Determining whether or not you need to relocate or invest in paid office space for the first time is a key part of any business’s growth journey, as is attempting to find viable and affordable premises in competitive locations.
Take regions such as Glasgow, for example, which continued to see increased demand for office space through Q1, 2020. While demand was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, Q3 saw a staggering 159% increase in enquiries and take-up rates, while the supply of new-build ‘Grade A’ structures remained stagnant.
This imbalance between demand and supply has also sent prices spiralling, making it harder for businesses to find affordable premises in their target location.
With this trend prevalent across a number of similar geographical markets, we ask how you can secure a viable office space and grow your business affordably.
- Think About Your Size and Growth Plans
If you employ even a small number of core staff, you’ll be restricted in terms of the geographical areas in which you can seek out office space.
This is just one of the reasons why you may end up competing for space in a competitive and high-priced market, so it’s crucial that you develop a clear understanding of your businesses needs in the short, medium or long-term.
This will ensure that you strike the ideal balance between saving money in real-time and allowing your venture the room to expand, in line with your projected workload and future growth plans.
The key here is to deal in accurate information and projections, especially in relation to your business plan and budgetary constraints. This will ultimately lead to more informed decision making, from the timing of your move to the premises that you eventually settle on.
- Be Agile When it Comes to Flexible Working
As you compare the market and search for office space to rent in locations such as Glasgow, however, you may find it hard to identify a viable long-term solution that’s within your budget.
This is why you need to adopt an agile and open mindset, and one that changes how you look at potential office spaces and your existing business model.
For example, you can optimise the space within any location by creating more flexible working directives, by introducing so-called “hot desks” and ensuring that employees have the necessary equipment to operate effectively from home. This will help to optimise the efficiency of small and cheaper office space, while allowing your venture the space to grow over time.
This may even be required in the wake of Covid-19, particularly if social distancing measures continue to be encouraged at home and at work.
- Be Careful When Reading the Terms of Your Lease
Even if you are able to secure relatively small office space to suit your needs, the rental price will still represent a big expense for your business.
However, it can be unnecessarily expensive and unmanageable if you don’t review the terms of your lease in detail, while recognising the hidden costs and restrictions that may be buried in the small print.
Remember, the office space will belong to a building that remains the landlord’s primary assets, and his success relies on being able to negotiate an advantageous and conservative deal that’s in his favour.
One of the key things to look for is the price per ‘rentable’ square foot, and in most instances you’ll end up paying for space that’s unusable. However, the amount of usable space can vary between 75% and 90% or more on average, so you should focus on reviewing this as part of the lease agreement.
Check and see if there’s an operating expense clause too; as the costs listed in your bill should correspond directly with the terms of the lease without exception.
These and similar measures may seem insignificant by themselves, but they can help you to negotiate the best deal and maintain lower operating costs without compromising on your choice of premises.