If you’re a small business that is doing well, you might decide that the time has come to upgrade your premises to something that better suit you, but it can be difficult to know where to start.

There are a lot of factors that can and should influence your decision, and as this is your business, it is not a decision that should be undertaken lightly.  Cost will be the most prominent factor of them all.  As a business owner, you will already be used to dealing with income, outgoings and all other figures and accounts.  You know what you have to spend, so don’t be tempted to overstretch yourself.

Think about what needs your business has, and what the new premises will be expected to provide.  Could you work from home? If you already are, do you need to move? Renting or buying premises is often a great idea, but you do not need to pay for anything unnecessary. Is it futureproof? Will you need to move again in a few years? Location should be considered very carefully, for the ease of both your clients and your staff.  Do not compromise on location for cost purposes, and if you feel that you are doing this, keep looking until you find something that fits your needs on both counts.

Safety is another big issue – is the building sound and safe for yourself and your staff to work in? Make sure there are no plumbing, electrical or other issues.  This might sound obvious, but any building, no matter how much you like it, can have problems, and it will be more cost effective to be aware of these straight away rather than face unnecessary financial or health and safety issues down the line.  Crime rates around the area of your premises are also a safety issue.  Even if you are looking at a safe area, it is wise to install some kind of CCTV or surveillance system to protect your staff, yourself and your capital; is a good place to look for this.

Finally, thinking about what kind of small business you are and what you want your premises to say about you is important. The nature of your industry can easily and effectively be portrayed through your office and having the right premises can make people feel relaxed and comfortable straight away.  There is no need to be ostentatious with your office – simple and basic with a few personal touches will send a much better message and prove more cost effective.  Always bear in mind that this space is not just for you and your team, and everyone that crosses the threshold should feel comfortable in order for your business to be successful.