1 Your Complete Guide to Serviced Offices How to ensure you get the perfect office for your business Barry Harvey General Manager Tel: Web: Colston Office Centre, Centre Gate, Colston Avenue, Bristol BS1 4TR
2 Contents Introduction: The only office you ll ever need What is a serviced office? A brief history How it works Your office in the virtual world The benefits of office space Who uses serviced offices? The products explained Getting the right space for your business Office space options Where do you start your search? General recommendations Prime factors affecting your decision Getting the best deal Setting up the office ICT Environment Working practices
3 The only office you ll ever need This sounds like a grand statement, but it just reflects the way serviced offices work: highly flexible, adaptable and with a sufficient range of products and services to provide a sound base for your business, through all it s various stages. Our serviced office guide provides a simple introduction to serviced offices: what they are, how they work, who uses them and why you should be considering them as an option. Additionally, we provide practical advice, including comparisons with other options, help with decision making, getting the best deal and how to think about the space once it s yours. First, however, a brief history
4 What is a serviced office? Before we explore exactly how the serviced office model works and its benefits, let s take a brief look at the history of serviced offices. Brief history Serviced offices, as they are known today, have been around since the seventies. In the US, they may have evolved from call centres for travelling salesmen. In the UK we have a precedent for sharing premises, staff and overheads in the shape of Barristers working together to form Chambers. The business centre, as we know it today, started appearing in the 70 and 80 s and has grown steadily since then, offering more and more services and flexibility to keep up with the demands of an ever changing business and technological environment. The provider usually rents space in a commercial office building, which is then converted into workready offices, meeting rooms and shared reception and switchboard. The provider then sub-lets directly to tenants on all-inclusive monthly rates and simple, short-term licenses. How it works The office suites are furnished with workstations usually comprising desk, pedestal and chair - and supplied with high speed broadband and telephones. You pay for the room and all the facilities as one monthly fee: cleaning, maintenance, refuse, utilities, rates, reception and switchboard, etc. are all included. You take the space you need and can move within the building as you grow and/or contract, according to the needs of your business. As well as dealing with phone calls and visitors at reception, staff can help with secretarial and admin requirements, as well as provide a concierge service so you don t need a secretary or PA. Meeting rooms, hot-desks and shared workspaces are available as and when you need them so you are not paying for extra space you don t always need. Business Centres work on flexible licences (a couple of pages, rather than a 50 page lease document) from monthly to annual, or even longer. Spaces are rented on all-inclusive monthly rates, which gives you control of cash-flow with easy in-easy out terms. Your centre can provide space from a single workstation, remaining competitive right up to workstations, depending on your needs and circumstances. Business centres are not usually branded, so there is little difference between renting a serviced office or a taking leased space in any other multi-tenanted building.
5 Your office in the virtual world Office space, however economic, is still a cost. If you need a particular location, but your business is not quite ready for that cost, can you still have an office? The answer is yes: you take a virtual office that gives you a mailing address, personalized telephone answering service, plus ancillary services like hot-desks, and meeting rooms, secretarial and admin services and business support. These days virtual isn t just about office space, there are all sorts of virtual services made possible by the cloud and there are many ways for business to work without large infrastructure and associated cost. Your requirements will depend on your business, of course. It makes sense for IFA s, coaches, accountants and IT professionals, perhaps, to work from home and clients and prospects would think nothing of it. A recruitment company, telecoms provider or solicitor, however, may feel physical space is appropriate. If you have more than one member of staff you may want to work together in one space. But it also depends on personality: can you cope with working at home or do you need the discipline and stimulus of an office environment? Nevertheless, if you are one of the many people for whom working at home is the perfect option - good lifestyle, no commute, low costs, see more of the family, etc. a virtual office can give you most of the benefits of physical space at a fraction of the cost.
