Realising that you’ve outgrown your home office is as exciting as it is terrifying. On the one hand it’s a sign your business is entering a new phase of growth, while on the other the new level of responsibility and more serious commitment to your business can be intimidating.
As with most big changes, the best way to make the transition a smooth one is to plan. Here are some of the key things to consider as you look for your first office space.
Review your finances
It’s often worthwhile to chat to a financial advisor who can help you make income predictions to determine how much you can afford to be paying in rent over a long period of time, and even when business is slow.
Location, location, location
There’s a lot more to location than meets the eye. An office space in the middle of the city may be more expensive than one in a remote location, but if you decide on the latter you could end up spending big on your commute and getting to and from meetings. Not to mention that, as they say, time is money, and all those minutes or hours spent in transit could be spent on something far more worthwhile. In addition, all this can play a role in the carbon footprint your business leaves.
If you’re a start-up, you don’t necessarily need a huge space. However, if you’re expecting huge growth over the term of your lease, moving into a small space leaves you at risk of, at best, feeling very cramped and, at worst, having to wear the expense of moving again all over again. If you’re still in the 1–3 staff phase and you don’t feel 100 per cent sure about your growth, consider moving into a shared office space with a month-by-month lease until you feel more confident about where you’re headed.
Any small business owner will know that taking a full day off work means working triple time the rest of the week to get everything done. Try to find a slower week to move, or consider doing the move on a weekend.
One of the most common mistakes start-ups make is underestimating the impact of smaller, day-to-day business costs like energy, internet, travel, phones and tech. Consider using laptops in the office to reduce energy consumption and tech costs, shop around for the best internet and phone bundle you can find, and keep any business trips cost-savvy.
A good energy plan can help keep costs down. Compare EnergyAustralia’s business plans to find which one suits your business best.