Stick or Twist – Should you be Searching for New Office Space?

There’s no doubt that the business climate is strained at the moment, with the coronavirus outbreak exacerbating a global economic decline that began in earnest during the summer of 2019.

However, there are some companies and marketplace that are actually thriving as a result of the coronavirus outbreak, with streaming services such as Netflix and online casinos reporting increased demands and revenues in the last six weeks. 

Not only this, but some entrepreneurs may also be invested in long-term growth, as they look to consolidate in the near-term before scaling their ventures in accordance with a pre-existing plan.

In this instance, there are a number of universal factors that should influence your decision. We’ll explore these below, while asking whether you should consider relocating as part of your long-term growth plans.

Location, Location, Location

Let’s start with the basics; as not all locations have been created equal when it comes to establishing or relocating a business. 

So, whether you’re looking to upgrade your commercial premises in your hometown or relocate to another city, location should be a key driver of your final decision.

For example, Glasgow is ranked as one of the top 15 cities in the UK for start-up ventures and small business growth, and therefore an ideal location for companies that are looking to expand or relocate (particularly those in the technology sector).

However, this increased demand has sent rental prices in the city soaring to record highs during the last 12 months, with the take up for refurbished office space in Glasgow currently considerably higher than the 10-year average.

Of course, such consistent price hikes have been compounded by a dwindling supply of properties, and this trend is unlikely to change any time soon as Glasgow’s reputation among entrepreneurs continues to be reinforced.

So, whether you’re in the market for a scaled-up property or want to relocate from elsewhere to Glasgow, you’ll probably have to factor in increased operational costs over an extended period of time. 

The same principle applies to other, in-demand cities, particularly those that have been gripped by digital transformation (such as Manchester and Liverpool).

This is the price that you’ll have to pay for access to a growing and start-up-friendly market, and you’ll need to measure this against potential revenue and profit projections for the future if you’re to choose the right path.

The Demand for Your Products or Services

If you’ve planned to relocate or are considering moving to a larger space having taken on additional work, it’s crucial that you measure your increased demand in purely financial terms.

More specifically, you’ll need to translate the additional work into a projected revenue increase, before factoring in the potential costs of leasing new commercial premises and taking on new employees.

You must also take the time to consider whether this peak in demand is likely to be sustained over time, as it’s unwise to commit you an increased, long-term lease payment if you’re unable to scale your business consistently.

The real challenge comes when you’ve started to outgrow your existing workspace and occupational capacity levels; but have absolutely no idea of whether this spike in demand will be sustained. This scenario demands action, as otherwise you’ll run the risk of damaging productivity and causing issues with the delivery of an increased workload.

In this instance, you may be best served by trialling creative, short-term solutions, from allowing non-strategic employees to work from home or investing in a new but temporary workspace that’s leased on a rolling contract.

This allows you breathing space to alter and adapt your business’s growth plan, without compromising your cost base or placing too much of your hard-earned capital on the line.

Time and Resources

On a fundamental level, it’s also important to recognise that relocating to a new office space is an incredibly stressful process.

This is borne out by various studies, with one conducted by E.ON finding that moving premises is the second most stressful task that managers and key stakeholders have to deal with in the workplace.

The figures also found that 78% of companies are inclined to delay moving as a result of such issues, instead opting to stay in inadequate and cramped conditions that may have a negative impact on productivity.

The key is to retain an objective outlook and factor in the time and resources required to organise your relocation into your final decision, while ensuring that you have a comprehensive plan to manage the overall process.

This will help you to make an informed decision that benefits your venture, while also identifying potential issues and additional resources that can help ensure a much smoother relocation process.

Fortunately, there are several third-party resources that can manage and oversee your office move, allowing you to focus on the day-to-day management of your business and strike the ideal balance between long-term growth and real-time productivity.