6 The benefits of serviced office space So, back to the physical world. Essentially, what the serviced office model gives you is savings on time and money, reduced risk and support that can impact positively on business performance. Saving time Time is a somewhat illusive resource. We are reliably informed it costs money, but the cost can be intangible and we can t always afford to outsource services that would save us a significant amount. Telephone Management - Your calls are answered when you are not there or are busy. You get the information immediately so you can react quickly. Clients, prospects, suppliers, etc cannot talk to you directly, but they have spoken to a human and are confident the matter is being handled. You can also have your unwanted calls fielded, which minimises interruptions. We get dozens of sales call a day and know exactly which ones our clients want and which they don t. Facilities Management - There isn t any. A serviced office has everything set up for you so you don t have to worry about leases, maintenance, utilities, IT, furniture, etc it is already taken care of. And any additions you need can be provided on request. Ease of entry and exit - The simplicity of the licence speeds up the booking process and ensures you take up space as soon as you need it usually 2/3 pages and does not require a solicitor to interpret. Support services - Things like typing, scanning, copying, presentation documents can be prepared for you by the centre, which will usually have a concierge service and be able to recommend trusted suppliers to save you the hassle and risk of trialling new service providers. Saving money There are savings in the way the serviced office model works and in the benefits it offers your business. Shared Costs - In a business centre, the operator is buying services for the whole centre. You pay a percentage of these costs for the space you are occupying. However, the cost for your individual space would be considerably more - pro-rata - if you were paying for just that space alone. This includes utilities like electricity, gas and water as well as cleaning, maintenance, telecoms, broadband, furniture, stationery, IT consultancy and arranged discounts for third party services. Flexibility - The easy in/easy out terms of serviced office space means reacting to your business needs. If you need to grow, you can take a bigger office, but it also works the other way round if you need to contract you can move to a smaller office, giving you considerable financial control. Associated Expenses - A conventional lease involves major capital expenditure in the deposit, solicitors fees, fit-out, IT infrastructure, etc. These assets are then depreciating all the
7 time. At the end of the lease, dilapidations will need to be paid to make good the space you occupied. This level of outlay is not required for serviced offices: it s a simple licence, not requiring a solicitor or exposing you to dilapidations unless you invited the Rolling Stones in for a party! Overheads - Because your business centre provides so many on-site and outsourced services (such as secretarial, presentation preparation documents, copier and scanner, fax to , etc.), you don t need staff to help with these tasks, you can simply buy services as and when you need them, thus reducing overheads. And, if you need less staff, it follows that you will need less space - and one of the beauties of serviced office space is that you only ever take and pay for the space you need. Increasing business While you are scrabbling around trying to do everything in your business, how much business are you missing out on? Business Address - A professional, prestigious address for your business will help get you noticed, giving you credibility in the eyes of your clients, prospects and peers. You can get an address where you need to be near those clients and prospects, near your competition or out of town near transport networks if this suits you better. Add your name to local business directories; network and find partnerships with other businesses in the Centre and in the area you have chosen. If your calls are being answered also, this will add to the image you are trying to create. Business Support - Most Centres arrange at least some of the following: networking events; referral opportunities; recommended suppliers; free business consultations on a variety of subjects; business mentor service; seminars and training; library of books, white papers, e- books, blog, etc. Many of these Centres are also doing their best to get you noticed, improving your profile through their marketing activity, networking and contacts within the business community. Reduce your business risk It is very important for businesses to be agile and easily able to adapt to the constant changes in their trading environment. Tenure options - While you can sign up for a year or more, if it suits you, with serviced office space you can also usually take space for as little as a month at a time. You can even hire a desk just for a day, if you need to. You may even find reduced or no-deposit deals and free trials. As well as never needing to commit to longer than you feel comfortable with, these options mean minimal outlay and the flexibility to adapt, at all times, to the needs of your business: business is not always about growth sometimes you need to contract in order to survive and succeed.
8 Who uses serviced offices? Everyone form solo entrepreneurs to multinationals and large corporate companies can, and do. use serviced offices in one form or another, and here s how. Agile Worker Agile worker is a catch-all term for people who don t work 9-5, Monday to Friday in the same office. More familiar terms under this umbrella include home-worker, mobile worker, road warrior and flexible worker. It might be a freelancer working from home or consultant who spends a lot of time at client premises, a micro business with, as yet, no fixed abode, a salesman or someone working for a large business who doesn t spend all their time at the office. Some examples of how some of our clients use us: three national companies have a virtual office for a regional presence; several single-site businesses also use virtual for a second site to extend their market; we also have several agile workers using hot-desks one or two days a week. I have written a lot about agile working, so click on the link if you would like to find out more. It is worth giving home-workers a special mention. Many are happy at home, working in a familiar environment, around family needs and avoiding the daily commute and a lot of research has proved that productivity and happiness can be improved. However, it is not for everyone and many struggle with the isolation, the distractions and the discipline required. This is where co-working arrangements can help, providing a drop-in environment to work, meet people and build relationships many of our clients find this balance perfect for their needs. Start-ups Business Centres are a great place for new enterprises to start. Many of our clients have come to us as a new business and used virtual services, hot-desks and dedicated office space to help them grow. Some choose virtual because they have a main office elsewhere and just need a local presence or because they work from home. One or two wanted office space from the beginning and chose serviced because of the flexibility and low entry cost it gave them. Even before you start a business centre can be useful. We have had people come in during their planning stages: using our co-working space and meeting rooms to brainstorm, develop pitches, meet prospects, advisors, etc. Micro and small to medium businesses The BIS defines micro as 1-9 and SME s as employees. Quite a range, but believe it or not most centres have clients that fit the whole gamut. And even businesses larger than this use serviced offices to reduce real estate costs and gain flexibility.
