The right office premises are crucial to any business, particularly those which engage directly with customers or other stakeholders from their operation’s location. In the classic ‘seven P’s’ of marketing, physical premises is one of the main underpinning factors of success, and certainly the choice of your business’s location can either greatly aid – or hinder – its success.
So what things should you consider when reviewing options for your City of London office space? Some primary areas are as follows:
If you choose an office within the City of London, will it be convenient for your staff to get to work, and will your suppliers, customers and other stakeholders be able to visit easily? If you wish to retain each group, then ease of accessibility is essential.
Of course, the value of locating in central London, particularly in the City itself, is that it will naturally give you proximity to a vast market, and a prestigious one – ideal if you work in a luxury brand business, or if image, and geographical specificity, is important to your success.
Consider location broadly too. Will the offices you review need to have car parking for staff, or do they tend to travel by public transport? Should they be near cafes, shops and restaurants for food and entertaining, or is this less of an issue for your business? Again, City offices tend to be excellently located for all manner of amenities, so this may be less of an issue.
The cost of a rental agreement is a key factor of course, but it should not be the overriding one that negates all of your other requirements. A truly cheap property will invariably reveal the reasons for being so once you have moved in!
Examine and compare rates and appoint an experienced property agent who can establish your needs, select suitable options and negotiate for you as necessary.
Even if the rent is fixed, the landlord may be prepared to offer some sweeteners to encourage your business, such as an initial half-rent period, or an extra such as parking space for example. Assess the strength of your position and negotiate accordingly. A rental break in a long term lease can be valuable.
Make sure you use a solicitor to review a rental contract before you sign up to it, particularly where long term lease agreements are involved. The exception here can be with flexible ‘in and out’ offices, where you simply pay a monthly charge to move in immediately, and are not tied to a contract.
Vanity Versus Need
There are some beautiful commercial spaces in the City of London, and it is highly tempting to go for the most inspiring and desirable, but remember that your accommodation will comprise a significant portion of your fixed overheads, and it is unwise to stretch your business financially unless you are sure that there is a return and benefit in doing so.
And there are instances in which image is key. For example, this is important if you work in the luxury goods, services, media or creative industries, where the extension of a beautiful space is a key differentiator for your business.