Mentor, William Willems

Should I base my office in the CBD or outer suburbs?

StartupSmart /

I’m wondering where to base myself and whether it should be close to my CBD clients. I obviously want to be within reach, but does the advance of technology mean that more businesses are basing themselves in areas well outside the CBD because that proximity isn’t as important anymore? If so, will I be better off cost-wise by doing this?

 

The question of where to base your business is not an easy one to answer, and there are many factors to consider when deciding whether the CBD is the right place for you and your team.

 

Let’s first deal with your first question. The advance of technology means that people can work pretty much anywhere, which is in many cases frees workers from having to sit at a fixed desk at a CBD location.

 

However, the ability to work wherever and whenever we want does not necessarily mean that businesses will automatically flee the centre of a city.

Some businesses enjoy the prestige of a top class central address, or value the proximity to their clients and similar companies.

 

Often, the heritage of a location, and the associations that go with it, are an integral part of a company’s brand and self-image.

 

The question you’ll have to answer yourself is: where location will best help your business? The main factors you’ll need to consider are:

 

Clients: where are your clients, and how often do you need to interact with them in person? If you see your clients once every six months, and do everything over the phone and by email, it’s clearly not as important to be located next door to them.

 

People: where do your employees live, and will they value a CBD location? This point is often overlooked, but being in the right area to attract and retain the type of people you need to grow your business can be essential.

 

Industry: where are your industry peers? Winning new business often means networking, so having easy access to those industry events and common watering holes can be a boon for your business in the long run.

 

Costs: while we often spend time focusing on costs, smart business leaders also need to consider the value proposition.

 

Yes, a CDB location will generally incur more outlay, but if appropriate, the investment in your business will yield very high returns.

 

It’s also worth noting that there are many different options to suit different types of businesses.

 

Virtual offices, meeting rooms and day offices are available in most CBD locations from a number of providers for businesses looking for alternative and cost-effective workspaces at the heart of the city.

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