9 For example, we have large national companies (up to 200 staff) taking office space with us or using our virtual services to give them a regional presence, a business headquartered in India with an office here, and several hot-desk users who s main office is elsewhere but who work, at least some of the time, in Bristol. Large businesses Many large businesses are concerned with real estate and associated costs and using serviced offices to supplement their core portfolio. They are also creating more fluid workspace in core offices that reduces the total number of desks (it is estimated that with illness, absenteeism, off-site work and meetings, offices can be up to 50% under-utilised at any one time) and allows for different ways of working that stimulates employees and saves on space. Temporary Work There are many situations where you will only need office space temporarily. If you have project work, or a short-term contract, a monthly license could be ideal. It can work equally well as part of your disaster recovery plan. We recently housed a group of students that needed quiet study time while their accommodation was being refurbished and we have looked after various businesses who needed swing space during an office move. The products explained Dedicated office: your own completely private office, fully furnished with telephone, including your own DDI, and broadband, reception and switchboard services with access to all the business support facilities like copier, fax, secretarial, meeting rooms, etc Shared/co-working space your own workstation, including telephone, broadband and lockable storage in an open plan office, with screens to give some privacy and access to on-site support as for dedicated office space Hot desk/touch-down facility using a desk for a day, even an hour, with telephone and WiFi and access to the usual on-site support. Meeting rooms a range of rooms from interview to seminar, with audio visual equipment, beverages and food available, can hire by hour or day. Secretarial from simple typing to preparing presentation documents, laminating and binding, charged by hour or by task. Business support this could include any or all of the following: recommended suppliers; discounted services; networking; training; free consultations and advice; resource library; marketing support and promotion of your business.
10 Getting the right office space for your business Assuming you have decided you need physical space, what are the options and how do you secure the best space for your business? We are going to compare other arrangements (like leasehold) with serviced, look at some of the factors that will influence your decision, how to find what space is available and how to get the best deal. Office space options Sharing Renting spare space from another business or joining with another business to share a larger office space is a viable option and currently very popular. It suits small businesses and can be very cheap, as many businesses have spare capacity and a bit of extra rent can make the difference between them staying in the space or not. Downsides are insecurity circumstances of head lessee can change and leave you without space at short notice and lack of flexibility you may not be able to grow or change the space to suit you. Also, as the name suggests, you may not have your own private space, which may be a problem. Lease A lease is a long term, fixed contract that offers security of tenure. It is a credible option, with long term stability if you do not expect your circumstances to change. In the recent economic climate, lease lengths have reduced considerably as have incentives like rent-free periods, making them a much more attractive proposition. Nevertheless, whatever the period, you are committed: there may be a break clause, but it will incur financial penalties if exercised. The deposit and rent is payable up front as with serviced but is paid quarterly, so the figures are higher. Additionally, you will pay for rates, utilities, fit-out, legal fees, surveyor fees, insurance, service charge, IT infrastructure, upward only rent reviews along with dilapidations (repair and restoration) on exit. Things to think about are what restrictions are on the space (can you make changes to suit you (especially difficult in a listed building), what are the break clause penalties and can you re-assign the lease. Purchase This is the most expensive option short-term, but cheaper long-term, and you own the asset once the mortgage is paid. You have complete control, a long-term investment (in theory at least), and the option to become a landlord if you do not need some or any of the space. Bear in mind though that this is a long term commitment. It ties up cash and market fluctuations can add to costs or decrease value, affecting your ability to sell on. Additionally, all costs, including maintenance, repairs and any problems, are yours. Serviced Well, the service model is what we are talking about here, so suffice to say that serviced offices offer a very flexible, adaptable and controllable option with no unwieldy up-front or exit costs. You also benefit from a lot of onsite, centralised services which, with lease or purchase, would be your sole responsibility.
11 It would be disingenuous of me not to acknowledge a few downsides to serviced space. Although business centres are not branded, the spaces are still homogenous in many respects and in some circles do not have the same status as leased or purchased space and many business owners will undoubtedly see serviced as a stepping stone. And it has to be said that serviced offices may not be economical beyond 20+ workstations and at this point, any business still growing would need to review their situation carefully. This is not strictly a negative, simply a part of the business journey, but does need thought.
