Moving Offices: What You Need to Know
Ottawa Pro Movers Offer Advice for Moving to a New Business Location
Selecting a new office space is challenging, especially when your organization is growing.
There are many important factors to consider when choosing the best office for your business.
You will want enough space to accommodate future growth. Any location you choose should also maximize productivity while remaining easily accessible for employees, clients, and suppliers.
You’ll also want to avoid paying for hidden expenses and being stuck with inflexible lease terms.
Once you’ve found the right spot, you’ll need to find reliable movers in Ottawa who specialize in commercial moves.
To help you navigate through the tedious process of office hunting, consider these factors so you can find the perfect place for your business.
Setting Your Budget
(What Goes into Relocating?)
When shopping around for new office spaces, it’s important to set and stick to a budget so you don’t end up paying more than you can afford in the long run. Determine what you are willing to spend and be realistic.
This budget should include everything you will need to keep your office running smoothly. You should also consider hidden/unexpected costs when making your budget.
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- Rent—what can you afford for rent? And what does the rent include for each office space? There might be extra hidden monthly costs that you aren’t aware of, such as building insurance, parking, and maintenance fees.
- Construction costs—does the office space need renovations to suit your business functions? And will the landlord cover these costs?
- Utilities—what will the cost be for water, electricity, heating, and air conditioning? Phone and internet? The computer network? Security alarms? Cooking and refrigeration? And what are the costs to have these set up?
- Office furniture—what furniture will you need for your office space to function well for your employees, clients, and other guests?
- IT setup and support—what are the costs and who is covering the bill for a reliable IT system?
- Maintenance—does the building provide janitorial and maintenance services as part of the rent? Or will you need to hire a cleaner and maintenance person on your own?
- Real estate taxes—does your landlord pay for the real estate taxes? Or will you have to pay for these?
- Moving costs—get quotes from moving companies in Ottawa, Ontario, to factor this expense into your budget.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before Choosing A New Office Space
What is the nature of my business? Your office space should suit what you do, who your clients are, and your long-term goals. These will influence the size, type of space, accessibility, and location of your office.
Why do I want to move to a new office? Look at all the reasons why you want to move locations—e.g. office is too small to meet growing business needs; poor layout and design; and poor location. And use these reasons to help guide you when choosing a better office.
Consider Your Growth Plan
While the future isn’t 100 percent certain, it’s important to consider the possible future growth for your business. This will help you determine the amount of space you’ll need now and in the future.
Your growth plan will also influence whether it’s worth it to invest in fixed upfront costs, such as renovations. If you might outgrow the office space in a year, then these extra costs may not be worth the investment.
Also, you’ll need to understand the landlord’s flexibility before signing a lease. Will you be able to remove walls to accommodate expansion? What are the terms for moving out in case you need to downsize before your lease is up?
Consider the Needs
of A Large Corporation
Do you need to be centrally located?
Do you have a large volume of deliveries? If so, you’ll need easily accessible loading facilities.
You’ll also want an office space that is large enough to match the size of your company. A general rule of thumb is to have 4 square metres per employee.
Thus, if you have 10 employees, you’ll need a space that is at least 40 square metres. And if you plan to expand your company in the near future, you’ll need space to accommodate extra employees when the time comes.
More Collaboration Spaces
One collaboration space may not be enough for your growing business. Your employees will want places to chat, innovate, and collaborate. So make sure these spaces are available in your new office.
Try to find a space with as much natural light as possible. A well-lit office leads to increased productivity. And people are more efficient during the day when there’s plenty of natural light coming into an office.
Tech Setups and Downtimes
It’s important to test and understand the IT system setup for each office space you look at. You will need to determine if it can accommodate your business needs when you move in.
Is it fast and secure? Will you need your own dedicated network or server? Does it require an expensive build-out?
Tech needs vary by business, so you will need to consider your business needs and make sure the IT setup supports them before moving in. These can include:
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- Access to the cloud
- On-site storage
- Co-location capabilities
Consider the proximity and accessibility of the office space for your customers, and how this will affect your business. Also consider the proximity to suppliers and competition.
Are there other businesses nearby that are in direct competition with you? How will this affect your business? While competition is healthy, it may not be a good idea to be too close to your competitors.
Before deciding on a location, research the proximity to nearby competitors and what potential customers think of your proposed location.
Is It the Right Spot for Key Employees?
You’ll also want to make sure the location is easily accessible for employees. Are both private and public transportation efficient commuting options? Are there bus stops close by? Is there safe access for pedestrians? Are there wheelchair ramps and elevators to the office?
A location close to other establishments, such as cafés, restaurants, and malls can also help boost employee morale.
What type of parking is available for tenants of the office? Is parking included in the rent? Do employees, clients, and customers have to pay for parking? Is there parking nearby? Is there accessible parking?
Depending on the landlord and the location of the office, you and your employees may have to pay a high cost for parking every month.
Seek Advice for Legal Requirements
Before signing a lease, seek legal advice to make sure the contract isn’t weighted unfairly in the landlord’s favour. And if possible, to find clauses that allow you to vacate the premises early.
You will need to confirm that the building is compliant with local building laws, such as for fire exits and wheelchair access.
You will also need legal permission to alter the building significantly. And this will include obtaining a building permit. So consult with city hall and the landlord before planning alterations.
Hire A Professional Moving Company
Once you’ve found the perfect office space for your business and know your moving date, book reliable movers in Ottawa as soon as possible.
Pro movers have experience moving offices. They can even provide you with a helpful Canada moving checklist so you can prepare for your move to anywhere in Canada.
Keep these tips in mind so you can move to a new office space with confidence knowing it’s the right space for your business.