If you are considering expansion of your business, you may be torn between refurbishing and growing your existing premises or looking to move to a location with more modern facilities. It can be an expensive and challenging time for any business, which is why we’ll aim to make the decision between refurbishment or relocation that little bit easier.
RWS Ltd have helped many companies achieve their preferred direction with the minimum of disruption and the maximum of support. Whether it is refurbishment of the existing premises on a short or long-term design plan or help in finding suitable premises and presenting design schemes to make an area your own and imprinting corporate ID onto a blank canvas, we are here to help.
But how do you decide the best plan for your business?
Where to start?
Research is key in terms of deciding whether your existing location is worth sticking with or if there is a better option out there. All areas of the country have pros and cons, with sought-after location areas commanding higher rents or freehold costs. The inconvenience of additional time spent on the process, maintaining the business continuum while a move is underway, and potential down-time are all things to consider for both a refurbishment and relocation.
So, make sure you know what you want to achieve and what options are available.
It’s easy to know what you need now because you’re experiencing it. But it’s crucial to think three or five years ahead. Where will your business be at that time? Will you need more space or facilities? What will the surrounding area be like – is there adequate housing for potential new staff; will the commute become harder for those driving; and so on?
There’s a lot to consider. That’s not to say you cannot refurbish your existing premises and move in the future, but it’s worth thinking about your longer-term plan and whether it is more effective for the business to relocate sooner rather than later.
Here, we run through the pros and cons of refurbishment and relocation to help you decide.
Space is normally the major critical path for relocation. Expanding businesses need more desks, more chairs, more space, more storage, more facilities, more IT and, often, some ingenious thinking on how to fit it all in.
Often, the first thought is to relocate to a larger, more accommodating premises, but have you thought about utilising your existing premises in a different layout or configuration?
Rethink your existing space
The existing space can be evaluated and simple changes, such as reducing the size of desks and repurposing an area for a new function, can make a major difference to a final decision.
On one project RWS Ltd worked on, an old unused cupboard found new life as a printing room and the extra space gained allowed for the placement of two to three extra desks.
Experts such as those at RWS Ltd can help you think about the use of your existing space and help you visualise the potential options. All the existing furniture and facilities can be mapped into a precise design tool such as AutoCAD. This allows for layouts to be revised very quickly with dimensioned plans to proportion areas/teams/workforce appropriately.
Your existing lease
Maybe your lease is up for renewal? In which case, it might be a good time to sit down with the landlord and get a really good deal on your rent which can help towards refurbishment costs or getting extra floor space within the same location.
The refurbishment can be an ideal opportunity to give those walls a fresh image, refresh those ceilings and try to instil some more life into the existing workspace.
You could also consider it an opportunity to upgrade the air conditioning system to a more energy efficient option, or even upgrade your data systems and cabling for improved performance.
There is lots of potential when re-working your existing spaces, so it’s worth calling on experts who can help you realise that potential.
RWS Ltd has vast experience in all these areas. We have a simple six-step process which we incorporate into designs to give an office a more ergonomic and lively presence and to give that “wow” factor for clients and employees.
Depending on your existing lease and intentions, a relocation may be the best choice for the business. RWS Ltd has found sites for clients in the past in many different locations throughout the UK and Ireland. The relocations have helped the businesses grow, but many factors need to be considered beforehand.
Your existing property
Dilapidations on your existing property (refit back to pre-occupation) could entail internal and external works such as the car parking area, facilities and services.
A landlord may add on costs, such as loss of rents, while work is being completed. In this case, it’s advised to employ a specialist to review the lease and the building to assess any costs which you may be liable for. RWS Ltd has done this for many clients and negotiated with landlords/agents on such matters on behalf of the tenant.
Does the building have suitable planning use class for your business needs? Are there any site restrictions such as no noise after 10pm or no weekend deliveries/no HGVs on site?
It’s really important to look at what you need from the site, as there could be some restrictions which may impede your existing day-to-day use.
A new building may require fit out to meet your needs, such as improvement or changes to the power, data, colour schemes, heating and/or cooling, relocation of telephone lines and more.
Planning permissions may be required for branding and signage. You can find more information on the responsibilities here.
This type of work may result in downtime for the business, with an impact on staff which must be considered.
While there can be more considerations and other factors involved such as planning permission with a relocation, the major benefit is the extra potential it offers.
Of course, this is entirely dependent on finding the right site, but the growth potential for you, your staff and your business can be unlocked by a new location.
For a free, informal discussion about your existing site and potential options, call us on 01733 351136 or email email@example.com