12 So, assuming you have chosen a serviced office, where do you start your search? Type serviced offices or office space into your browser and you are likely to see the larger providers, like Regus and MWB, and a whole host of broker sites, like Search Office Space, Office Broker, Instant Offices, etc. not to mention a host of other directories. In amongst all this, you will see a few Business Centres own websites, especially if you have added a local geographic to your search, e.g. serviced office Bristol. So what do you do? Option 1 sift through the Centre s you find websites for and contact directly. Pro s: get straight to the info you need; talk directly to ensure your needs can be met; may be able to negotiate better if Centre not paying commission to brokers Cons: time consuming; can take some effort to get like-for-like pricing NB we have a schedule that helps you compare prices accurately: Business Centre Cost Comparison Recommendations: talk to the Centres about your requirements and get a feel for the ones that can help you; use any info they provide (like advice and viewing aids) to streamline your search and get like for like comparisons Option 2 go to the brokers and get them to do the sifting Pro s: saves time; if you give them a good, specific brief you will get good search results; you only deal with one point of contact Cons: if you don t give them a good brief, be prepared for lots of unwanted info and calls from unsuitable centre s; sometimes this happens even if you do give them a good brief; not always knowledgeable about the geographical area in which you are looking Recommendations: give as tight a brief as possible; talk to broker as well as filling in online form; ask for information only, so you can view Centre quotes and websites at your convenience and not be inundated with phone calls Option 3 use a commercial property agent Pro s: they know the sector and have sound local knowledge Cons: serviced offices are not their speciality so you will not get as much info as the brokers or direct; not likely to be interested in very small numbers of workstations Recommendations: use for specialist knowledge about where your business should be; look at lease options to compare
13 General recommendations Always view the Centres. Of course, this takes time. It will help to shortlist by checking websites and any pictures and details and talking to the Centre manager to check location and facilities against your requirements, but ultimately this is an important decision and, apart from the essentials, it is also an emotional one: you have to be comfortable in the environment if you are going to spend nearly a third of your life there. So there is no shortcut to a personal viewing. When viewing, you need to know what you want to ask, what information is important to help you. I have known people come in with spreadsheets that enable them to compare services, costs and facilities. It may sound nerdy, but it is very efficient, especially if you are viewing a lot of sites after a while they all merge and you forget the details. Are you looking for ruthless efficiency or friendliness, ultra-modern or traditional? Do you want to be supported or left alone? Do you want a loose, flexible arrangement or do you need tight, highly defined parameters? Most of us naturally find happiness somewhere in between these extremes.
14 Prime factors affecting your decision Location, size, cost, ICT, environment, security, suitability (emotional response) and tenure are all important factors that contribute to your decision. The clearer you are about what you need, the easier you will find the task and the more likely you will be to get the right space for your business success. Location Do you need to be near customers, suppliers, competition or staff? If your business is technology based, specific location may not be so important. For a retail business, the exact location will be crucial. If you are selling a physical product, you may need control over your supply chain, which means being near suppliers, a warehouse or distribution centre, or an industrial estate where related products and services are available. It may also mean the ability to take deliveries yourself, with ease. What about staff? Do you need to be close to a residential area or public transport routes or on easy commuter routes to attract the right quality and levels of staff? Do you need to have parking available for staff and/or customers? Town centres offer good visibility and a prestigious address and you are near shops, banks, leisure facilities, etc and a concentration of potential staff and customers. Unfortunately, this comes at a premium higher rents, possibly more noise and pollution and less parking. Out-of-town sites can be cheaper, perhaps more modern and with more open space, cleaner air and parking. But there could be noise from major local roads, it may be more industrial and therefore less attractive and there may not be good facilities such as shops, banks, cafes etc within walking distance. Also, if not an easy commute, staff may be harder to find. Local knowledge If you don t have local knowledge, find it. Ask locally, talk to other tenants and any friends/family/contacts in the area, use the web and talk to local commercial property agents. Find out where the footfall is, where popular areas are, where rates are high, areas that may have difficulty with deliveries or heavy traffic, noise pollution or increased footfall at weekends (e.g. near/en-route to sports/music venues). Are there any outstanding planning applications?
15 Size Think about who you need space for: staff; visitors; meeting/interview; storage; equipment: welfare facilities; parking. Questions relating to size requirements could be: How many workstations do you need and is there flexibility for growth? Do you have a permanent or itinerant workforce: do you need permanent workstations or can they double up as hot desks? What layout do you want an intensive, work environment, like a call centre: minimum workstation space, little privacy, bright light, open plan, task focussed? Or do you need cellular space, like cubicles, bullpen or even separate offices, which take out some interaction but give privacy and saves on distraction? Or perhaps you need a larger, more creative and more relaxed space with plenty of interaction and a project-based focus. What space per workstation? Intense users, like a call centre, may only need c60 sq ft per person. Professional services/consultancy may need c120 sq ft per person. Do you need parking? Space required for receiving/holding/meeting with guests? What storage space do you need for paperwork, products, archives, etc? What space is needed for equipment and workflow/traffic around equipment, esp. machinery? Do you need your own integral space for reception or meeting rooms (this is not usually necessary as the business centre has a reception and meeting rooms)? Is there more space available if you grow (or less, if you have to contract)? Tenure The serviced office license is a simple and straightforward document and does not need a solicitor or a degree in Latin to interpret. You can take space for a month, a quarter or a year or two. You may get a better rate if you can commit to a longer term, but remember you are committed to pay for whatever term you sign up for: if this is not right for your business, then don t be tempted. Just get the best deal you can for what you need. If you only commit to monthly at least to begin with you will be able to terminate very quickly and easily, should you require. This is very beneficial to a new or young business, when you are not yet sure of the shape, size and potential of your business.
