Moving your business is a daunting step that requires much planning and research. Moving into a listed building, however, brings additional concerns into the equation. When organising such a venture, it’s important to give thought to the following issues
Check the accessibility and suitability of the building
Changing the architecture and features of a listed building requires special permission, and some alterations will not be permitted. As such, it is vital to ensure the building is essentially suitable before considering a move.
Conduct thorough surveys, focusing on factors such as accessibility for disabled employees and customers. Furthermore, review the layout and plot out how your workflow will function within the building; if changes will be needed to streamline the workflow, ask council planners if these adjustments will be acceptable. Other practical necessities like local parking, wall thickness, and internet connectivity should also be considered.
Review your plans for decorations and renovations
A key advantage of purchasing a listed building is working with its distinctive character and history. There are exciting PR and social media opportunities to explore when moving into such historic structures. Despite this benefit, listed buildings also provide a challenge when it comes to decorating.
Due to the age of listed buildings, surfaces are often uneven, while internal workings lie in unexpected positions. Aim to coordinate with local workmen who are familiar with the property when planning a renovation, taking full advantage of their experience.
Exterior decorations that advertise a company and changes to the appearance of the building will also require special permissions. As such, aim to compliment your brand and image with the aesthetic of the building beforehand. Local residents will also respond favourably to a business which stays sympathetic to the character of the building.
Prepare a timescale
Moving to a listed building can take a considerable amount of time due to factors like planning permission and additional renovation work. Ensure that you are prepared to work within this extended timescale
Of course, it is possible to make use of the waiting time in a productive manner. Utilise each day to conduct PR and social media campaigns around the move, putting the focus firmly on the historical charm of the new location. Start making connections with other local businesses and set up a strong bond with the community if you have not already done so.
Listed buildings need constant upkeep due to their age, so it’s also important to plan ahead. Work out a plan of action for any potential future restorations that will be needed.