While your home office may have sufficed for the first six months after launching your startup, the chances are that your rapid growth may mean that you need to consider alternative working environments.
The need to take on new staff, the need for more storage for goods or simply to appear a more professional outfit may result in you having to find an office or warehouse space.
Arranging a meeting with a new client, only for them to have to walk through your living room before reaching your study isn’t portraying your brand in the most professional sense.
When it comes to seeking out business premises, you have two options. You can either lease or buy. Which option is best for you?
The idea of purchasing a building to convert and use as office space sounds expensive. If you aren’t ready to fork out so much cash and you need more flexibility with your location, leasing could be the perfect solution.
Securing a lease means renting a commercial building for a set length of time. This could be anywhere from three months to two years. Always ensure that you only sign up for a length of time you can commit to. Remember, you can always renew a contract.
The flexibility that this gives you allows you to move locations if you find that you don’t have enough foot fall, the transport links aren’t as efficient as you thought, or you need to expand and seek a larger premises.
Leasing also gives you more readies in your pocket to spend on other aspects of your business vision. Securing a commercial property for use means that you will have to invest in public and professional indemnity insurances.
While you still might need to use an attorney if someone trips over a piece of loose carpet in your office, you will have the insurances to back you up financially.
While leasing is a sound option if you need more flexibility, it can become troublesome if your lease ends early for a reason outside your control. Sometimes leaseholders will want their property back or they may be keen to sell it on without a sitting tenant. This can be chaotic for your business.
To mitigate this, you may want to buy your office building. Yes, the financial outlay will be greater, but you will have a solid base from which to carry out your business.
You will also have an asset in the bricks and mortar that you have purchased. In the same way as renting a home is seen as dead money, so is leasing a commercial property. You will be lining somebody else’s pockets and receiving nothing in the process.
See your purchased building as an investment which you can remortgage against to raise extra funds, or simply as an asset that you can cash in if you were to move premises in a few years time.
Working out how best to structure your business takes a lot of thought. Whether you choose to lease or buy, ensure that your financial plans are structured so that your cash flow remains buoyant for the benefit of your startup.