16 Cost No business can afford to waste money. The obvious answer to the matter of cost might be to work from home. But, what if you need more staff, more space, greater credibility? And home-working is not for everyone self discipline, distraction and isolation can be issues for many trying to work at home. If being at home works for you, it can be a great way to start, especially if you are testing an idea or market. You could even claim expenses although take sound advice on this, it is a minefield. Apart from the tax issues, you may need to think about local authority planning for certain aspects, like business use on domestic premises, neighbours, extra buildings, etc. The average serviced office in Bristol for 2012 was around per month, per workstation (Instant Global Serviced Office Review 2012). Now, prices will vary around this and there are also promotional offers available and, with the recession keeping downward pressure on commercial space generally, you will be able to negotiate a little. This is affordable for most businesses, especially when you consider that it is an all-inclusive cost that is rent, rates, utilities, service charge, broadband and telephones, furniture, etc. However, what if you have already taken office space on a conventional lease? Why think about changing; are there any cost savings? Well, if your situation is secure and comfortable, there is no need to look around yet, you can wait until your lease is naturally due for renewal (bearing in mind long notice periods). If your business has changed, though contracted perhaps or you are facing increased costs generally - then the serviced office option could compare favourably to a lease in terms of cost without any loss of credibility. This could mean that any penalties for taking up a break clause could be outweighed by savings in serviced offices over leasing costs.
17 Cost comparison These figures are meant as a guide and include a lot of assumptions and over-simplifications, but they do give you an idea. They illustrate the considerable savings where lower numbers of workstations are involved and how this diminishes as the number grows. You would need to go through your own estimating process to get accurate comparisons for your specific needs. Firstly, a two/three workstation office of around 200 sq ft (we will ignore the fact that you would be unlikely to get this small a space on a lease). Example rent psf = 2, pa (A reasonable rate for space in Bristol currently - headline rent is around 27psf). Rates and service charge psf = 2, pa (This is ball-park and will vary) Utilities, maintenance, refuse 2, pa IT and telecoms 1, (leased SDSL line would be more) Furniture 1, pa (one-off cost) Legal fees pa (one-off cost) Building insurance pa Dilapidations pa (one-off cost) Total 11,200 per annum, first year At the above rate of per workstation, per month, serviced space would cost 6, (2 w/s) - 9, p.a. (3 w/s) On a larger space, say workstations in 1,000 sq ft. the costs would look like this Example rent psf = 10, pa Rates and service charge psf = 10, pa Utilities, maintenance, refuse 5, pa IT and telecoms 3, (leased SDSL line would be more) Furniture 7, (one-off cost) Legal fees 1, (one-off cost) Building insurance 1, pa Dilapidations pa (one-off cost) Total 40, per annum, first year Rate for this amount of space in serviced offices , pa (A wide range, could be more but I doubt it would be less)
18 ICT infrastructure This will obviously depend on the nature of your business, but common considerations would include quality of cabling (most buildings should have cat5 or above) and whether perimeter trunking or under-floor/ceiling cabling is provided. What internet provision is available (at least SDSL) and is there room for the hardware you need? How well is the building s infrastructure able to handle current and future levels e.g. ducting, electricity circuits and the level of access points for telecoms, ethernet, etc. to meet your requirements? Is the electricity circuit sound, regularly inspected and sufficient for your needs and with provision for surge protection and power back-up? Do you have specialist IT or telecoms requirements? Do you need extra broadband space? Do you need extra space for your own server, router firewall, software or other equipment? Is there on-site or remote support? Is this easy to tap into and what are the costs and response times? Support What services are available? Meeting rooms, 24 hr access, cleaning, IT services, reception services and hours, secretarial and admin, fax-to- , furniture and phone systems, broadband, air conditioning, meeting space, kitchen and supplies, showers, bike storage, out-of-hours voic , networking opportunities. What other resources are offered: general business info; business mentors, free consultations, business advice, third party offers, etc. The building This covers all manner of issues: heating, lighting, sound, layout, design, etc., and will depend on your practical requirements, systems, values, and personal preferences. Will people be cycling/running to work? Do you need lockable storage space and showers? Energy efficiency ratings will be important in understanding the likely utilities costs of any building and values of the landlord. Look also at lighting levels, ample supply of power and data points, perimeter or under-floor cabling and air conditioning. Staff conditions are important in terms of heat - warm enough in winter and cool enough in summer; light - electric versus natural; welfare issues such as provision and condition of toilets and compliance with health and safety issues like disability access, enough space to work, ergonomic conditions and furniture. Also, will people be cycling, running or walking to work? Do you need lockable storage space and showers? Do you want a modern or more traditional look? Colours, styles, lighting and layout all have an effect on employees. Does the site use furniture, rather than structural framework, to create privacy even within an open area, like screens to create meeting space?
