Starting a new business is not easy. Most entrepreneurs have limited startup capital, and cannot afford to pay for an office building, furniture and office equipment. Renting a serviced office is a good way to avoid this huge initial outlay.
Serviced offices are usually fully furnished, and come with a pre-installed phone line, fax machine and Internet connection. Renting exclusive use of a large serviced office may work out more expensive in the long term than buying your own equipment and a dedicated office space, however for smaller businesses that need only a small workspace and a couple of meeting rooms, serviced facilities are a good choice.
Shared Serviced Offices
Shared serviced offices are a boon for smaller companies and companies that need office space only for a short period of time. If you know that you will only be in the office one or two days a week, or you usually work from home but need an office on an occasional basis for meetings with clients, then you should consider using a shared office.
Shared office space can be quite affordable, and you will be able to impress your clients with modern meeting rooms, a secretary at the front desk, and stylish office furniture. In addition, you will have access to a professional looking business address, personalized telecoms, and kitchen facilities for providing light refreshments to your employees and clients.
Your clients don’t need to know that you’re simply renting the equipment – all they’ll see is the trappings of a successful company. It’s a sad fact, but “fake it until you make it” really does work in this case. Prospective clients will be more likely to work with a company that has a dedicated office and that is ready to accept visitors or take calls at any time within normal working hours.
The Downside to Serviced Offices
The main downside to non serviced offices is the cost of the rent and the limited growth potential. While the initial outlay for renting a serviced office is lower, the month-to-month expenses are higher. It’s a good idea to set some money aside each month to invest in your own dedicated office and the required furniture and equipment.
When you buy your own office space, you have the freedom to shop around for service providers. You can choose your own telephony and Internet provider, hire your own cleaners, and pick your own catering company. When you rent an office, you do not have this control. That may not seem like much of an issue, but if you have ever had to put up with unreasonable ISP restrictions or a careless cleaner, you’ll understand how important control over these things can be.
Another benefit of opting for an unserviced rental, or buying your own office space is that you enjoy some more security. Serviced rentals tend to be short term deals, which are great for flexibility but are not so useful if you want to keep your office address for a longer period of time. When you take on an unserviced rental and buy your own office equipment you know that you own the equipment, and won’t have to worry about renewing your lease for a certain period of time.
Written by Gozde Kar for Foxhall Business Centres.