5 reasons for start-ups to consider a property strategy

Often lacking in a business plan, a property strategy can give a start-up the edge it needs in a competitive marketplace. But why is the planning of a physically expanding business important for a fledgling business?

The crux of any business plan is to strategise for success and growth. Forecasting income and expenditure, levels of investment and turnover are just a few of the calculations expected in the pages of the plan.

But there is scant attention paid to the how, why and when of moving from one business premises to another.

Renting, leasing or buying a business premises throw many challenges at a start-up which it may not be ready to face. Get the business property choice right, and your business will benefit from accelerated growth.

Get it wrong, and a new business will stutter and falter. The good news is, with some thought at the business planning stage, it needn’t be a make or break situation.

Planning for growth

The right business premises in the right part of town, with the right facilities such as on the door step parking, will be beneficial but what are the basics of a property strategy?

Forecasting growth in employee numbers

A business premises provides the physical container to a business. The basis of a property strategy is to continue providing enough room for employees.

A key addition in any business undergoing expansion and growth is more people. A start-up can quickly expand in its physical capacity from one or two entrepreneurs to an office full of sales and administration staff.

As a business owner, living and breathing your entrepreneurial dream, you may be happy to work in a cramped broom cupboard but you cannot expect others to be. Add to this your legal responsibilities for keeping employees safe, providing the necessities such as bathroom and kitchen facilities and you see how important getting the right building is.

How quickly do you expect your start-up to expand? How will this expansion impact on employee numbers?

Increased frequency of client, patient or customer visits

Start-ups have a range of markets they operate across, from online global markets to national and local ones.

You may not envisage a large increase in customer or client visits at the beginning but, as a business grows, it may be that such visits become more frequent.

In the case of private medical practices and clinics, the right property is an important factor in their growth strategy right from the start. But when funds are under pressure, developing an air-conditioned, state-of-the-art clinical setting can seem like a distant dream.

Thinking outside the box of traditional building, and looking at modular building solutions is one course of action.

Storage and warehousing

Likewise, including in a strategy the need for increased storage and possible warehousing needs is also a consideration that catches some start-ups off-guard.

Every business is different and thus, whereas one may need office space for an expanding workforce, for another it is the storage or warehousing of components and products that presents a significant challenge in terms of renting, leasing or buying the right business property.

How quickly do you forecast storage or warehousing needs changing?

Increase in technology and equipment

The digital world in which we live presents unique sets of challenges and opportunities to start-ups.
Investing in the latest technology and equipment is key in keeping a business competitive therefore, it will no doubt have been factored this into the business plan. But what is often forgotten is the ‘where’ and ‘how’ this equipment will be stored and used.

Even in the case of streamlined business equipment, the use of it can be problematic if there is not the space to adequately store it.

What impact with technology and equipment have on the space of your start-up business premises?

Growth in reputation

There is no doubt that as a business grows, its reputation does too. It may be a ‘soft concept’, but reputation is the platform on which a business will base justification for charging premium prices.

A start-up should pay close attention to its flourishing reputation, ensuring that the business premises it operates from gives the ‘right’ impression, a favourable impression that matches its business, its values, its products or services.

In other words, the right look to a business, as well as quality goods and services, will benefits business growth. And this means understanding the role or property in your business.

Do you understand the role of property in your business? Is there a property strategy element built into your business plan? Or do you deal with property issues as and when they arise?

Written by MTX Contracts.

Further reading on property

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the Smallbusiness.co.uk and Growthbusiness.co.uk titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the Express.co.uk.

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