19 Plants and the ability to personalise can also have an effect making for a less informal and comfortable environment. How does the building achieve this? Sound is also an issue both within your office space and any separate, integral areas you may have and outside, e.g. party walls, noise from traffic, etc. Security of the building is also important for staff and contents. Obviously all should be insured, but avoidance is still best practice. Is the office in a safe area? Do you have manned reception and/or video intercom? Are there adequate fire protection, alarm and evacuation procedures, power back-up and surge protection systems in place and monitored? What are your responsibilities within your own demise? Are furniture items and storage areas, server rooms, etc all lockable and fire-protected? Emotional consideration Well, we are human, after all. Despite the technology around us, we are not machines. When making decisions, we can and should make lists, comparisons, weigh up pro s and con s, etc. (we even have some templates to help you do this). However, there is also an emotional element to our choices. Sometimes it just feels right. You get that feeling when looking for a new house it may not even match all your criteria, but it gives you a good feeling and you can easily imagine living there. Why should your workspace be any different? You spend ay least eight hours a day there and you want to be productive and enjoy your work. The environment you work in is an important part of that and your happiness and comfort there will go a long way toward your success. Does the building have a good atmosphere, do you like the people around you and does it feel comfortable, does it reflect who you are and what you want your business to be? Does it reflect how your clients see themselves and the type of organisation with which they want to do business?
20 Getting the best deal You ve done all the research, know what you want and picked your office: now you have to secure the space at the right price and on the best terms. Getting down to the nitty-gritty Make sure you understand all the costs involved. It is important to compare like-for-like. Serviced office price structures vary. Some quote an all-inclusive price, many offer a basic rent with items such as broadband and telephone kept as additional charges. You should know exactly what you need and get the costs for everything. If it sounds too cheap, it probably is. As well as our own resources the Business Centre Association also offers help and advice. An obvious and important factor is budget. You may need to fact-find to get an idea of costs, but work that into your finances and decide what you can afford, what is included and what isn t. And if a service is currently excluded, but is something you need, can you negotiate it in? What are the terms for notice periods, etc I don t need to remind you to read the small print. Check telephone numbers. Do you need to take one with you? Do you want to take the new number when you leave? It is all possible to achieve, just make sure you ask the questions. Finally, try negotiating on price: deals are currently still possible, although serviced office is space is performing better than leased space and prices are going up. Nevertheless, there is enough competition in the market place to keep each operator on their toes. Signing on the dotted line I know I ve already said it, but read the small print. Negotiate terms if they are not quite to your liking. They are normally very flexible, but try to adapt further if you need to. For example, licenses usually roll over automatically if you miss a notice date and you need to be aware of this. Check the implications if you contract or grow (the latter will not usually be a problem). You will normally pay a deposit, zero rated, and then monthly in advance for rental and monthly in arrears for services. Moving in is quick and easy: and takes very little time to set up. Make sure the provider understands you requirements for phone answering, message taking, etc. Remember, they are representing your business: they will be professional but the more they know the better they can perform. Keep monitoring the situation The point of serviced is flexibility, which means you are not tied in. If things don t work out you can move. Admittedly it might be a pain stationery, letters to clients, etc. - but it wouldn t make sense to let inertia harm your business. However, it doesn t have to be so extreme. It is unusual to be so close to a supplier as you are when you rent space in a business centre. In conventional, leased space you will rarely see the landlord and only in larger buildings might you see an on-site facilities manager. So, use this opportunity to give your centre feedback, suggest improvements or ideas. None of us are so arrogant as to believe we have everything right. And if we see a way to make our service better, and assuming it is practical (no calls for offices to be turned into cocktail lounges, please), we are only too happy to make it happen.
1 A Guide To Office Space & Business Centres Across London Table of Contents Introduction Advantages of Renting London Office Space Location, Impression & Operations Office Space Where to Start Types of
The Instant Managed Of ce We would willingly do further business with Instant. They are a very professional, able and proactive organisation which operates a very successful and efficient business model.
