Warehouses work, but they’re not perfect for 2018
One of the first things you’ll need to consider if you’re looking to move your team into a warehouse is the fact that older warehouses from 75 years ago or earlier weren’t built for the business world of today. That means installing IT systems and other digital infrastructure is going to be exceedingly difficult without a game plan.
Be prepared to set up new areas in the office for IT, which could also mean installing hard-line internet connections – if you don’t intend to go completely wireless. There are also other issues with wireless too. Thick brick walls present issues with cellular and wireless transmission, so hard-line might be the only way to go.
Also don’t forget to factor in the cost of moving everything around, like furniture, data centres and more which can cost upwards of $40,000 in some cases, as older buildings are warehouses present certain difficulties.
There’s a reason it’s so cheap
One major issue you’ll have to keep an eye out for if you’re looking at warehouses, in particular, is the fact that the building boom has meant that countless loft and warehouse spaces are being used for apartment developments. There may be a cheap opportunity for office space, but there’s likely to be a clause in the agreement stating that this is only a short-term opportunity and that when the landlord is given the chance to convert or sell to developers, you and your business must vacate.
So, with that in mind make sure that you or your legal team takes a close look at the agreement for issues regarding construction and development or the length of a lease being cut short in the event of apartment development.
Know what to ask
Although this might seem like a pointless consideration, it’s important that you know what to ask your agent or a landlord before you speak to them. This means things like asking about rent-free periods and even expected fit-out costs. Just by asking about these things you could make a good argument to reduce costs or help negotiate a different, more affordable price point.
Remember that its always in a landlord or agents best interest to the get the property or office space rented out, or sold, so focus on negotiations that will get them what they want – a leased or sold office space.
Allow more than a month
If you only look at the time it takes to inspect a property, sign a lease and move in, then you’ll probably only be factoring in a few days. This is being really unrealistic if you’re planning on moving office, and you should make sure that you have at least a month to look around at plenty of properties before making a final choice.
The process of actually finding a property to lease is going to take the most time because of agent scheduling and auctions as well as the time it takes for warehouses and office space to come on the market. You simply might just have to sit and wait. Don’t get discouraged though, there’s always something out there for every business, so just sit tight.
Once you have found a space, make sure that you’re realistic about the time it takes to move. Keeping that in mind – you’ll need more than two weeks. Moving everything including furniture, IT systems and more takes at least month, and that’s on top of having a rubbish removal service remove anything you no longer need.
Finally, factor in downtime for your business. If you’re not able to migrate essential activities from your servers to your employee laptops and other devices, then prepare for a short stop with all operations.
Don’t move over the holidays
Any major holiday, including Easter, Christmas and public holidays will cause major issues no matter how seamlessly planned your move might be.
The first thought you might have when the holidays are concerned is that cities will be quieter and less busy and it’ll generally be easier to move. But there’s a reason it’s less busy because most businesses aren’t operating. You’ll have to wait longer for services to be set up, like phones lines and fibre internet as well as electrical and other installs.
This means that your operations will be severely hindered for the weeks following the move. So, moving outside of holiday and peak periods is a lot easier as there’s little wait time for major services to be put in place in the office.
Put the business first
When you’re out and about looking for office space, you’re away from work. That creates an issue. You’re not working and there’s no new money being made.
Combat this by pre-planning before and after work, and move office space hunting to outside work hours, or have a trusted assistant or business member do it for you who isn’t going to be as affected by the time off.
The stress will be worth it
Once everything is complete and you’ve found a place and moved in, you’re certainly likely to be more than happy with it. In the end, if you focused on fulfilling your business’s needs and meeting all of the requirements for the new office you’ll be seeing great returns on investment and increased morale.
When done properly, you could see a fall in operating costs as well as an easier commute for workers. These savings can then be put back into the business and snowball your profits and innovation.