Yup, we’re on the move! And it’s actually been quite the eye-opener.
Having your own business premises is very different to being based at home, but I guess that was always to be expected. A home office comes within the comfortable, safe world of domesticity – it’s a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog world wherever you are but private consumers have a level of protection that goes out of the window the second you enter the world as a business owner.
The unit we’ve found is small, cheap and pretty cheerful. The rent is so low we won’t have to pay any business rates, which is rather a relief.
But even so, there are things I didn’t expect (only because I didn’t know to expect them, not because there’s anything really crazy).
The lease. We’re tied in for 5 years. FIVE YEARS!! With a rent review after 2 years, so that could well rise. The only way out of the lease if the business goes belly-up (other than begging the landlords) is to sell the entire lease. No going on to a rolling contract and leaving after a month or two.
Secondly, the energy supply. We’ve gone with this renewable energy company, which will be the more expensive option but it’s something we are passionate about.
What I didn’t expect was the literally dozens of calls right from when the landlords notified their existing supplier, from people claiming to be from places that were deliberately trying to sound official, like The Office for Tenancy Changes, all trying to get us to sign up with a new energy provider. Seriously! The first call I fell for it, until he put me through to the sales team. After that I got wise. But it’s the wild west out there when it comes to supplying energy to businesses.
The phone line. The only way we can keep our current phone number is by going on to the Cloud. Cue numerous lengthy conversations with BT and I still have no idea what is going to happen but we will be on the portal at some point in the near future and, get this – we will have TWO PHONE LINES! Like, we can have hold music and everything!
Staffing. So, suddenly we have opening hours, and we will be opening to the public on Saturdays… and we’ve had to have all the conversations over who will be staffing what, and which days will be who, and how he/she will be reimbursed. Wowzers. And for the moment it will be mostly me and D, so that will change our weekends.
Working Hours. Ie, mine. So recently I’ve been kind of working whenever I feel like it, sometimes very early in the morning and late at night and sometimes having days where I barely seem to get anything done at all. And now I need to start to work out what hours I’ll be working, and when I’ll need to be at the unit, and what I’ll be doing. Nothing too scary, but everything just at a different level to how it was before.
We officially move in next week and we’re having our open day which we’ll invite customers old and new to come, as well as friends, members of BNI, parents and basically anyone else who would like to come along. And then that’s it – we’re out there, part of the real world with a sign on the side of the building and our name on the window.
And so, once again, shizzle got rizzle!!