Having been tasked with the design, space planning and fit-out of numerous office spaces, I’ve noted with concern several costly mistakes business owners make when settling on the office space. Judging by the frequency of some of these mistakes, it only makes sense that this blog entry delves into the various costly mistakes while offering you viable solutions to mitigate against the same.
For Starters, Failure to Plan for Growth
Yes, you have a team of five, and an office space that comfortably fits five people will be great. But have you considered how long you plan to stay in that office? Give for instance your lease runs for five years, in five years’ time, will you still have a team of five? Won’t your team, at the very least, have doubled? So why then settle on a space that only fits five of you? When you plan for growth, even with a team of five, you’ll only be considering spaces that can fit twice your team. That will not only save you unnecessary relocation and expansion renovation expenses, but also guarantee you peace of mind as you plan your expansion strategy. Plan for growth, settle on a relatively bigger space than you currently need, and comfortably grow into it.
So, you now have your office space, but does anything within the space reflect your brand identity? When a client walks in, by merely surveying the space, does your brand stand out? Is it perfectly clear what you can and are able to deliver on? What are the client expectations versus your deliverables? Your office space isn’t just a premises where your team comes to get work done, it’s also your marketing platform, a visibility strategy to create awareness on your brand. Failing to capitalize on this will really hurt your brand and pockets in the long run. To spare you from the same, have an interior design team come in to properly design and fit-out your office space, so that it effectively communicates your brand to the masses. Believe me, you’ll soon be smiling all the way to the bank.
Location, Location, Location!
Your offices are located on XYZ Street yet your potential clients’ frequent ABC Avenue. The disconnect is clear as day. Yes, the financial implications of running a full operation on ABC Avenue may be daunting but so is the possibility of running yourself out of business. My advice, start out small, run targeted advertisements on ABC Avenue, participate in pop-up fairs or networking sessions in the area, mingle with your ideal clients and create the right buzz about and around your brand. Before you know it, you’ll start getting more and more business from ABC Avenue and it won’t be long before an office space along ABC Avenue will become your reality.
Lastly, Terms and Conditions
Read and understand the terms and conditions. It’s safe to say that this statement cannot be taken lightly. Settling on a premises with a five-year lease while considering a possible upgrade in a few years’ time could really cost you a lot of money and inconvenience. Imagine three years down the line, having found the perfect upgrade, signing and settling on it only for your current landlord to demand some form of settlement for “breaking the lease”. Its not unheard of, to find tenants still paying for spaces they vacated months if not years earlier, since it was a more plausible solution than making a lumpsum payment. Like I said, read and understand the terms and conditions.
Having shared a few of the costly mistakes business owners make when settling on the office space, I hope you will now do more due diligence before considering that premises that has been calling. Should you however need the expertise of an interior design team to help you effectively communicate your brand to the masses, feel free to reach out to us. We are, after all, just a call away.
Till next time…Baraka Tele