Success in the world of business is the result of time, effort and hard work. Making the transition from a one-person start-up to one which requires a dedicated office certainly indicates positive momentum and yet, securing premises can be challenging. In addition to cost, a small business owner must address three main issues; the selection process, infrastructure and moving in.
Selecting the Correct Office
Choosing which attributes are a necessity and which are nice to have's will stem from a number of initial variables. These will be based upon the unique requirements of the business in question, however can be loosely grouped as follows:

  • Is an independent office actually needed? (would serviced premises be more appropriate?)
  • Location (does the location need to consider footfall or could it exist in a business park)
  • Style of office (trendy media office, shopfront, corporate)
  • Size (ability to easily accommodate future employees if the need arises)
  • Return on Investment (does the business forecast of revenue cater for the desired premises)
  • Access (transport access, parking, etc)

Office Infrastructure and Interior
Ensuring the business has appropriate infrastructure might seem like an obvious one, but many might not anticipate how the future growth of the business and staff numbers might place strain on the venue. Moving into an office without appropriate internet service in the area for any modern business could be a real problem. However, those difficulties may only be realised when the venue's excess capacity is reached. Generally, this would be a more prevalent issue in rural areas or for the more adventurous business owners who select older building in unique locations such as converted barns or churches. As with all aspects of the business premises transition, it will always boil down to the question, is it fit for purpose.

Many enterprises outsource their IT services to a third-party firm. This can help to save on resources and time while eliminating any in-house technical woes. Micro-sized businesses making the transition the first time are unlikely to have faced such concerns before, therefore may wish to consider distilling any IT requirements into the following areas:

  • Internet; Access to wired or wireless internet throughout the office.
  • Technology; Modern laptops that can cater for the level of processing required, computing consoles and VoIP systems.
  • Expandability - The ability to accommodate existing staff and room for expansion.
  • Upgradeability - Systems that can grow with the workforce.

IT and its related infrastructure can be sizeable investments but choosing the correct system from the start will save a great deal of aggravation in the future.

Creature comforts within any office will have a profound impact on the happiness of both management and employees. A vibrant office is one which is believed to be an overall happier working environment, which can lead to higher productivity, attract and maintain top talent and secure the best clients. One way to achieve this is to try and promote consistent themes within the venue such as using complimentary styles of furniture and colour throughout. In terms of ambiance, light is key. Offices which let in ample amounts of natural light are said to be more productive, this in collaboration with and should be considered just as important as the paint scheme, upholstery or any artwork chosen.

The Physical Act of Moving In
Relocation is often an underrated challenge and can be one of the last considerations. It's one area that's often best supported by trained experts if only for the peace of mind that insured professionals are there to avoid damaging goods and the property itself. The moving in day can be a long and physically intense which is why using existing employees might not be the best idea. London based removal company Volition Removals commented "It's amazing the amount of businesses that consider using their own staff to move office given the potential health and safety risks associated".  For new business owners the logistics of moving should be considered a necessary evil and therefore focus on how to get the move done in the most amenable time frame with all the components safely transported from one location to another.

For businesses that are on the cusp of such a transition, with preparation and foresight, even the most challenging of moves can be completed with confidence and efficiency.