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Value of Shop Front/Retail Unit

Your experience of shop front office

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Hello

As you know COVID has had a major impact on the way we work. The value of online presence has significantly increased. 

The number of walk-ins, in my shop front, has significantly reduced post covid.

I am thinking of renting my retail unit.

I am thinking garden office or spare room. I have the space needed.  Staff okay to work from home. Also, it is very likely I will work for significant periods outside the UK. 

My question 

What is your experience with a Tax Assist type retail unit as your office? Do you get walk-ins business post COVID?  Is it worth it? Do you intend to carry on with your shop front/retail unit?

 

Thanks 

 

 

Replies (11)

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paddle steamer
By DJKL
14th Jun 2022 15:36

The firm down the end of my street these days seem to always be shut so maybe an office is not needed.

The only thing I noticed when I did run a full time practice from home (back in 1994 for about 6-8 months) was it was tricky to stop and ignore work if it was your own firm, the dividing line re work/rest really got blurred and had me at midnight flogging away at someone's incomplete records. Back then we had a large 36ft x 6ft hallway in the flat, that was my office, albeit with a 2.5 year old and a newborn nothing could be left out so you had to get things finished and packed up every night.

Thanks (1)
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
14th Jun 2022 17:04

I find I like a place to get up and go to work in, I can work from home and I do but prefer the distance an office brings. I also would not like people calling at my home.

I think the amount of walk ins you get is not a true guide as to the value of your office. I would not want people just walking in.

But how many people contact you through website as they are aware of presence as they have driven past your office etc.

I must say though I am suprised how hard it is to get people to face to face meetings now, I do maybe 1 week if I am lucky. I had thought this would have changed more as we return to normality but phone calls an d zoom are the preferred meeting space.

If you are wanting to work more remotely or even out of the country go for it.

I moved to rural Northumberland after a "what the hell" moment and love it.

Most people who have moved in around us are people relocating from cities the estate said to me when people were looking at the area 5 years ago people would ask about quality of schools etc no they just ask whats the broadband like.

Thanks (3)
Replying to Glennzy:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
15th Jun 2022 15:09

And the fishing.

Thanks (0)
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By Paul Crowley
14th Jun 2022 20:16

Workplace everytime
My building is on a main road and visible. I see people looking at the window when they are in the traffic queue.
Having said that most new clients are referrals from existing or past clients

Thanks (3)
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By andrew55
16th Jun 2022 12:35

Although we get a small amount of walk in business from our shop front, I think the real value is that we are seen as part of the community. We have posters in the window for local arts events etc and that creates goodwill and awareness of who we are. Its not really possible to track how that repays us with new work but I'm pretty sure it benefits us.

Thanks (1)
Profile
By indomitable
21st Jun 2022 11:21

Interesting article, and I think it depends where you live. I run a practice in Wimbledon SW London and rents around here are just unaffordable so if I were to rent a nice office, I think it would wipe out a good proportion of my profits

All my staff are happy working from home and I am not sure people in London get their accountants on the high street any more. This maybe true in a rural village where I can see the benefit in having an office.

Thanks (1)
Replying to indomitable:
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By Hugo Fair
21st Jun 2022 11:35

True from one perspective of 'value' (that of acquiring new clients) ... but possibly missing another aspect?

Speaking for myself, when I need a lawyer the convenience of a walkable (say 2 miles) office is (just) one of the factors ... but it also tends to make me more willing to pay a higher rate. If I have to visit her/his home, I expect a discounted rate!

Thanks (2)
Replying to indomitable:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
21st Jun 2022 13:38

FirstTab is in Wimbledon he could do you a deal on his office.

Thanks (0)
Replying to indomitable:
Glenn Martin
By Glenn Martin
21st Jun 2022 13:39

FirstTab is in Wimbledon he could do you a deal on his office.

Thanks (1)
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By JD
21st Jun 2022 17:53

Like most, clients mainly from referral, however this is supported because they have seen the office and/or website and you name is familiar to any prospect.

However I would add to that it creates clear separation of work and home life, brings the team together, each with their part in servicing clients (rather than having a group of dispersed), controlling the front door is the GDPR barrier and I am not dragging clients out to my home to deliver records.

Thanks (1)
Replying to JD:
FirstTab
By FirstTab
21st Jun 2022 21:58

Thanks JD. Good point about the separation of work and home.

As I mentioned earlier, after 3 years, I am now back to work and doing the 9-5 day.

It gives a good discipline and cycling to the office in summer is a bonus. It is also good to catch up with my employee. In-person contact is better.

Though, I am still open-minded which way to go. I will give it time and then decide.

Thanks (0)
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