While the UK may appear as though it is gripped by economic growth at present, there remain some concerns for business owners nationwide. Financial confidence among British firms recently fell to its lowest level since 2013, for example, despite the fact that marketing and advertising spending was set to increase.
The survey, which was conducted by research group Markit, canvassed the opinion of 300 marketers from the nations’ top businesses. While 12.2% increased their marketing spend in the second quarter of 2015, however, overall budgets become constrained while just 25.3% of respondents claimed to feel any optimism about their businesses financial prospects.
Reducing costs and Driving Growth: Creative Property Solutions Explored
This figure was down from 37.8% from the previous quarter, and such fluctuation underlines the need for entrepreneurs to remain proactive when safeguarding their businesses long-term growth. While the uncertainty created by the general election may have had some impact, firms must take the initiative to minimise unnecessary spending in a bid to drive profitability and enable organic growth.
Technology can prove a great aid in this respect, as it can be used to reduce business costs without compromising on performance or efficiency. Let’s take commercial property as an example, as there is no longer any need for small or independent firms to sink thousands in long-term lease options in the quest for growth. Instead, they can rely on one of the following creative solutions that are available in 2015:
For the Cash-conscious start-up: Use Flexible Storage Units to your Advantage
With Cloud-based project management tools such as Kanban and Trello now designed to work seamlessly in conjunction with one another, it has never been easier for businesses to employ workers remotely and on an individual project basis. They can achieve this while maintaining a small but motivated core of staff, which in turn enables them to negate the need for a costly, commercial office. Instead, they can look to invest in cheaper and smaller spaces that reduce their overheads considerably.
One of the more creative options is to capitalise on the evolving trends in the self-storage industry, which has grown considerably to accommodate the needs of business-owners since 2011. More specifically, flexible and affordable storage space that is available on a rolling contract has been targeted by small business-owners in recent times, so that they can establish a physical presence without committing to an expensive, long-term lease.
This may prove ideal for your business start-up, although you will need to consider additional factors such as location and accessibility if you intend to operate a bricks and mortar venture.
For Image-led Businesses: Create a Virtual Office Space
Not all businesses are created equal, and in some markets it is necessary to cultivate a positive image and reputation if you are to achieve success. Your business model may also require you to meet with clients in person, meaning that operating from a storage unit may ultimately prove counter-productive. A similarly creative solution is available in the form of virtual office space, however, through which businesses can create develop a strong proposition using a prestigious and industry-relevant address while physically working from another location.
Many sole-trading or independent financial service providers follow this template, adopting London-based addresses while operating in a cheaper and more accessible office outside of the capital. There are numerous advantages to operating from a virtual office, with one of the most prominent being the fact that entrepreneurs can diminish costs further by choosing to hot-desk through an established service provider rather than setting up their own simulated space. The decision to operate from a virtual office also helps to distinguish your service discreetly, as a lack of flags, logos or business signs enable it to thrive as an independent entity.
So long as you select a virtual address that is relevant to your sector and capable of reflecting your business in a positive light, this is a worthwhile investment that can have a positive impact on pricing, turnover and profitability.
For the Evolving Business: Create a Temporary Commercial Structure
While we have provided viable options for start-up ventures and image-led service providers, what about businesses with the aim of executing tentative growth plans? With financial confidence dwindling among British businesses, entrepreneurs may loath to invest heavily in relocating to a larger and more purposeful commercial space. Despite this, their business may have grown to a point where it can no longer be contained within an existing structure, driving a need for viable change.
This is where temporary structures can provide a creative and purposeful solution, as they can be leased on rolling contracts to suit flexible time frames. These structures can also be built to specific dimensions, meaning that you can create the exact amount of space required to expand your venture in order to meet demand. So over a relatively short-period of time, it is possible to develop your business tentatively and on trial basis before you make a long-term financial commitment on new commercial premises.
Given the current economic climate and the prevailing mood of business owners in the UK, this is the ideal solution for businesses on the cusp of long-term growth. The most important thing is to consider your three, five and ten year growth plans before making a decision, as this will enable you to time your implementation perfectly.
See Also: How to Start a Business in Hong Kong
These creative commercial property solutions offer numerous advantages to business owners, although each will appeal to different types of company depending on their purpose, size and future growth plans. If you have any other suggestions on commercial property and the options open to entrepreneurs, please feel free to leave them through the comments box below.