MOVING OFFICE CHECKLIST Any office move requires a great deal of planning and careful thought beforehand - and strong commitment all round, both before and during the move. This Checklists assumes that
Harrogate Business Centre Availability Please Click here for full information about the Centre Ground floor - Currently full First Floor Suite 46 (130 sqft) Available 1 st September A 2 person office at
THE BROCHURE - 2012 All you need to know about Temple Court INDEX 2 Overview - About Us & Our Offices 3 Office Types 4 What s included in your serviced office package? 5 IT & Telecoms 6 Business Services
Your Free Guide To Choosing the Right Telephone System Introduction This guide will be helpful for you if you are thinking of choosing a new telephone system for your business. There have been major changes
A GUIDE TO PROPERTY I n the journey from startup to IPO, you want to spend the majority of your time developing your idea and focussing on growing your business. When new funding arrives, it offers a crucial
Office Move Checklist Plan your entire office move from start to finish with this definitive Moving Office Checklist. It guides you through each step of the planning process and is loaded with top tips
Your Every Need Everything Your Business Needs www.youreveryneed.co.uk T: 0800 470 4871 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Your Every Need Ltd, Eden House, Hartlebury Trading Estate, Hartlebury, Worcestershire
Rent Serviced Offices on Grange Lane - Rutland Offices Grange Lane Seaton Rutland Leicestershire LE15 Set in the heart of the stunning and relaxing countryside of Rutland, our business community will ensure
THINKING OF STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS? NEED A PROPERTY TO HELP GET YOU STARTED? Tel: 01384 400123 Contents Type of Property What Size Do You Need? Office Space Location What is a Lease/Licence? What Type
10 How to Accomplish SaaS When a business migrates from a traditional on-premises software application model, to a Software as a Service, software delivery model, there are a few changes that a businesses
This IT Relocation Checklist will help you prepare & manage your entire IT Relocation safely, efficiently and without disruption to services. Your IT & Telecom Solution Provider IT Relocation - the importance
Get Your Business Moving In partnership with Nomis Connections Get Your Business Moving Mobile devices + the cloud = biggest business opportunity to come along in quite a while Businesses have more opportunity
WRDC Business Centre 6-8 Queen Street Newton Stewart Wigtownshire DG8 6JL Tel: 01671 404500 Fax: 01671 401512 email@example.com www.wrdc.co.uk Information & Guide to Services The Business Centre For
Serviced offices Taking the first steps to business success Manchester Greater Manchester Liverpool Birmingham Leeds Cheshire My business partner and I were made redundant on 1 October and by 5 October
Find your perfect office space, in three easy steps. 1 We are Instant, the global specialists in flexible offices, and our goal is to fulfill your need for the perfect workplace. We make sense of the huge
Your Services Your office comes with all of this included and more so you are set up and ready to go from day one. Your Furnishings ffyour offices come equipped with high-quality ergonomic furniture from
HOW TO BUY A BUSINESS Buying a business is possibly the most important financial decision you will make. It may consume all your spare cash, cause you to borrow a significant sum of money, determine your
A desk is where we work. Symbolic. Physical. Present. A second home. A desk is a platform. A hearth. Roots are planted. It s where hours upon hours pass. The perfect solution for your serviced office requirements
Phoenix Square Workspaces: Frequently Asked Questions Who manages the workspaces at Phoenix Square? Both the workspaces at Leicester Creative Business (LCB) Depot and Phoenix Square are owned and managed
PRESTIGIOUS FULLY SERVICED OFFICES TO RENT IN CENTRAL LEAMINGTON SPA 12 Hamilton Terrace offers a classy business address and also the most comprehensive, flexible serviced package for a simple monthly
Hosted IP Telephony An easy to understand guide A white paper from Mason Infotech September 2013 Contents Introduction What is hosted telephony? Who is hosted good for? Why consider hosted telephony? The
WRDC Business Centre Castle Court 8 Castle Street Stranraer DG9 7RT Tel: 01671 404500 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wrdc.co.uk Information & Guide to Services The Business Centre For many businesses, renting
SERVICED OFFICE TO LET Address Britannia Buildings 70/72 Silver Street DONCASTER DN1 1HT Specification 2 nd floor offices From 7 m 2 (75 ft 2 ) Attractive building Central location INCLUSIVE RENTS Flexible
Hosted Desktop Hosting platform solutions Confusion reigns in the Cloud It s been talked about for a long time, but the Cloud is now significantly changing the way technology is implemented and utilised
Cloud Computing A Small Business Guide. Whilst more and more small businesses are adopting Cloud Computing services, it is fair to say that most small businesses are still unsure of what Cloud Computing
Corporate Solutions from the specialists in flexible offices Instant were exactly what we needed for this project, as they know the serviced office market back to front and were able to guide us through
Flexible Office Solutions -More than 600 connections around the world- Rue de la Presse 4 1000 Brussels Tel: +32 2 227 11 11 Rue Abbé Cuypers, 3 1040 Brussels Tel : +32 2 741 24 11 Avenue, 367 1050 Brussels
