For many business owners, the actual physical premises you work from are unlikely to be subject to a high degree of scrutiny. After all, your premises are primarily functional: a space that you can use in an effort to ensure your business runs smoothly. Sure, it’s helpful if those premises are nice, but realistically, this is far from the top of the priority list.
In many ways, this is understandable. If your business’ budget is tight, you will often have to compromise when it comes to the quality of your premises. You’ll choose to lease a less-than-perfect building for its functional benefits, confident that your stay will be short, and you’ll soon be able to move somewhere nicer. This seems like a feasible plan, and suitable for the short-term while finances are still restricted…
… but Is This Actually the Case?
The simple answer is: probably not. It’s tempting to think that any business premises will do, that you can cope with an inconvenient location or poor facilities for the moment – but the reality is usually far removed from this assumption. Your business premises can influence how your business actually functions, your productivity levels, the employees you are able to hire, and – ultimately – the profits you are able to generate.
Can Your Premises Really Have This Much Influence?
Yes. For example…
- If your premises are poor, then functionality and productivity are directly impacted. If you are constantly having to create workarounds due to poor premises – such as rearranging furniture for meetings or transporting items to a storage unit due to insufficient space at your premises, – your time is effectively being wasted. This is time you should be dedicating to the actual business’ operations, but instead, you’re losing hours to overcoming the inadequacies of your premises.
- Your premises will also influence the employees you are able to hire. Imagine a scenario where you interview an employee in poor premises; perhaps the lighting is insufficient, the safety is questionable, or the building is located far away from essential amenities. The interview is not just a chance for you to see if the candidate is suitable for your business; the candidate is also assessing whether your business is suitable for them. There is every chance that you may find the perfect person for a job, but they decline an offer due to concerns over the working environment.
- It is also worth noting that poor premises constitute a waste of money. You are still having to pay rent – a substantial fixed cost – for premises that you are aware are insufficient for your needs. It is tempting to justify this by the fact that you have to pay for your premises regardless, but this is a rather limited pattern of thought. It’s one thing to need to pay for a positive, beneficial working environment such as those offered by the likes of Novel Coworking, as a positive environment is likely to repay you in terms of enhanced productivity and revenue generated; it’s quite another to pay for premises that are directly harming your business. The fact that you have to pay for premises regardless does not mean that you should be satisfied with just any premises; in fact, the opposite is true: if you’re going to have to pay anyway, you may as well ensure you get the most bang for your buck.
- As a result of the cumulative issues above, your business’ ability to generate revenue will be impacted. If you can’t hire the right people, and you’re losing your time to overcoming and managing problems with your premises, then your business will never be able to maintain the efficiency required for maximum profits to be generated.
So What Does This Mean for Your Business?
Due to the substantial impact of poor business premises, it is worth examining your requirements and seeking to find premises that are genuinely suitable. While poor premises may seem like a cost-effective, just-for-now measure that you can cope with, the long-term implications can be hugely troubling.
What If Your Business Can’t Afford Better Premises?
This is a challenge that many business owners face, and there is no simple resolution.
- If the decision is poor premises or no premises at all, then poor premises are acceptable as a short-term strategy. However, examine your lease carefully; you don’t want to be trapped into a long rental term, as you should be looking to move on as soon as your business’ finances can sustain it.
- If your business finances could stretch to preferable premises with a little tweaking, then this is well worth doing. Examine your existing costs and see where there may be space for cutbacks; securing beneficial premises genuinely is this important.
Poor business premises can result in a number of problems for your company so, wherever possible, opt for an upgrade – or at least plan to do so as soon as possible.
LeahAugust 24, 2018
Interesting – not many people tend to discuss this but, from experience, I can honestly say the environment you work in plays a significant part in everyone’s working day! Having worked in many types of offices from leaky roofs to no windows in the room, it does affect employee morale.
JockAugust 26, 2018
This article makes me cringe but Daniela, it’s so true! When I first started out I bought a building because it was dirt cheap- how I wished I hadn’t bothered. For the first few years, all of us sat in coats almost every day, the roof leaked, the interior was just falling apart, and we had to conduct meetings at a nearby café. Never again!
CraigAugust 27, 2018
I hang my head in shame with you Jock! My first company was in such a rough area; clients would do anything to avoid having to come to our offices! Our local coffee shop made a fortune from us! As you say, you certainly learn!
Daniela BucateleAugust 29, 2018
Wow – those are awesome stories, guys! And yes, they answer the title of this article perfectly! Thank you!