With a multi-faceted and potentially disruptive process like office relocation, it can be easy for some of the smaller aspects to be missed during the initial proposal stages. By carefully planning and budgeting for the project, you can be sure that you will not be caught out by the associated charges.
There a great number of companies who try to set their budget without first getting professional advice. This can cause serious delays in the acquisition process and is not something that we recommend. An independent advisor can help you define your size requirements, analyse the market and develop a comprehensive budget in line with your needs.
Know your brief
Before you begin putting together your budget, you must first create an office brief and decide on a timescale for each stage of the process. This brief will guide your decisions when it comes to dividing up your budget and committing to purchases and is essential for communicating your wants and ‘must-haves’ to agents.
For guidance on creating your office brief, and many other aspects of office relocation, see our Guide to Office Relocation Planning.
Creating the budget
The fastest way to become confused and miss essential ‘to dos’ during the development of your budget is to not properly document everything in one, easy-to-access place.
Using our Office Relocation Checklist is a great way to stay organised.
What you should budget for
The next step is to break your costs down into the following areas. This is a general list, and you should be aware that these will of course vary, depending on the nature and the particular requirements of your business:
- Office space
○ First month’s rent
○ Initial utility bills
○ Initial maintenance/refurbishment costs
- Legal and agent fees
○ Solicitor to oversee transactions and negotiations
○ Agent to help you locate your ideal office and guide you through the relocation process
- General relocation costs and labour
○ Removal costs
○ Rubbish disposal
○ Temporary storage
○ Tech team who can handle disconnecting and installing any specialist equipment
- Furniture and equipment (If you are taking all your current furniture and equipment with you, this will not be much of an issue. If you are purchasing it new, it is an opportunity to update your office)
○ Desks and chairs
○ Computers, monitors and accessories
○ Telecoms equipment
○ Seating for reception/meeting areas
○ Data cabling
○ Air conditioning/HVAC
○ Other printed materials
○ Updates to websites and email signatures
- HR costs
○ Staff overtime
- Exit costs (These can typically incur a significant expense. You should discuss these with your property advisor to get more information on what to expect)
○ Schedule of Condition
○ Schedule of Dilapidations
If your office is not move-in ready, you will also need to allocate a portion of the budget for potential construction work and repairs.
Once you have outlined the potential areas you will need to accommodate for in the budget, arrange a meeting with your accountant and decide how much you can afford to spend during the move. It may be that you will need to scale back in some areas so that you can dedicate enough funds to getting the essentials right.
To see examples of how this might breakdown in different areas of London, download our Guide to Office Relocation Costings.
Researching and making purchases
A rule that applies to many areas of business, and indeed life, is that you should never take the first offer. This is certainly true of all aspects relating to office relocation.
From negotiating your new lease to buying furniture, there are always methods of making your move more cost-effective.
It is key at this stage that you thoroughly research providers for all of the above services and execution areas. Focus your research on companies who have a proven track record and have handled similar projects in the past.
Get several no-obligation quotes for each and every cost. Whilst it’s tempting to go for the first quote you receive, it is imperative that you shop around to find the right individuals, teams or companies that can help you. You can make serious savings at this stage by looking for businesses who offer to match or beat quotes. Do not let anyone pressure you into accepting a price that you are not comfortable with, and remember, the lowest price isn’t always the best.
Assuming you have carefully planned your move well in advance, you have plenty of time to make carefully considered choices.
For furniture and equipment, consider buying second-hand and renovating the pieces if necessary. This way your furniture will be both cost-effective and unique, and can provide an opportunity to show off your company culture. Keep in mind that many furniture companies offer financing options which will help you manage any issues with cash flow.
Make sure you stay organised by updating your Excel sheet whenever you receive a new quote. Consider which costs have the most potential to go over budget and ensure that you have money left to cover these if they do occur. You should also consider whether or not there is likely to be delays and how this will impact your business through lost work hours.
When you make a saving in one area, it can be tempting to up the budget for another expenditure. You should really only do this if you were forced to compromise in the first place. Otherwise, keep it as a contingency of 10 to 12% of the project value.
Stick to your budget rigidly and keep everyone involved abreast of where you are in the process.
By following this guide and maintaining clear and consistent communication with your moving team, your office relocation is sure to run smoothly and stay on budget.
For independent advice on office relocations exclusively for the benefit of tenants, contact Aspire online today or call 020 3627 2555