Corporate Property Strategy in the Spotlight
Now more than ever, companies are looking to extract every ounce of value from everything they do, and an increase in business rates will push businesses' corporate property strategy further up the agenda.
The opportunity of moving office can be a critical area for review as businesses look to consolidate, reduce expenditure and build a stronger platform on which to grow. An office move can get companies into better, cheaper and more appropriate space – which not only reduces overheads but also better positions them for the future.
Jeremy Carr-Smith, Founder of HelpMovingOffice.co.uk, the free internet resource that guides companies through the office move process, comments: “With the 2010 rating list showing an overall increase in business rates for office properties, an office move could prove to be a timely and effective way to reduce fixed overheads as well as affect positive change management, improvement in business performance and increased morale and momentum.”
Unfortunately, the bad news is that getting an office move wrong can also have the opposite effect and many companies make the same mistakes with their office move project, the most common of which are businesses underestimating what is involved with an office relocation; not starting the office move process early enough and; having a misplaced belief that they can save money by not engaging the services of external professional help. However, the good news is that all of these mistakes can be avoided.
1. Underestimating what is involved with an office relocation
It’s a process – and like any process it can be broken down into a series of simple tasks and checks. The intelligent use of project planning documents, spreadsheets and checklists will not only help with the planning of the office move, but also act as the road map to carry out the many tasks involved with the project. They should include all of the tasks that need to be completed (and the steps leading up to them), the individuals, teams and companies responsible for completing each task, and the deadlines. Companies shouldn’t try and reinvent the wheel when they can use tried and tested moving office tools and guides.
2. Not starting the office move process early enough
There’s a lot to do, so the earlier companies start the greater the chance of achieving the smooth move the business expects. It's impossible to plan too far ahead. Once the Office Move Project Leader has been appointed work should start. All things being equal, best practice says that companies should start reviewing their options 9-18 months prior to lease expiration or break option, regardless of whether they are considering renewing, renegotiation or relocating. It is vital that they allow enough lead-time to increase the amount of leverage and competition between the various options, which can result in substantial savings.
3. Going it alone and not engaging professional help
This is a false economy and, as a result, many office moves end up being a time-consuming and stressful job fraught with difficulty and expensive mistakes that could have been avoided. In today’s economy, there should be an even greater focus on costs and getting maximum value from every business decision. For an office relocation, this is best achieved through businesses combining their understanding of their own priorities with the expert advice and market knowledge of office move professionals. This not only ensures that they don’t make any critical mistakes but also saves them money over the term of the lease.
Carr-Smith concludes: “An office relocation is proving an effective strategy and one that many businesses will want to consider once the 2010 rating list becomes effective. However, it is only an effective strategy if the move is managed properly. Giving sufficient strategic and operational thought to the whole office relocation and breaking the process down into simple tasks and checks will ensure the move happens on time, to budget and with the minimum hassle and disruption to the business.”
www.HelpMovingOffice.co.uk is the only independent internet resource that guides companies through the office move process. It provides office movers with access to comprehensive free information, guides, tools and checklists (from timelines and actions to budget and office space calculators).
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