You have decided to strike it out on your own and set up a business consultancy. Chances are you want to look at getting your own office premises. Besides ensuring that your rental payment does not create serious cash-flow problems in the medium term, you have to look out for these other factors:
The anchor tenant:
Every office building will have a few anchor tenants. It is important to find out from the building management when their lease will end. The reason is that these anchor tenants collectively create the image of the office building to the public and will generate the initial customer traffic for your company. Their presence will also be factored in the quotation of the rental payment.
You must enquire if there are tenants who can supply you with the resources for the daily operations of your consultancy. This may include printer cartridge, paper and general office stationery. Then your staff will not waste valuable company time in making phone calls or traveling when your resources need to be replenished. This is also a golden opportunity to “cross advertise”. You can leave your name-card and flyers with these suppliers and vice versa.
You may discover that a similar consultancy is a tenant in the same office building. Seize this opportunity to create economies of scale by having your office at the same floor with them. Not only will you benefit from increased traffic, you may have to collaborate with them on big projects.
Some building management will not allow new tenants to make major changes to the décor of the office. This policy is in line with trying to keep to the uniformity and identity of the whole building. You have to decide if the building’s identity is coherent with what your company wants to project. However, office renovation should not take precedence to being close to your target market.
If your clients have to frequent your consultancy, it is essential that there is sufficient car-park space or the office building is near an MRT station. With the current working trends and globalisation of operations, your staff may have to put in irregular working hours. Having an office with a 24-hour security patrol and air-conditioning facilities will make the working experience more acceptable!
Ensure that there is a bank in the office building or in the near vicinity for you to do your daily banking activities. Having easy access to cash flow and TT facilities will also improve book-keeping procedures and encourage your customers to settle their debts more expeditiously.
Pro-active management committee:
It will also be helpful as a new tenant to be in the building management committee. This will open the door to more contacts and improve networking. You can also ask permission to promote your company in the building’s newsletter or put out a banner outside the building’s premises.