A lot of businesses start out based in the founder’s home. Most likely, your spare bedroom, garage or even shed was turned into a home office to accommodate your new business.
But if your business has been very successful, it may be starting to outgrow its home office and you might consider moving it into a real, purpose-built office outside of your home. This can be an exciting time, but also an expensive one. It is important not to take this step without properly considering all the costs involved.
The Cost of the Office
The first, most obvious cost associated with moving your business into a real office is that office’s own price tag. Purchasing an office is very expensive, so unless your business is really thriving or you are prepared to risk a large chunk of savings you are more likely to rent. Make a careful and realistic assessment of how much potential you think your business has to expand as a result of moving to its new home, and compare this to the rent to ensure the cost is worthwhile. Remember that this expansion is not going to be achieved overnight, so make sure that the cost of the rent will not have too big an impact on your business in the meantime.
Rent isn’t the only ongoing cost associated with an office. You will also have energy bills, which are likely to be greater than the addition that working from home makes to your household energy bills. On top of this, there may be bills for services associated with or required by the office such as cleaning. If you are renting an office which includes a cleaning service, this is probably included in the rent but not necessarily so it is worth double checking. Make sure you also know whether any repair or maintenance bills fall to you or whether this is entirely your landlord’s responsibility.
Furniture and Equipment
You may be renting a fully-furnished office, ready for you to move in and pick a seat at one of the handy desks. On the other hand, you may well be renting part-furnished or unfurnished office space, in which case you will need to supply the necessary furniture. This is essentially a one-off cost, but it can be a hefty one so look into the cost of everything you will need beforehand so you can factor it into your decision. If you are expanding into a dedicated office in order to take on employees, include the costs of supplying them with equipment. While it’s not part of the cost of the office, don’t forget that when you reach the stage of hiring those employees there will be costs associated with this outside of just paying their wage.