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A Checklist for Entrepreneurs Considering Their First Business Premises

StrategyDriven Starting Your Business Article |Business Premises|A Checklist for Entrepreneurs Considering Their First Business PremisesAs a startup business, choosing your very first business premises is a crucial choice. Getting the right location and building for you can help jumpstart everything you have been working towards and put your key business plan into action.

While setting up your first business premises can be an exciting (albeit nerve-wracking) time, it’s important to plan ahead and be sure that you’re realistic about what you require.

Deciding to Buy or Rent

This is possibly the biggest question in terms of wants and needs and will primarily depend on your budget and position. As an entrepreneur, it may be that you don’t have the required funds to fall back on for making huge deposits in order to buy a property, so renting may be your only option. Or, it may be that you do have enough to either buy or rent, so you will need to weigh up the pros and cons fairly. Think about your long-term goal and the flexibility each option could afford you.

Stick to Your Budget

Always be very strict about what you can afford. If you’re viewing properties and find what you believe to be the perfect option but it’s far out of your budget, don’t try and stretch your funds and don’t risk getting into debt before you’ve even begun. You can always work up to a bigger or better property in the future, but for now, make sure you have a strict budget and stick to it.

Consider All Security Extras

When considering your business property, you should also factor extra necessities into your budget and planning, particularly in the realm of security measures. You will need to think about installing CCTV systems and relevant alarms, and professional suppliers and fitters like Jackson Fire can help you do that, as well as provide quotes ahead of time.

Think About Commutability

It’s naturally important to think about the building itself — and the interior of it. However, have you also considered its location regarding accessibility and commutability? Not only do you need to ensure that all employees can easily get to your business building, but if you’re planning on having a lot of visitors, whether consumers or otherwise, you need to ensure that your location is easy to get to.

Think about being close to transport links and in the thick of it where necessary. Or, if you do need to be a little more remote for the right building, at least provide car parking facilities and clear directions for visitors.

Think About the Company Growth

You should always be thinking about the future when developing your startup, and this includes the potential for growth. If your future plans see you growing your business in a way which won’t affect your physical premises, then you may be able to stick with your first choice long term. However, if your growth plans see you needing bigger premises to grow along with you, then factor that into your location plans.

Renovating Office Space

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Office Space|Renovating Office SpaceThere might come a time when as a business owner or commercial landlord you will need to make renovations to some office space. Unlike home make-overs, commercial spaces must accommodate business needs and those of the staff. If you are closing the office doors for a while as you give the place a face-lift, here are some key points you need to focus on.

Electrics

As a business you should be having regular checks on your electrics anyway to adhere to health and safety standards. If you are making renovations you might want to consider how you will need to have the wiring redone to fit in with the new office model. It’s also a good opportunity to identify any problems you have with your current electrics. Hire commercial electricians as they will have the most experience working in environments like this.

Facilities

As an office, you will need to have specific facilities available to your staff. Think about how you can refurbish staff bathrooms and break-rooms to make them more comfortable. If any of your employees like to cycle to work, you should have a shower room installed for them to use. You may also want to make the break-room bigger to accommodate a larger team or introduce new perks like a ping-pong or pool table they can enjoy on their lunch hour. Providing these things could help to boost morale in the office and encourage productivity.

Décor

Most offices are decorated in mundane, boring color-schemes. Even though it is important to keep the space looking professional, consider adding some flair to its design. Incorporate the business brand into the décor with either a mural or having the logo on the office windows. You may want to introduce some plant-life into the space, too. This has been known to be beneficial to staff and helps promote a more positive working environment.

Accessibility

It’s also important to consider how accessible your office is for both staff and visitors. People with disabilities should be able to get to your office no matter what floor it’s on, and automatic doors should be installed for ease of access. Where necessary, think about having wheelchair ramps installed to further improve the accessibility of your office. Additionally, you should consider security measures such as key cards or fobs that can be given to your staff. Not only must you protect the business’s equipment and confidential files, but the safety of your staff from potentially harmful intruders is essential.

Equipment

Finally, consider the new equipment you would like to have installed in the new office space. It’s highly likely that you will need adequate IT resources such as computers and projectors, but is there anything else you would like to add? Perhaps new equipment for the break-room would be a good idea? Or any other additional items that are relevant to your particular business.

