Moving office takes a lot of planning and it usually takes quite a bit of money too. You may have more or different costs depending on whether you are buying the building outright, leasing from a landlord or renting a shared office space. In all these cases, however, there may be hidden costs that are easy to forget until they become a potential problem during the moving process. To help you budget wisely and avoid any nasty surprises, we’ve identified some of the main costs and included some sneaky ones as well. Depending on your circumstances, however, there may be some costs not included in this list so make sure you do plenty of research and planning as well.
Commercial property expenses
The expenses involved in moving your office or taking on a new office space will vary depending on your circumstances. If you are leasing a commercial property then you’ll need to research and plan for any potential lease switching and landlord fees. For example, there is usually a fee if you decide to end your lease contract early.
You may also need to pay for legal work before you sign for a new lease such as a schedule of conditions which documents any existing damage or things of note with the condition of the office. This is signed by both the landlord and the tenant and there is similarly usually a deposit required to cover any damage during the tenancy. There may also be additional service charges in the future that you should be aware of as part of your running costs.
Alternatively, if you are buying a new office building or space outright then you’ll need to consider estate agent fees and additional taxes and legal work involved with buying and selling property. This will include solicitors fees, building surveys, stamp duty. You will need to make sure you get all the information and costs involved from estate agents and solicitors so that you can make sure you budget properly.
Services and utilities
If you’re moving into a new office for the first time then you’ll need to consider the new costs of utilities and service providers including gas, electric, internet, telephones and anything else your business might need. You’ll be responsible for sorting all of these out yourself if you are buying your property. If you are renting, then your landlord may include some utilities in the cost of rent depending on your contract. Shared offices spaces are becoming increasingly popular and include utilities as well as sometimes the internet and other services into their contract prices. Make sure you’re clear about what is and what isn’t included so that you can budget properly and make any necessary arrangements.
If you already have utilities and services then you’ll need to look at switching. There may sometimes be a fee involved in switching these over, some of the monthly or annual costs may increase or decrease and in some cases or you may have to change to a different provider depending on the location and building you are moving into.
Construction and repairs
If you are renting or buying a building that may need some repairs then you’ll have to budget these in too. They could be minor repairs that you may be able to put off for a year, or they could be more significant repairs that you’ll have to pay for right away. If you are buying your office building then you’ll be solely responsible for this but if you’re renting then you could speak to your landlord to see about covering some or all of the costs.
As well as necessary repairs and construction, you may want to update or refurbish the office space. Many leased office spaces and even shared offices spaces allow you some freedom with refurbishment such as painting walls, sectioning off parts of the space or putting up signs and other decoration to make it right for your business. If you plan on making your new office more homely then make sure you budget for any refurbishments.
Depending on the office space, there may also be some refurbishments that you have to pay for. For example, you may find cheaper office space that you need to fit out with some fixtures and fittings first. If this is the case make sure you get a clear line-by-line of costs before signing any contracts. You may also have to pay for a landlords approval for alterations called a “License for Alternations”.
Buildings and contents insurance
When buying a building you need to make sure you have contents and building insurance. If you are renting or moving into shared office space then your landlord will have buildings insurance but you’ll still need to get contents insurance to safeguard your equipment and furniture.
If you are already renting office space and are moving out then you may need to account for dilapidations. This is the cost of any obligations you have as a tenant to repair your office space before you leave and may mean reinstating the space to the same condition it was when you moved in. This should have been outlined clearly in your contract when you signed your lease but don’t forget about it right at the end!
Employee and office downtime
You’ll want to make the move as quick and as efficient as possible with minimum downtime for your business or employees. This will probably depend on the size of your business and the budget you have available for the move. If you can afford for a complete removals service on the weekend then you can oversee this process and avoid a mid-week move, but there may still be a lot of unpacking and set up involved depending on how big your business is. Employees may need to manage their own departments or areas and be responsible for moving and/or setting up any furniture, equipment and paperwork. In these instances, you’ll need to account for any potential downtime and money lost. This is where planning can save you the most money.
Businesses often need to account for shrinkage during the move. This is when inventory may go missing or lost during the moving process. Sometimes, unfortunately, this may be employees with sticky fingers but it can often just be a consequence of moving with items being lost in transit at some point. The best way to avoid this is to assign any moving responsibilities to your most trustworthy employees and make sure you take a precise inventory of everything you have at the start of the move so you can keep track of everything as much as possible.
If you have a small business with just yourself or a handful of employees then you might be able to handle the move yourself. This could still involve renting a van, of course, but can go a long way to saving money. If not, then you’ll probably need to hire professionals that can help with the move. The service you get will depend on your needs, budget and how much you’re willing to spend. You could pay for just the necessary van or lorry space along with some professionals to help lift and carry. Alternatively, you can look for a complete service that involves packaging furniture and equipment and some set up at the other end.
With shared office spaces, you may not need any furniture at all as desks and chairs are often provided. If you are just moving computers, telephones and other equipment then you may be able to manage the move yourself with a car or two.
Check whether any contents insurance you currently have covers moving, otherwise you will need to look at insurance that can cover your contents during the moving process. Ask any movers you hire about their own insurance policy as they should have one but it may not have the cover that you need.
When it comes to moving offices you may have some fragile equipment that requires more than just packaging boxes. You may need to budget for bubble wrap, tissue paper, fragile packing tape and more to ensure that any computers, telephones or other important equipment are kept safe during the move.
Set up and technicians
If you are switching service providers or taking on your first office space then any set-up involved may already be included in your upfront costs. In other instances, you may need to think about any technicians or other set-ups that need to be paid for. This may be setting up complicated equipment or anything that needs a technical professional. If you have the budget you may also want to pay for technicians or service providers to set up your new office just to save you time and make things easier.
Announcing the move
As a business, you’ll need to tell your customers, suppliers and other stakeholders that you are moving. Hopefully, you can do this relatively cheaply with an email, updating your website and so on. However, if you are a big business then you may need to pay for other PR strategies to make sure the relevant people know about the move.
You’ll also need to think about stationery and other places where you’ll have to change your address. You may have labels, packaging and other items that are printed with your address and will need to be remade. Don’t forget to change your business address with any service providers as well and have any mail redirected with the post office.
The affordable way to move office
If you’re looking to move office or even get your first ever office space and are looking for ways to keep costs down then why not look at storage space as a potential solution? We offer affordable office space with flexible no-risk contracts that come fitted with lighting and power sockets so you can get up and running in no time. Are you downsizing office or looking for additional storage space such as for event supplies or even archiving? Then take a look at our full range of business storage options. Contact us today to find out more about our convenient Bracknell and Windsor locations.