If you're thinking about moving, the cost of setting up your new office space could be much higher - or lower - than you think. This guide will help you estimate these costs and ensure that moving into your new space is something that can actually fit within your budget.
Refining The Space
Many office buildings are marketed as "move-in ready". In common terms, this means an office that only needs minimal refinement before you can start working. Even when this is the case, it is very common for you to make tenant improvements prior to moving in. When done correctly, they are a part of your lease negotiation and a part of the final rent you agree to. This will conserve your upfront cash and allows the building to make quality consistent improvements to their building in line with client needs. Here are the major improvements that will affect your rent expense when refining your new office space:
- Flooring: Whether you're looking for tile, wood, carpet, or anything else, chances are this will be a common improvement before moving in. Keep in mind that hardwood and tile floors may seem easier for moving furniture or for cleaning but can be noisy as well. The right mixture of durability and texture throughout the space can be accomplished with a variety for materials. Consult your architect if the project is large or the building for their recommendations if it is a small space they are handling internally.
- Walls: From wallpaper and paint to art and decorations, how attractive is the visual aspect of the office? You should have at least some forms of inspiration, so consider buying from local artists if you want to keep expenses down. If you are moving or removing walls consider the use of glass to define your space while keeping the open airy feel. It will be more expensive, but keep in mind the attractiveness of your office may be what attracts quality employees.
Office technology requires establishing the right the tools for productivity. The costs you'll face include:
- Phone Systems: Don't just plan for now. Plan for the growth of your company and ask how robust your phone system will need to be in order to handle your daily operations. Not an expert in this area - get the advice of one. Consider cloud based solutions as they can be very feature rich and offer the most flexibility when starting from scratch.
- Internet Access: How fast are the upload and download speeds in your new building? If your success requires a connection, then time could literally be money and ensuring you have the bandwidth you need could make a major difference to your bottom line. Get vendors competing in this area and make sure your contracts are coterminous with your building lease for maximum savings. (Don't forget to negotiate the right to change if the vendor's performance guarantees are not met!)
- Other Hardware: From computer servers and printers to routers, displays, and other items, you can expect to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars just getting the hardware you need. This is a good time to upgrade if your old equipment was hampering productivity.
Some moves are more dramatic than others and depending on where you're arriving from, you could find yourself lacking access to the same vendors that supported you in the past. An office move is an excellent time to reconsider your relationships with vendors. By announcing the fact that your vendors now have competition, you can negotiate with them for reduced rates on the services and support they provide. Often times creating the environment where keeping your business is better than not, you can significantly lower the cost of setting up your new office space.
What you save may help pay for some of the new expenses you incur or simply fine tune your core vendors and the support they provide. Either way this should be a step in your move plan.
Spreading the word about your move and your new location will need to find its way to customer, vendors, suppliers, prospects and the media. Make the most of move by getting as much mileage out of it you can. Most likely, people who know you will be excited for you and the growth your move may represent. Get the press you deserve across social media or even think of holding an open house event to support a local charity during the first few months.
Oh by the way, don't forget the other common sense communication you will need to address: stationery, web site, change your address with all who send you a check or a bill, as well as any branding literature you may have.
There is more to the cost of your new space than the rent you agreed to in your lease!
Working the factors listed above into your plans really can make all the difference in a successful and expense friendly move. A great first step in the planning process is to meet with sales people before you decide. Many companies are more than happy to help estimate the costs of these types of expenses for you, and they'll take into account the things you've overlooked.
The end result will be a budget you can actually plan your move around - taking all the guesswork and uncertainty out of the costs you face.