A money-saving guide to finding your business a home

In this guest post, Lilli Hender from office space search engine Office Genie takes a look at some of the ways you can save money without sacrificing your workplace needs. 

Finding the right office for your company is an important task and one which, if you’re not careful, can entail spending a lot of money. The perfect workplace won’t always come cheap but there are ways to curb the cost.

How much?

Before you begin visiting offices and get your heart set on the workplace of your dreams, it’s a good idea to budget. It’s no use looking at offices only to find they’re out of your price range. 

Working out what you can afford to spend (and your spending potential if your business grows successfully) is a necessary first step. It’s important to make sure you’re as accurate as possible when it comes to what you can spend on your office. 

Investing in budgeting software can help with this and consulting your financial adviser is a great idea if you have one. Similarly, inspecting your all-important P&L and forecasts should give you an insight into the kind of money you can plough into a shiny new office.

Where should it be?

One of the first considerations should be where your company’s HQ should be. When it comes to your office, sometimes the place you envisioned it won’t turn out to be the best location. You may have wanted to be in the city centre but rental costs, like the buildings, can be sky high. A desirable postcode, such as W1, may look good on paper but when you see the size of the office in relation to the price, going a little further afield can start to make sense.

While you may get more for your money when you lose the prime location, being too far out can entail the cost of a difficult commute. Also if your company has frequent visits from clients, the more easily accessible your office is, the better.

​What kind of space?

There are three main types of office space and each one comes with its own unique set of benefits. What can appear the most cost-effective option may not suit your business. Balancing your business needs and your finances is key to finding the best match.

A traditional leased office is the cheapest option and the one that gives you most control. It’s ideal if you have office equipment and furnishings already but can prove a high initial spend if not. The legal fees associated with beginning a lease will also need to be taken into account. 

Serviced and shared offices are less hassle and offer more flexibility. While serviced offices usually come at a higher price than shared offices, they come with a higher service level. Services such as meeting room access, a private phone line, IT support, and mail management will often be available to you.

If you’re a freelancer, startup, or small business, shared office space can be a great fit. You’re provided with desks in a coworking hub or another company’s office. Both serviced and shared offices come on a more flexible contract, saving you getting sucked into a lengthy lease.

Final tips...

After you’ve worked out how much you can spend, and the ideal location and type of office, try to see as many as possible that fit the bill. An office may read like the perfect home for your business but, as with houses, you often can get a feel for the place without physically being there.

Enquiring about offices and visiting spaces that catch your eye will also give you a better idea of what exactly you’d be getting for your money.

A key thing to keep in mind is that many office space rentals will require a large deposit up front, which could hold you back from taking what would otherwise be a great space for your business. It could also force you to hoard cash rather than investing it in opportunities to grow your business. A Growth Street facility provides a great way to cover your rental deposit, and keep your cash free to spend on more important things your business needs, like fitting out your new office.

Finding an office for your company can bring all kinds of worries but following the above tips should help make it less daunting and more cost-effective!

Written on in Business Insights