A key objective of a Business Centre like Living Workspace must be to provide business owners and executives with options to minimise risk, where risk can have many dimensions. Such dimensions might include threatening financial reserves, through excessive expenditure on non revenue producing activities (eg office accommodation) or long duration financial commitment contracts, where circumstances may change well before the contract term expires. Another may flow from over allocation of time to non revenue producing activities, rather than core business activies – an opportunity cost of time and effort not spent productively. Hence the potential benefit of utilising a Business Centre to provide office or meeting room facilities only when actually needed. Or perhaps making do with a Virtual Office facility for business address registration. A Virtual Office address may even enable a more prestigious address for the business than would otherwise be financially sensible. A little time devoted to risk minimisation may be smart business.
Leasing a serviced office versus renting your own office
Moving out of the home office or expanding your business can make the decision of leasing office space or a serviced office a challenging one.
For the small to medium business owner, running a business and looking for appropriate office space can be a time consuming exercise. Factors to consider when you are ready to move out of your home office or set up your own office include:
- Researching and viewing appropriate office space
- Liasing with real estate agents
- Negotiating lease terms
- Setting up your new office space
- Researching and contacting phone and internet providers
- Sourcing/organising your IT infrastructure
- Sourcing/organising office furniture
- Reviewing energy providers/connecting electricity
- Maintenance charges – air conditioning etc
- Cleaning costs
- Cost and maintenance of kitchen utilities – water cooler, coffee machine, fridge, microwave etc
Budget for expenses and outgoings for a traditional 2 – 3 year lease term office. Add the two month’s rent bond payment, solicitor’s fees to review the lease contract and costs associated with employing staff.
Inspect the facilities and take into account the above factors and if it is the right fit for you. Depending on the stage of your business, being locked into a long term lease contract or not having the flexibility to grow or contract when you lease the space directly can make the decision of leasing a serviced office an easy one. Serviced offices are becoming increasingly popular due to their professional corporate image, convenience factor and fixed pricing structure.
The good news is that a corporate style serviced office can offer an attractive and productive work environment, with a sense of community and that familiar corporate ‘vibe’ while providing a cost effective solution for the short term and possibly long term when your business needs change.