Make sure your staff members come back to a wonderfully equipped new office space, with top-quality facilities and an overall improved working environment to enjoy.

Creating Your Own Factory Space

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Factory Space|Creating Your Own Factory SpaceThere comes a time in which your production or industrial business outgrows its current surroundings and develops a need for increased capacity and facilities, yet searching for the ideal space can seem like an almost impossible task. You may believe that there are a wealth of different commercial buildings on the market for you to choose between, but this couldn’t be further from the truth – you can spend years searching for a good property to rent or purchase, as they are few and far between. This is exactly why so many organisations choose to create their own factory space to fit every single one of their individual needs, and have full reign over the decision making process to keep costs down and form the ideal production location. Building your own commercial property needn’t be as difficult as you might initially think, as there are few simple ideas and concepts that you can utilise to ensure you can cover all bases and succeed in your quests to expand and grow. So, if you want to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of today!

Picking The Ideal Spot

The first step that you must take when building your own commercial property is to locate the ideal spot to start your production. The place that you choose for your warehouse or factory facility has to fit a few different specifications which may vary depending on the type of your business, so it’s important that you seek out the right location rather than opting for the cheapest land possible. If you regularly send and receive goods or materials, it’s vital that you choose a place that’s got great transport links with main roads nearby, as though remote land may be cheaper it is far tougher to access. Most factory workplaces create a lot of noise pollution that can easily distrust any residential neighbours, so seek out a location that doesn’t back on to a suburban area.

Making The Floorplan

Once you have identified the perfect place to build your commercial property, the next step that you have to complete involves creating the initial floor plan for your new factory space. You must consider all of the workspace and features that you require to encourage your business to continue progressing, so assess your current situation to gather the basics and think about the improvements you require that pushed you to build your own property in the first place. Factor in future growth and accommodate space for more employees than you have right now, otherwise you will soon find yourself in the same situation again. If you need to seek out the support of a professional then do not hesitate to contact a commercial architect that can aid you in making the most of the space you have.

Sourcing Affordable Materials

When your floor plan is finalised it’s now time to start deciding on the last few details, most of which involve choosing the perfect materials for your build. This can be the most expensive step if you are not smart in your search, so it’s important that you can take some time to do some digging to secure an affordable price. Start off with the basics such as bricks and cement, and try to strike a better deal with your supplier if you’re going to buy in bulk. Next, find the best commercial roofing supplier to finish off the basic shell of your new factory space, and invest in some high quality double glazing to let in some natural light. The internal layout and therefore the materials that you require will depend mainly on your own individual floor plan and business needs, so just make sure that you shop around when purchasing the remaining items to secure the best quality for the best price.

Seeking Reputable Contractors

If you do not have qualified staff already, then you must seek out some reputable contractors that can begin your building work in a safe and efficient way. There are many risks associated with your actual build, from staff related injury to financial loss, so you must make an effort to find contractors who have many previous happy customers that can guarantee the best service. Going out on a whim and picking the first search engine result will no doubt cause you many problems later down the line, so don’t make the mistake of wasting your time, money and effort on builders who don’t have the right qualifications or experience for the job. Always ask to see previous examples of contractors work, and get all receipts and agreements in writing as you simply cannot just rely on their word.

Finding Machinery & Equipment

When the shell of your building is built and the relevant services such as electricity and running water have been rigged up and turned on, it’s time to start investing in some machinery and equipment to get your business up and running. It’s likely you’ll want to bring some items from your old premises with you, but it’s vital that you can increase the amount of machinery you have to accommodate your growing organisation. Purchasing new models of vital equipment can help you to modernise your business and create a more advanced and productive workplace, so then you can upgrade your business in more terms than just space. If you don’t have the cash to start buying huge machinery after building your factory then do not stress, as you can easily rent out or hire the machinery you need for a much more affordable price.

Creating your own factory space has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the ideas and concepts detailed above! It’s so important that you can make a detailed plan and follow each step carefully so that you can fulfill your business needs, keep costs down and make sure that your staff are out of harm’s way too, but with these tips and tricks in mind it couldn’t be easier to get started today.

