What to Consider When Moving into a Serviced Office
Consider this crucial scenario: You’ve decided to discard the complicated, time-consuming, and costly affair of acquiring a traditional office lease for your business, by opting for a serviced office instead. But, as the serviced office market is one of the fastest-growing in the property sector today, there are important considerations in negotiating this market, as it is now one of the largest markets in the world.
To help you assess the market and make the best choices for your business, this article will explore the most important factors to consider in making the move to a serviced office.
Consider which location will best suit your business
Firstly, consider that the address of a business goes a long way to determining the first impression of a potential client. Therefore, you ideally want an office with a prestigious location—which generally means one in a city center.
A good location for your serviced office is also one that makes it easy for your employees and customers to get reach. Therefore, an important consideration when choosing your office location is the proximity of its transport links, which you should evaluate properly.
Essentially then, securing a central location with good transport connections will ensure that your office is easily commutable both for your employees and clients; whilst at the same time, boosting the image of your business by way of its central address.
Consider your Projected Business Growth
Since flexible workspace providers differ in their terms of contract – such as, for example, the length of the notice period – it is important to consider your short and medium-term business situation, to ensure that you don’t end up tied to a workspace that no longer matches your needs: either in that you pay for more space than you now require; or in that your space is now too small and you need to expand. Smart decisions will help you avoid losing money when moving your business.
This consideration is especially important if your business is a startup company, for which it is more difficult to estimate what your business situation will be in a year’s time.
If you’re planning to keep your serviced office for at least one year, making a prediction of your estimated growth will, therefore, be applicable.
If, however, the situation of your business is less certain or unpredictable, it is then essential to ensure you select a contract that provides the flexibility you need—meaning you can easily upsize or downsize your office space according to your developing needs, as and when they change.
Consider which Office Facilities your Employees will Need
As different businesses involve different jobs, you should consider what type of facilities your employees will need in order to perform their work efficiently. Functionality is therefore an important aspect of any serviced office space you may be considering for your business.
When visiting a prospective serviced office, the first aspect to assess is the layout of the office space, in order to judge its suitability for your workforce. You should also check the accessibility of the workspace, as you want to avoid one that is in any way difficult to get to and from.
Also consider which services you may need for accommodating your clients—the main two being the reception area and the meeting rooms. You’ll want to check the reception area and receptionist services to evaluate its level of professionalism—which is important because this facility will have a substantial influence on your clients’ first impressions. And as for the meeting rooms, inspect them to ensure their sufficiency – both in size and in atmosphere – for the effective hosting of your client meetings.
Assuming you have found a serviced office that meets your needs in terms of facilities, you ideally want to find one that is aesthetically pleasing and is equipped with a high level of functionality: these qualities make for an especially appealing environment to work in, which is sure to help maximize the productivity of your workforce.
Consider the Coverage of the Rental Cost
Other than paying the deposit, the rental of a serviced office requires no payments to be made upfront. Most commonly, tenants will receive a fixed-fee invoice that covers the rent, the business rates, the services, and any extras that were ordered.
Different than when acquiring a traditional office, then, the tenant signs not a ‘lease’ but an ‘agreement’, which generally allows for negotiation; and which usually doesn’t involve any hidden costs. Therefore, it is far easier to budget a serviced office than a traditional office.
However, these agreements still require negotiation, in the sense that you will have to enquire into the terms and costs of the services offered. For example, the hiring of meeting rooms or access to the Wi-Fi connection is sometimes charged separately, depending on the provider.
With regard to the rental of your serviced office, it may be arranged on a monthly rolling basis, should you not want to be tied down for longer; or should you need more security, it can be secured for a block of 6-12 months.
Serviced office agreements, then, are flexible, allowing you to upsize and downsize as and when you need to. However, this flexibility requires you to check the options offered by particular providers, and evaluate the immediate and potential needs of your business. In doing so, remember that short tenancies are ideal for minimizing risk, or for making a strategic move during the negotiations of lease.
Consider the Instinctual Factor
Needless to say, you should not even consider moving into an office without having first properly inspected it yourself—and the importance of doing so is not just in checking that the criteria matches the description: it is also to allow your instincts to help you make the assessment.
Just as when you need to make an evaluation of someone – such as when considering the application of a potential employee – it would be remiss to do so without actually meeting that person, i.e. in person, for this presence is prerequisite to making an accurate judgment on almost anything.
As this principle also applies when seeking a serviced office for your business, consider that your ‘gut feeling’ should be allowed a say in the evaluation before you make a commitment.
For example, you may find an office that meets all your criteria – e.g. in terms of location, layout, and services – and yet for some reason, this particular office space ‘just doesn’t feel right’ to you—whereas another office ‘just does feel right’ to you, despite that it doesn’t meet your criteria as well.
By visiting and inspecting each serviced office with the instinctual factor in mind, you give yourself an added dimension in decision-making that can end up making all the difference to your business.
Visit the Your City Office website to learn more about Serviced Offices.
Finding Help with Moving Professionals
We hope you found this blog on the Moving into a Serviced Office useful. For more tips, check out this one blog on the Business Owners’ Expectations on the Commercial Construction Process.
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