Serviced offices can offer small businesses more flexibility than normal longer-lease (traditional office space) properties and enable you to expand or contract as your business needs change. Most businesses that rent serviced offices are looking for short-term lease agreements. Serviced office providers rent out serviced offices on a rolling basis, meaning that you will only have to pay at the end of each month for the facilities that you’ve used, that are outside of the agreed terms.
Because serviced offices are furnished, you do not have to purchase desks, chairs and other office furniture. You also do not have to set up the communications systems or Internet. One of the biggest challenges for a small business just starting up, is the capital equipment cost of office necessities. Many serviced office business centres like Telsec, will even offer various furniture choices and options to customize the space to the very particular needs of a small business.
Small business owners who want to grow and are tied to a long-term lease have limited choices on how to expand their office space – and that can cost a lot of money. They can try to sublease their current space (if their lease allows it), they can try a buyout of the lease, they can try to find additional office space in another part of the facility they are currently in, or they can find space in another nearby facility and run two offices.
Flexibility in a serviced office can also mean that when the economy changes or they use more remote virtual office staff, they can reduce the size of their current office without having to move or change their business address. Not having to change a business address is important, because it offers continuity to customers and clients who do not need to know the capacity of the small business’s office space.
With a serviced office space, a small business only pays for what it needs beyond their physical space. Access to meeting rooms and boardrooms is most often included – so there is no need to pay additional rent for space that not being used all of the time. Services and facilities such as copiers, network printers and fax machines are available when the small business needs them, and the business is only billed for what they use.
Most serviced office business centres can also provide secretarial services and extra staff on a need-only basis. So it is not necessary to hire an employee for a part-time or occasional work. The flexibility of having on-demand help for office tasks gives a company more resources in terms of time and money to dedicate to the core functions of their business. Also, with a serviced office, there are no additional costs for heating or air conditioning, lighting and power, security, cleaning, building and plant maintenance, elevators, insurance, etc. Because these costs are built into the rent, there is no need to budget for them or to worry about usage fluctuations and pricing.
Another reason why serviced offices are the perfect flexwork solution, is that you can start off in a part-time serviced office space while getting started. The concept of shared office space at a service office business centre is not new, but it has many names. One of the older names is office hoteling or hot desking, where a business does not have a dedicated office or even a dedicated desk. When employees need a place to work, they can simply use an available desk in a room full of desks. A small business could have a shared office and have access to services just like other tenants of the business centre. This could also be an alternative office arrangement for professional services companies with employees who usually work from home.
Unlike running a small business from home or a coworking centre that simply provides a place to work and collaborate, a shared space in a serviced office business centre offers a professional business address at upscale locations that are known for business.
So what else do serviced offices offer? Serviced offices give you the opportunity to network and cross-sell with a variety of other businesses who also have office space within the same facility. The networking is not so much structured networking – it is meeting that person from the office down the hall when you are getting your morning coffee, or when you are picking up a printing job from the printer/photocopier room. Also, many centres who offer serviced office facilities have formal networking events. Some of these are often organized by other office tenants who are looking to grow their own network contacts and build their own businesses.