general demographics of an location you are considering to base your business in.
4. How's the local competition looking?
It's up to you how close you want to be to your competition, in some instances it pays to be close by so you can piggyback of their marketing efforts and existing footfall, whereas in other situations you may prefer to distance yourself from competitors. When you are considering a specific area, mark where your core competition are based and you'll then be able to identify pockets where you'll want to base your business according to your needs.
5. Know what to ask
Finally, you need to be aware of exactly what questions you need to ask any prospective landlord. It's vital that everything is as transparent as possible so that you fully understand what you are entitled to, what extra costs you may incur and more. A few examples of common questions that you should ask are:
- What are the terms of the lease?
- Are utilities included in your payments?
- When was the last time the utilities were serviced?
- Is adequate parking available?
- Is the area accessible by public transport?