I’m a budding entrepreneur, and I’m having a problem with finding office space in London. Can you help me? I’ve not had any luck with traditional office brokers and I don’t want to take the risk of renting to someone who won’t pay the rent. Can you tell me how to navigate this tricky market?
Let’s start with the basics. Even for a newcomer to the industry, it can be tricky to navigate the property market in London. Whether you’re looking to rent a one-bedroom flat in Islington fora month or you want to renting an office in london a new office for a year, it’s no surprise that there are no simple answers to your question.
The cost of a single bedroom
The simplest way to navigate the market is to get a mortgage or borrow from a family member to get a good deal on your new London flat or offices.
It’s harder, however, to find a suitable property on your own. I spent hours trawling the internet for potential properties before finding my current building – at which point I had already paid an upfront deposit of £7,000.
Renting a two-bedroom flat for a month
Alternatively, you could rent a two-bedroom flat for a month. You can still get a decent deal. But what if you want to have a spare room? Perhaps you’d like the landlord to agree to pay for a baby cot, or even a separate entrance for your children to come and go.
Finding a decent office space can be just as tricky. One agent I spoke to rents second-hand offices and he has spent thousands on renovating them in order to attract big corporate clients. Other brokers that I contacted were less ambitious, renting out cheap, free-of-charge offices or leasing smaller spaces for between £150 and £300 a month.
Co-working or shared offices
The situation isn’t as stark if you’re not seeking to rent a physical space. If you have a big enough crowd of like-minded people who work in the same way as you, then maybe co-working is for you.
Instead of investing time or money to start a company, you could instead join the likes of WeWork or Regus, two companies which rent out offices to small businesses. This way, you can bring your staff with you and share the cost, but with the potential to save up to 50% on your rent.
How can I avoid making mistakes with my new business?
You should know your priorities before you go into business, and having a location that ticks these boxes is one of them. Even if you’re not saving money on rent, office space can be useful in so many other ways. The networking you can do in an office space, for example, can help you make valuable connections and grow your business.
As for the problems you’ve experienced, the best solution is to speak to someone who has already tried it. Seek the advice of an experienced broker or agency that understands the property market, or try looking at the organisations in your area that might help. These include local councils, investment trusts, chambers of commerce, networking groups, and networking events.
As small businesses become increasingly successful, their need to grow and prosper is increasing. Their requirements, too, are on the rise – and it’s vital that, like in your own business, they are able to expand their working environment without losing contact with their community.
If you’re struggling to find affordable office space in your area, don’t give up hope. At Open Houses England, we connect you with a property broker that will put your mind at ease and get you started in the right direction.