As Bronco continues to grow and we take on more staff to cope with the workload, it also puts a strain on the capacity of the building that we currently operate from. When we moved to our existing building nearly three years ago there were 8 of us and now we have doubled our Ripon office based staff. We have over the years streamlined the business, such as closing down the Hardware department to make more space, and we are now working on a strategy to co-locate our server farm to free up even more space which will also give us the flexibility to relocate. When we last moved it cost us around £60,000 just to move the pipe and servers and a lot of headaches.
Dave and I have been looking half heartedly for around six months or so for a new building, but haven’t really managed to find anywhere suitable. Today we went to look at 2 office buildings in Ripon but neither were really big enough to allow us to grow in the future. We were shown the premises by a lovely girl called Victoria from Strutt & Parker who was really helpful and really understood what we were looking for. It reiterates the fact that you deal with people rather than companies and she really got what we were looking for and is now bombarding me with available premises.
I am quite particular about what we need, but what we have found when looking at various properties is that new builds in particular just don’t cater for what I would consider are general requirements. It seems that these days developers will build office blocks that scrape past the bare requirements that will pass the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) and it just doesn’t meet business needs.
We know that we want to accommodate the whole team on one floor in a big open plan office where we have lots of space, whereas at the moment we are split over 2 floors. I also want a decent sized kitchen so that a few people can be in there at the same time and for us to accommodate the coffee machine, microwave and all the supplies. I also need a decent break out area so that the guys can chill out during the day, have somewhere to eat lunch, play on the xbox and maybe get one of those retro space invader machines.
My main issue with new builds is the toilet situation, as often they plonk a toilet with no window for ventilation directly off the office area rather than having them off a corridor or landing area. I couldn’t imagine anything worse than having people walk into what is like a cupboard in the corner of the office and do what they have to do. At our current office we actually built a new toilet so that we had 2 Gents and a Ladies, but sometimes you find that in new builds there may be just one toilet and it’s the big DDA complaint one.
Another thing that is crucial for us is parking. We are very lucky where we are as we can get up to 15 cars outside the building which it seems now having looked around is a real luxury. With new builds you may only get 4 parking spaces with a 2000 sq ft office .. crazy! Along with good parking we also want to be in a place that has good nearby facilities. At the moment we are around a 2 minute walk from the centre of Ripon which is great for grabbing whatever you like for lunch.
In fact we are pretty spoiled by the offices that we have and it ticks all the boxes… it’s just starting to get to the point that after we bring on a few more staff we will be full. Hopefully over the next six months we will find the perfect place to relocate to, but if not we’ll just have to make the extension that we are building on our house made a bit bigger!
Image by IyalNow