Moving office is not only about understanding property values and the price for the building itself. There is much more to consider, such as moving fees, utilities, and the impact which an office move might have on the money coming into your business.
For example, if your office move means your business may need to shut for a while to accommodate for the move, will this lose much-needed money?
In considering everything, it is difficult to understand fully ahead of time how much a move is going to cost your business exactly.
What is initially the most important is understanding property values in your chosen location and country, as extra fees and financial considerations can more easily be made alongside a key property figure.
1. Understand the Prices in Your Chosen Country
To better understand if your office move is affordable, naturally, you need better to understand the property market in your chosen country.
Not only that, but it is important to understand as much as you can regarding the expectations for the property market in the future. Here are some examples of how the property market can change in other countries.
Earlier this year for Canada, the property market seemed to be low, with property prices much lower than usual.
While this could mean it is an affordable time to move, it is been estimated that property prices could soon be on the rise, meaning a higher demand for property (and a change in price).
Average prices have risen steadily over the past decades, and using this calculator from Cash Lady allows searchers to understand the expectations for the property market in the UK.
The recession of 2010 meant that property values were undergoing uncertainty but have still steadily risen.
China’s property market, as with most countries of the world, has been affected negatively by the 2020 pandemic. This means that China’s properties are still recovering, but this doesn’t mean that recovery won’t happen.
It is expected that the property market can be more easily gauged when further recovery at the end of this year occurs, meaning property prices cannot easily be judged at this time.
It shows that the property market in Australia has remained strong against the impact of issues such as the pandemic. Properties appear to have retained their value, but regarding an office move being affordable within a market such as this, everything could easily change.
These are a few examples of why relevant, real-time research is fundamental for deciding whether an office move is affordable.
In some cases, after research, you might even consider whether to stay in your chosen country or seek pastures green in another. This move might benefit your company. However, do weigh up the pros and cons of moving far distances.
The cost of moving your entire team might be more expensive in the long run. With time, research, and financial aid by your side, you should be able to accurately add and compare the different costs to see whether a move is affordable.
2. How big do you need the office to be?
Considering the property market in your chosen country, regardless of whether you are staying where you are or want to move, is one important aspect.
However, it is not just where you want the property to be, but also how big you need the office space to be. You have to be realistic at this stage if you’re going to make the office move affordable.
Are you looking to go bigger than your current space or downsize? If you are looking to go bigger, then you need to factor in the costs after the move, not just for the move itself.
The rental or mortgage payments will be much larger than you would normally pay, and as we’ve established, it will be different everywhere around the world. This can quickly add up and can turn what would have been a cost-effective move into one that drains your finances completely.
So, when thinking about how big you need your office space to be, you should aim to think about the present and the future. Do you have aspirations for growth and adding more employees? While you may have plans for your business to grow, remember this could take time.
Therefore, you should compare the average costs of a much bigger building over a year to the price of a much smaller office with an additional move in mind for when you have the upward growth and extra employees.
If there is no need for a huge office at present, don’t feel the need to spend money on empty space. This will not only make the office move much more affordable, but any money you do save in the long run could be put towards other aspects of your business.
3. Doing the move yourself
Something that can change the cost of your office move will be whether to hire professional movers or do it yourself. There are obvious advantages of moving the office yourself, the cost being the main benefit.
You can hire a van for a very reasonable price, and if you get your employees to take their personal effects, then you do not need to hire professionals to do the moving for you.
However, the downside to doing the move yourself, while it saves you money, is that you risk causing damage to your equipment and furniture. Professional movers will know exactly how to transport all your essentials without causing damage.
You will need to factor into your costs how much fixing damaged items would be vs. hiring professionals. For the most effective solution, taking into consideration time and safety over your equipment, the professional route seems most sensible.
Therefore, you will need to factor in the costs of this into your budget. Shop around for competitive prices and make sure to read the reviews of each company.
4. Storage for items
Will there be a gap between moving out of the old office and into the new? If so, this is going to cost you.
Many businesses forget to factor this into their budget, and so what was an affordable office move suddenly is not. Why? You will have to find somewhere to safely store your big furniture and equipment until you are ready to move into the new office space.
There are affordable storage units. However, depending on how long you need to use them, the cost can vary.
Not being able to move in straight away is a common problem businesses face, and while you might find that you don’t experience this, you won’t know until the later stages of a move – when you are already in the moving process.
Therefore, when considering whether your office move is affordable, think about the extra hidden costs.
5. Can you afford the downtime?
One thing that often gets overlooked when businesses looked to move offices is the downtime, they will experience because of it. You have to factor in that you will time to pack up, move, and then set up in the new location.
Although employees will be able to move their own belongings that aren’t essential for their job weeks in advance, you will have to consider how long you can afford not to have your employees working.
Would it be too expensive to set them up remotely for a day or two? Or would it be worth shutting up shop for those days instead?
If you have decided to move by yourself, this might be the more sensible option, as you can get all hands on deck from the team to help with the move. They can set up their own stations much faster, enabling them to start working as soon as you reopen the business.
However, if the transition from one office to another is a much lengthier time, such as a couple of weeks, a month, or some cases much longer, when the contract signing process is ongoing, setting up your employees remotely is the more sensible option.
It allows you to continue running your business, bringing in a profit, ensuring that your office move is definitely affordable. If you can’t afford the downtime and need your employees to work remotely to make the office move more affordable, then try the following.
Check with your employees whether they have any suitable equipment at home or let them borrow the company owed laptops for the duration of working from home. When it comes to moving into the new office space, split your team in half so that you can continue running your business and allow your team to move into the office successfully.
The first group can get settled at their new stations, ready to get to work the next day, while the other half continues to work from home, and then with the office team ready to go, you can bring across the rest of the team.
6. The Pros and Cons of an Office Move
Weighing up the pros and cons of expenditure is also key in considering whether a move is affordable, as shown by this discussion from Interactive Space.
For example, one move option may be cheaper than another in terms of the base price, but will it cost you more in other ways, such as a longer move meaning your business is temporarily closed for longer?
Only you can decide, with proper research, whether an office move is affordable, based on your own routine and goals for the future, such as whether you do want to invest in office space.
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I am Adeyemi Adetilewa, a media consultant, entrepreneur, husband, and father. Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ideas Plus Business Magazine, online business resources for entrepreneurs. I help brands share unique and impactful stories through the use of public relations, advertising, and online marketing. My work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Addicted2Success, Hackernoon, The Good Men Project, and other publications.