My Office Experience | Pro Active Resolutions | Mahmood Reza

My Office Experience - Series

This blog features the story of Mahmood Reza and his business Pro Active Resolutions. Let’s checkout his experience of running a business through his office, in this feature of “My Office Experience”.

 

Background

I am an accountant; business and tax advisor; of over 30 years. This experience has allowed me to have extended business knowledge and an approach not normally associated with many other accountants. Based on my experience, I understand that it’s important for any business to easily record, connect with, and grasp their business numbers.

Professionally, I work with a wide range of brilliant clients, including Sole Traders, LLPs, Limited Companies, Arts Organisations, Charities and Social Enterprises. Even though we are a Leicester-based firm, our reach extends to national  and international partners.

 

The Business Backdrop

My business, Pro Active Resolutions has gone from a back-bedroom business, to a city centre based establishment of nearly 25 years, comprising of strong staff that places clients at the heart of what we do.

I still remember that feeling when I made that leap into having and running my own business.  It’s that shot of excitement, overlaid with that feeling of ‘what have I done’. 

I lived this exact feeling nearly 25 years ago, and that sits at the back of mind.  Remembering this feeling acts as the prompt to my system, when I try to measure how far my business journey has taken me.

The business was no different to most business start-ups: money was sparse, those purse strings were so tight that my fingers were numb, my house doubled up as a business space – my back bedroom to be more precise.  

At that time, working from home served a purpose. In particular, the work commute was easy and I mostly travelled to see clients. In short, looking after a home and ‘pyjama’ working suited me well.

However, moving out of my back bedroom into a separate office was the celebration of a business mini milestone.

 

My Office Experience

By getting my own office, I could finally separate home and business life more easily. 

It almost felt like I had grown-up and now had a proper business, allowing me to get more work done.  More so, it was also great that clients could come and meet at my office – the privacy and quiet space was more than what a café/coffee shop could provide.

In addition, having an office also gave me the space for workshops and seminars. This may not be the case for all businesses but a multi-purpose use of the office is a wonderful thing for my business.

 

The Ongoing Change and Growth

For several reasons, over the years, I have moved offices a few times.

To begin, my own business growth meant that I had outgrown some spaces. Further, staff, for example, can’t be expected to work in rabbit hutch style workspaces. In other situations, a change in my landlords’ circumstances, and what they wanted to do with the building also changed office – bulldozers moved in after I had.

Those experiences of moving offices were challenging, especially as the business grew.

It was thanks to my incredible team that the moves went relatively smoothly, and hiccups were predominantly due to third parties letting us down. (It is unfair to mention names, suffice it to say that one of the let downs was a multinational communications company, with British as its first name).

 

Some Knowledge Share

If you are looking to move offices, here are some tips that I’d love to share:

 

1. Planning

I am a big fan of planning in business, and so planning for an office move is no exception.  What does planning mean in terms of moving an office? Well, considerations for planning an office move includes things such as:

  1. Does the new office space accommodate what you need in terms of in terms of physical size, plug sockets, shelving, storage, how the desks will be configured, parking? 
  2. If you’re office space is not on the ground floor, how larger items will be transported into and up to the new office. In such cases, lifts can be useful, if they are large enough and accessible.
  3. What does the lease agreement include, by way of break clauses, rent increases etc.? In addition, is the rent inclusive of, say, utilities and insurance?  
  4. What are the respective responsibilities of landlord and tenant, for example in terms of building maintenance? This final point connects well with the next section.

 

2. Considering the Break-Off Point

Most leases are tenant repairing.

This means that when the time comes to move on, the landlord expects the building to be in the same condition when you leave, as it was when you moved in. Keep the possibility in mind that if the building office was initially a bit shabby when you moved in, but you can’t prove that, well the landlord will normally claim it was initially in pristine condition.

I speak from bitter experience on this one.  My advice, when you move in, is to get a condition survey carried out. If the budget doesn’t permit this, then take time stamped pictures and make a note of the condition of the space at the point of moving in and exiting.

 

3. The Move

Instead of moving randomly, choose a target date for moving. In this case, minimising disruption to your current working day is a must.

This may mean moving on a weekend to minimise the negative effects.

In addition, consider: 

  1. can you move in stages?; 
  2. will you be doing the move by yourself?; Or 
  3. will your team help you in the move?

To help ease the situation, it’s worth considering a professional mover/person and a van involved.

 

4. The Finer Details

Make sure the essential things like 

  1. phone lines are set up, 
  2. utility companies informed, 
  3. meter readings read – both at the new and current office, 
  4. internet connections secured,
  5. comms systems up and running. (remember that unnamed company I mentioned above?  Well because of them we were without phone lines, and an Internet connection for over a week).
  6. customers have been informed, 
  7. websites and stationery are updated with new address details.  

Here, lists, budgeting for the costs, and a timetable makes a massive positive contribution.

Finally, when you’ve moved, make the time to celebrate. You have earned your success.

 

To learn more about Pro Active Resolutions, please check their website here. In addition, you can also check them on our business listings section here.

 

If you would like to add your business to our listings, please click here.

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