Can You Invest in Property Without Much Cash?

StrategyDriven Managing Your Finances Article |Property Investment|Can You Invest in Property Without Much Cash?As is suggested by the word property ‘investment’, you do need some money in order to be able to get into property. There are options like rent-to-rent to consider, but as that is something that requires very little money and you’re controlling cash flow, it can’t really be considered investing in property. But how do you make sure that you are able to have enough and generate enough cash in order to truly invest and have it make a difference in your life? It is a pretty steady way to invest, as there is always demand for property, whether that be commercial or residential. So if this is something that you want to get into, then you should make sure that you’re able to have the cash to be able to invest in the first place.

Save, Save, Save

As radical as it might sound, one thing that you could look to do is to save money and not make a start until you are ready. After all, if you look at property as an investment and for any investment, even a small one, you do need to have capital to back it up. Tracking your spending is one of the things to do. Plus, if you are going for something like a 75% mortgage, then it means that for what you save it can be quadrupled to be money for a property.

Borrow Money Against Your Home

You might have very little in the way of cash, but you might have a home of your own with equity in it that you can take advantage of. If this sounds like you, then you could choose to extend out your mortgage to release some cash that you can then invest in elsewhere. It is up to you to decide if this is something that is going to work for you. You have to weigh up if it is going to be better to be able to invest sooner rather than later, or have the security that comes with paying down your own mortgage.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is something that is pretty recent, but it is making waves and helping people to invest and get a business started. You could use a straightforward site to help raise the money, asking people for donations. You can also use crowdfunding sites that offer something to the people that invest, so that could be something to think about as well. You could even look up a review of the Fundrise site to see if that could work for you. It is one of the first companies to crowdfund investment into the real estate market, so it is specific to the niche that you are looking at.

Use Family and Friends

If you have family and friends with some money that you could borrow from them, then it could be an avenue to look at. If you need to make it a more formal agreement, then it is a good idea to look into using their money as an investment, and treating it like a formal investment like you would from a bank. It can give everyone peace of mind.

Corporate offices: How to make them fit for purpose for clients

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Corporate Office|Corporate offices: How to make them fit for purpose for clientsAs we all know, offices come in all shapes and sizes. There are some huge companies that still operate in very basic facilities (or none at all) – and have absolutely no plans of adding anymore glamour to them, despite of their huge revenues.

However, there are also some much smaller companies who have invested heavily in their office space. This isn’t necessarily because they just feel the need to work out of snazzy offices, but it’s quite often related to clients. In other words, if they are regularly inviting clients for meetings, they need an office that is fit for purpose. And, fit to impress them above the competition.

So, how can you achieve this without breaking the bank? Today’s article will now investigate some of the ways you can achieve this.

Show off with digital signage

Once upon a time, companies may have left leaflets and other paper evidence of their achievements in the reception area. Suffice to say, technology has taken this over.

Now, bigger things are almost expected by clients. Digital signage solutions from Cenareo certainly falls into this category and if you can show off your business in the most visual form as soon as a client walks into reception, you’ll have done wonders for their first impressions.

Try not to lead them through the main office space

Admittedly, this next point might be somewhat out of your control. However, if your office space allows, try and have separate areas for meeting clients and the space in which the main bulk of your work occurs.

It can be really awkward for clients to tiptoe through the main office space, with all eyes seemingly on them. Not only that, but this is something that also tends to showcase all of the bad parts of your office. Whether its papers strewn all over the desks, or just general clutter, day-to-day working environments aren’t going to do your image any favors.

Provide them a working area

This will differ between industries, but there can be occasions where clients need to work from your offices.
What’s the worst thing that can happen to them in this regard? Being perched on the end of a desk, like a spare part.

As such, have a designated area for clients to work from. Ideally it will be enclosed, and offer them all of the facilities they would have as if they were working from their usual environment.

Sometimes, it’s just offering convenience

We appreciate that budgets are small, and not everyone is going to be able to afford new desk areas, or digital signage. For those of you who fall into this category, don’t discount the power of convenience. From a client’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than not having access to the regular Wi-Fi, or not being offered a hot drink on arrival. These are tiny tips, that won’t cost you much, but can make the world of difference to a client who is visiting.