We have spent the last few months developing a Start-Up Guide for Moving Offices to provide useful information and help companies avoid the many pitfalls associated with relocation.
Finding and moving office is one of the many challenges a start-up will face. If not handled properly, the process can result in expensive mistakes which may be detrimental to the future of the business.
Start-ups are often particularly vulnerable in the world of commercial property. This is partly due to inexperience within the industry but also due to uncertainty over future growth plans and headcount.
Traditionally, companies have been encouraged to tie themselves into lengthy leases for at least five years. While this may be a cost-effective option for more established businesses favouring stability, flexibility is absolutely essential for any new and fast-growing organisations.
Acquiring a property that does not allow for future growth may lead to having to divide your team across two different sites. Doing this can have a huge effect on the team, creating an “us and them” culture. On the other hand, taking on too much space may drastically impact on profits, leading to an unnecessary and adverse financial strain on the business.
This is where having the right advisor becomes an invaluable part of your office relocation and finding the right space that works for you and your business.
How do you choose the right advisor?
One thing that start-ups need to be aware of is that some commercial agents may represent both landlord and prospective occupier at the same time. This is obviously unethical because whilst the landlord will want to achieve the highest rent possible, the company taking the space will want to pay the lowest. How can one agent represent both? Simple answer: They can’t.
When appointing an advisor, make sure that they do not also represent landlords.
It sounds obvious, but when negotiating fees with an agent, take extra care to study their fee structure. Many agents base their fees on a percentage of the rent agreed (the higher the rent you pay = the higher their fee). Other agents, such as Making Moves, work on a fee savings model, charging a percentage of whatever money they can save you over the duration of the lease. This is a much more cost-effective option. It can mean that it actually works out a lot more expensive to “Do It Yourself”.
Getting the right brief
Before beginning the search for a new property, you will need to work with your advisor to establish a clear brief.
This includes reviewing the terms of your current lease and checking if and when you are able to relocate. Other things to consider include how much space you need, location, budget and any special requirements you may have as a business.
Which type of office is right for you?
There are two main types to consider when considering a relocation. These are:
A fully flexible and “all-inclusive” option that is fully fitted, equipped and managed.
A traditional leasehold property, available on either a short or long-term basis, depending on the business need for flexibility.
If you’re part of a start-up or high growth business looking for consultation and advice on your property strategy, then we’d love to have a chat. Alternatively, you can find a wealth of information and advice in our full Making Moves Start-Up guide here.
Making Moves are Commercial Property Finders. We specialise in helping start-ups and high growth businesses source, negotiate and manage their entire office move.