- Know what you want to get out of your move
- In addition to paying the rent, make sure you’ve got the right insurance cover in place
- Do your homework beforehand to ensure that the business will be able to deal with these costs
For many entrepreneurs, moving out of the home and into a rented office is one of the biggest steps in the early life of their business. It’s a move that should lead to success in the long term, but it generally incurs a few extra expenses that need to be planned for.
Emily Tarrant runs Webfooted Designs, a website-design company based in Cornwall. She and her partner had been running their business from home for four years before they moved into an office in June 2010.
“At first it was fantastic working from home, but the business gradually took up more and more of the house!” Emily says. “Another problem that emerged was having somewhere to meet clients. We never felt comfortable having them at home, so it became a case of forever organising meetings in coffee shops.”
It’s not all location
Emily wanted the new office to be in the same town they were living in – St Just – but the right place wasn’t available and Webfooted moved about five miles away, to the outskirts of Penzance. “We took a good-sized office with shared kitchen facilities,” she says. “There was enough space to set up a table so that we could meet clients on-site.”
If you’re renting an office, you must check that your landlord is responsible for the building insurance. Moving into an office means that you’ll need a separate contents policy, as well as public liability insurance if you plan to use your new premises to meet clients.
Thankfully, Emily hasn’t had any security or liability issues so far. “We’re not in the town centre, so problems such as break-ins haven’t been an issue,” she says.”
Do the maths
The biggest change was managing all these extra expenses. “We prepared for the increased outgoings, but there was still a sharp intake of breath when we added it all up,” Emily says. “But it sorted itself out pretty quickly. We’d done our sums, but you don’t really know how the business is going to cope until you make the jump.”
What’s really changed, she says, is getting some of her life back. “I feel a little bit more like I can turn off the computer at the end of the day, go home and not do any work,” she says. “But I’m still not perfect at separating work and home life!”