When the time comes to move your start-up in to a full-time office space from your base at home, it can be a daunting prospect. What should you consider before you get started?
Here are our top tips for 2016 to help you navigate the office space minefield.
1. Location, Location, Location
It comes up time and again. There is even a TV programme about the importance of location to your property search. And whilst it’s a popular show about house buying, the saying is just as important to your office space search.
The right location is vital to keep your business close to your potential customers. It also has an impact on the cost of office space. This means you need to compare locations based on cost versus the impact on your business. For instance an office near Bank could cost more than one nearer to Liverpool Street. If budget is important, consider the relatively short distances versus the varying costs.
2. Getting there
One of the key things to consider before signing on the dotted line is the proximity of the office space to local transport links. Both your customers and employees need to be able to reach you. So consider the distance to the nearest train or Tube station. Many serviced office centres have on-site parking but this may be an additional charge.
3. The Work Life Balance
Most London serviced office business centres are often right in the middle of a wide choice of local shops, cafes, restaurants and bars. But you would be surprised how many lack a wide variety of things to do on their doorstep. If it’s not high on your priority list it might be for employees who look for places to get their lunch or a location for socialising after work.
Our area guides provide details of local amenities in the most popular locations. One of the questions to ask on an office space viewing would be about the proximity to the nearest coffee shop or cash machine.
4. What’s included?
Once you have decided on the ideal location, one of the most important things to consider is what’s included in the office rent. Don’t assume everything is thrown in.
Generally the office space rent includes the furniture, storage and the use of the communal areas. Internet connections and telephones are often an additional cost. Some providers include them along with services like photocopying and printing at no extra cost. But it’s best to ask early on.
5. There’s broadband and there’s broadband
Often referred to as “the oxygen of business”, broadband differs throughout the UK and many serviced office providers have different quality connections. Some provide a standard broadband connection with upgrades to increased bandwidth. Others provide business broadband using what’s referred to as “dedicated lines” that have higher bandwidth.
We suggest you ask the provider to explain their broadband connection offer so that you have the right one for your business.
6. Meeting your clients
Meeting your clients in a professional environment is vital to help you portray the right image for your company. Sometimes coffee shops are an easy solution when you are on the go but nothing offers a better impression than a well equipped meeting room. Nearly all business centres provide one or more meeting rooms for their clients to use. Rates vary depending on location but they offer great value and usually beverages, water and catering are all available to make the meeting go really well.
7. When you need more than one location
If your business keeps you on the move a more flexible solution might be an option to consider. Something like a Regus Businessworld membership for instance would provide a number of options that allows you to work in a local business centre where your clients are. Many serviced office space providers offer flexible working solutions. So it’s easy to ensure you get the right solution for your business and at the right price.
8. Networking with your neighbours
Business centres are large hubs housing a number of diverse businesses across a wide variety of sectors. So wouldn’t it be great to network with the company’s right on your own doorstep? Many serviced office providers have set up monthly networking meetings, providing a relaxed and informal way to set up potentially beneficial relationships with businesses that need your services or products.
There are many benefits of using serviced offices for your business and these are just eight examples of how they could benefit your business. Talk to us for an informal discussion and let us help you secure the right deal for your new office in 2016.
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