If you are thinking about starting a business, you are probably worried about your start-up costs. Lots of new businesses are moving into retail at the moment because of the wealth of empty units available on the high street. Other small businesses are keeping things simple by operating from a home office. Either which way, you will be subject to taxes for your business accommodation, depending on where you are based. So how do you choose the best operations center for your business?
If you are just getting going, you probably have a good idea already about how often you will be customer facing. If all your orders are completed online, you may only need a laptop on the sofa to manage, especially if you use a drop shipper. If you are sourcing or manufacturing your stock yourself, things are little more complicated. You may need a warehouse or at least a stock room. If customers need to physically view the goods before sale, or if they are fresh, you will need a retail unit of some description.
The first question you need to ask is, “how do I want to sell what I have to offer?” If you sell well face-to-face and your customer base is local, then a retail unit may be ideal. If your customer base prefers online shopping for the type of product you sell, then a good online presence is what you need. Perhaps you are selling ‘business-to-business’ or B2B. You might want to pop into an interior designer like the Saracen office in London to help you fit out a professional looking office space. This will help you give the right impression to prospective clients.
Your current plans for your start-up business may indeed be restricted or determined by your accommodation. If you have to keep your overheads very low at this stage, you are unlikely to be taking on staff that would require an office to work from. The trouble is, avoiding a formal premises at this stage may hamper your ability to do business for a lot of the bigger clients. People expect a trustworthy business to have a good looking office facility that suggests you are successful at what you do. They need to see quality fittings and a good centralized space to feel that you are professional and going places.
If you are worried about spending too much at this stage, ask yourself if what you are doing is a good investment. If you cannot make enough profit at this stage to cover an office rent, you may not yet be ready to jump in with both feet. You could make an extra effort with your marketing to increase orders. Your potential income is as essential to account for as your extra income. Once your business is busy, you may not have the time to allocate to fitting out an office due to the disruption it may cause. Acting now to ensure a good premises for your business in the near future could be essential.