Moving offices is a vital part of running a startup. You might need to move somewhere with more space to avoid cramming all of your employees into one sweaty room. You might need to move to a new area where your service is more in-demand. Or you might just feel the need for a change.
Whatever your reasoning, there might be one sticking point putting you off the big move: the cost.
No matter which way you look at it, moving offices does cost money. Removal costs, (normally) higher rent, fees, deposits, contracts—all of these prices can add up quickly. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to make sure you keep moving costs to a minimum.
1. Sell your old office furniture
Many startups will use moving to a new office as an opportunity to completely redecorate. New chairs, new desks, and even new computers could replace your old furniture and equipment at your new place of work.
If getting rid of any old office furniture is already part of your plan, consider selling it on to help you recover the costs of your move. If you have the time, you can sell the equipment yourself on eBay. For an easier solution, some clearance companies will offer to sell any unwanted items for you and offset the income against the overall price.
One of these companies is Clearance Solutions, whose London office clearance service includes purchasing furniture from you before selling it onto appropriate retailers. There are also companies who will collect and sell your furniture for a small commission, such as We Don’t Want, who work on a “no sell, no fee” basis. However you choose to sell your unwanted office furniture, it will help you reduce the overall cost of the office move.
2. Base your new office in an up-and-coming area
One of the biggest costs of moving office actually comes after the move. If your new office is bigger than your current one, you may be under the impression that you will need to pay more rent. This, however, does not have to be the case. Even if you’re upsizing, moving to a cheaper area can save you a lot of money, and as a result outweigh the overall cost of the move.
According to figures from Colliers, the average cost of renting an office in London’s popular City district is £70 per 10,000 ft (over 10 years). Croydon, in the south of London, costs less than half of that at £33.75. An office in the heart of Manchester will cost only around £35, while the increasingly popular city of Brighton costs just £27.
All of these alternative areas are quickly becoming more popular than London itself, and for good reason. A combination of many factors—such as government grants, networks of up-and-coming startups, and enviable talent pools—means affordable rent is just one of the reasons smaller cities are becoming more attractive locations for startups.
3. Switch utility suppliers
Leaving your old office gives you the chance to leave all of your old utility contracts behind. It might be tempting to stand by your old suppliers, or to simply stick with the internet, energy, and water companies who served the office before you. However, research has shown you could save up to £400 a year by switching energy suppliers alone—more than enough to claw back some of the moving expenditure.
This page from industry regulator Ofgem has plenty of tips on how to choose between the different energy suppliers, and how to make sure you get the best deal. This guide from Citizen’s Advice has an even more detailed breakdown of what to do.
Though it might be something best dealt with after the actual move, making sure you have the best energy tariff for your new office will make a huge difference to the cost of moving.
4. Use free boxes
When it comes to the actual moving process, one of the simplest ways to cut costs is to acquire boxes for free. While you can buy boxes in a number of different shops, they are so widely available for free that doing so is a waste of money. Local supermarkets or grocery stores are always likely to have empty boxes going spare, but if you don’t have any nearby, websites like Freecycle can be extremely helpful.