working with businesses to improve potential, performance and lives
People & Premises

People
It is often said that ‘People are our greatest asset’. People can spot new opportunities, work out how to do things better and eliminate waste. You only get the best out of people by demonstrating that you value them and are actively communicating with them to seek their input.

You can drive the business forward by:
 Motivating and involving your people
 Making sure they have the right skills
 Organising work to meet the needs of the business and its people
 Developing great leaders and managers

How to develop your workforce?
 Share your plans for the business. Two-way communication builds trust and confidence, so inspire your people with your vision and listen to what they have to say. Can your people relate to it; what interests and motivates them; what frustrates them and could be changed?
 Create opportunities for problem solving. Ask your people to come up with new ideas about how to do things better; grow existing business, acquire new customers, improve products and services or cut costs. Build loyalty and commitment by implementing and celebrating at least some of them, showing that you respect their opinions and ideas. Consider setting up a problem solving group.
 Recognise and reward the Right Attitude. Highlighting those who have made significant contributions, shown extra effort or delivered beyond expectations will provide a real boost to morale.

Premises
Whether you’re looking for office space, a factory, warehouse or a shop, it is essential to make premises a strategic issue. You need to look at your business plan to gauge what your future premises requirements are likely to be, then find the solution that gives you sufficient flexibility to meet these needs.
Consider whether you even need company premises at this stage.

Depending on the type of business you set up, you may be able to run it from home in the early stages - and recruit people who can do the same. Costs are kept down and you gain extra flexibility. You may also have a clearer idea of what your space requirements will be 6-12 months down the line.

There are mailbox rental and telephone-answering services that you can use to ensure that you make a professional impression on customers. It is also possible to rent meeting rooms by the hour in a range of venues.

Assess the minimum amount of space your business currently requires. Under health and safety guidelines, employees should have at least 11 cubic metres of space. Of course, they may require far more than this depending on the tasks they carry out. Flexible-working arrangements and hot-desking could help you to optimise your use of space. It can be helpful to draw up a floor plan of your premises and the items that need to go in it.

Think about the following:
 Sufficient space for employees to work in
 Staff rest areas and toilets
 Production and other equipment and furniture areas for storing goods and for loading and unloading
 Meeting rooms, phone and IT systems
 Walkways, exits and access routes

Get the right location - Analyse which location would suit your type of business.
 If you are opening retail premises you will probably want to be based in a town centre or a retail park with a significant amount of passing trade. If you are opening a factory or warehouse, you will probably be looking at an out-of-town industrial estate.
 Analyse how important transport links are. If, for example, you are setting up a manufacturing business that will require regular supplies of components and makes frequent deliveries of finished products, proximity to good road or rail links will be essential.
 You may want to be in an area where there is a cluster of businesses in your field, with companies and specialised suppliers both working together and competing.

Consider your potential workforce. How easy will it be to find staff with the skills you require in the area?
 Think about how easy it will be for employees to reach the premises. A warehouse on an out-of-town industrial estate could help people avoid traffic - but are potential employees likely to have cars? If not, what is public transport like? Are there car-sharing schemes in operation locally?
 If employees need to drive to your premises, car parking facilities will be an important issue for you and your visitors - make sure you know the parking rules and allocation for your chosen site.

Look at the costs of different locations.
 New towns and developments could be cheaper but may not be appropriate for your firm.
 Prices will be lower in areas that have a significant amount of vacant commercial property.

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