Serviced offices are fast becoming an option for many types of businesses due to the benefits they provide. They offer space to grow, cost-efficiency, and flexible work areas, along with a productive, collaborative atmosphere. What’s not to like?
While a serviced office may offer many benefits for your business, there are a few questions to ask before signing the licence agreement.
1). The licence agreement: consider your company’s needs—does it need temporary space, a place to “live” during a move, or flexible workspaces? When considering a serviced office space, you’ll need to ask about the types of licence agreements they offer. Some serviced offices have a pay-as-you-go payment plan, while others may offer flexible 3-12-month licence agreements. Ask about how much time is needed to give notice—some business centers allow for a month’s notice to end your licence agreement, but it varies from company to company.
2). The cost: while checking out the licence agreement options, be sure to pay attention to the rental costs. How much licence agreement can your business budget afford? Can you afford to pay the required rental deposit? How does the price of a specific serviced office space compare to others in the same area? Keep your budget in mind when looking for office space.
3). Packages: when considering the cost of the licence agreement, be sure to ask if the facility offers packages. You may find business centers that offer bundled packages, which can save you money in the long run. It’s a good idea to ask what each package includes, ask if you can mix/match services you need, rather than paying for package items that you don’t need. You can save a lot of money with a packaged bundle, rather than paying for each service or item as a separate cost.
4). Location: Where is the office located? Consider where the office space is located; you’ll need to find a location that works for the company, your staff and clients.
- Is the location easy for employees to access?
- Will visitors be able to find the office easily?
- Are the premises secure—what type of security do they offer?
- What amenities (coffee shops, restaurants, underground/bus/train stations) are in the area?
5). Facilities & amenities: What amenities and facilities are on offer? Each business center offers their own package of amenities, and office facilities will also vary. Look for serviced offices that offer what you and your staff need—be sure to ask if these are included in the licence agreement:
Amenities: Does the serviced office include meeting rooms, office equipment (such as access to printers, projectors, etc.). Do they offer a breakout area or kitchen, giving your staff a place to take breaks? Does the center offer business support services (including a manned reception, call forwarding, admin support, etc.)?
Facilities: what types of office spaces do they have available? Can they provide more space if your business grows? Is there an on-site gym with showers? Is there enough parking available for visitors and staff? What types of workspaces are available? Is office furniture included; if so, then what type of office furniture do they provide?
6). Infrastructure: it’s a good idea to ask about the type of IT and telecommunications infrastructure the serviced office provides. Most provide reliable, fast internet, but what about postal services and phone connections? Be sure to ask if the business has a dedicated postal address, and you can even ask to run a speed test on their Internet service to make sure it’s fast and efficient for your business needs.
7). Expansion & downsizing: Is there space for downsizing or expansion? Businesses have to cope with the frequent ups and downs of the modern economy. Does the serviced office business have space to allow you to expand? What about downsizing? Can they meet your company’s needs? If so, what’s entailed with downsizing or expanding? Know before you sign the licence agreement, so you’re ready no matter what happens with your business.
8). Style: this may not be the first thought that comes to mind when looking for a serviced office space, however, it’s an important factor for your business to consider nonetheless.
Things to bear in mind:
- Do the site’s furnishings and overall style fit in with your company’s brand?
- Does the style fit well with your industry?
- Does the facility allow you to customize or decorate your space, and if so, will be any additional costs?Would you feel good about posting images of your office space on your website or social media platforms?
9). Serviced office access: another good question to ask is when is the office accessible? Do they offer 24/7 availability, in case you or staff need/want to work after hours or on weekends?
10). Move in date: when can you move in? Can you move in when you’re ready, say in a month, a day or a week? Serviced offices generally have a quick turnaround time; however, they are becoming an increasingly desirable business option, so it’s important to know about office space availability.
You might also ask if they offer any type of move in service. Some facilities help with all areas of getting your office setup and ready to use. Ask if this is an extra cost or if it comes included with the licence agreement.
10). Hidden costs: when considering any serviced office space, you don’t want to be hit with hidden, unexpected costs. So, it’s a good idea to ask about all the terms and conditions before signing the licence agreement. Watch out for agreements that seem too good to be true; you’re more likely to find it will be necessary to pay for every little service you need to run your business. These types of facilities are not above charging monthly rates for Internet access, use of facilities (such as the kitchen, meeting rooms, etc.). Check for any hidden costs—if they’re unreasonable, don’t be afraid to walk away and find a facility that works better for you.
By taking the time to ask the right questions, you can find the very best serviced office space for your business.