4.0 Telephony 4.0 Telephony 4.1 Understanding your current telephone infrastructure Your telephone system is often the first point of contact that a patient has with your practice. This system can enhance
White Paper Supporting your mobile workers How HR can help employees and managers get the most from their digital workplace Workshifting, flexworking, smart working whatever it is called, working 9-5 at
Getting the IT & Telecoms part of an office move right can be the most challenging part of any office relocation - which is why it merits specialist attention. This essential IT & Telecoms Checklist will
STUDENT MODULE 10.2 RENTING VERSUS BUYING PAGE 1 Standard 10: The student will explain and compare the responsibilities of renting versus buying a home. Renting an Apartment Lesson Objectives Discuss the
Home Loan Refinancing Guide Contents How refinancing works... 3 Steps to refinancing... 4 Choose the home loan that s right for you... 4 Give your loan a regular 'health check'... 9 Aussie is a trade mark
Moving from Sage 50 Accounts to Sage 200 Standard Online 2 Contents Contents Software that grows with your business...4 Straightforward online accounting...5 Reasons to upgrade...6 Financials - Managing
Support Services & Office Information Through our dedicated centre staff, Targetspace offers an efficient and friendly support service for all your business needs. Many of our services are already included
Benefits of payroll outsourcing PAGE 1 Contents Introduction 2 Payroll outsourcing: The facts 4 Why outsource? 5 Bureau or managed payroll? 8 Debunking the myths 10 How to outsource your payroll 13 Benefits
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & MANAGEMENT IT Checklist INTRODUCTION A small business is unlikely to have a dedicated IT Department or Help Desk. But all the tasks that a large organization requires of its IT
Commercial Property Investment Guide Your guide to purchasing and managing a commercial investment property Contents Introduction 1 The benefits of commercial property investment 2 Why invest in property?
THE CB1 QUARTER In the hub Work or meet Virtual & real THE CB1 QUARTER In the hub Work or meet Virtual & real OFFICES IN THE CB1 QUARTER, CAMBRIDGE CB1 Business Centre offers superb new flexible office
Contents Introduction What is the Cloud? How does it work? Types of Cloud Service Cloud Service Providers Summary Introduction The CLOUD! It seems to be everywhere these days; you can t get away from it!
Gateway West Business Centre, Gateway House, Newburn Riverside, Newcastle, NE15 8NX Suites to suit from 2+ desks whatever your office, meeting or training room requirement speak to Business Space Solutions
First Timer s Guide PREParing First Time Homebuyers SO MANY QUESTIONS Maybe you live in the best apartment with a great landlord and don t want to change a thing. Or maybe you ve looked at the rent going
Changing the shape of British retirement Free Phone 0800 043 33 66 About us Welcome to Homewise Like many people, you may have spent years looking forward to a dream retirement lifestyle, perhaps wanting
Special Report How To Sell Your Home Fast at No Cost To You! Avoid The Cost, Stress And Delay Of Selling On The Open Market. How To Use This Special Report This special report will help you best when it
How To Sell Your Home Quickly At No Cost To You Proven Step-By-Step Strategies For Selling Your Home, Land Or Property Quickly At No Cost To You Brought to you by: How To Use This Special Report This special
7 Secrets To Websites That Sell By Alex Nelson Website Secret #1 Create a Direct Response Website Did you know there are two different types of websites? It s true. There are branding websites and there
by Matthew Simmons part-time Marketing Director Introduction Let's set the scene - you are an entrepreneur who has invented a great idea, or perhaps you are a manager in a larger organisation who is about
WHITE PAPER IT outsourcing, the new it for start-ups INTRODUCTION Today, 95% of the world s top 1,000 companies have adopted offshore service outsourcing strategies. A recent survey suggests that global
The Increasing Importance of Serviced Offices as a Competing Land Use in Global Cities 9 th Annual Pacific Rim Real Estate Society (PRRES) Conference 19 th 22 nd January 2003 Brisbane, Australia Richard
Problems paying your mortgage What you need to do now and how to get back on track Steps to take now What your options are Get free impartial advice The Money Advice Service is independent and set up by
The Perfect Host How can save you time and money An Introduction to Information Technology has become increasingly important within the legal market and firms and chambers are under increasing pressure
ROGERS WHITE PAPER 1 Rev. May 2011 page 2 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Introduction 3 Small Business Telephony Options 4 Basic Phone Service 4 Traditional PBX and Key Systems 4 Digital Services Business Cable and
1230 Avenue of the Americas - 7 th Floor New York, NY 10020 212-867-1888 FAX 212-867-0347 Selecting the Right Office Space for Your Small Business Renting office space, especially for the first time, represents
How to Choose the Right Web Site Design Company A White Paper on Choosing the Perfect Web Site Design Company for Your Business By Lyz Cordon About the Author: Lyz Cordon is owner of Diligent Design and
Guide to buying a Content Management System How to choose the right Content Management System supplier for your business CONTENTS About Computer Weekly 3 About Approved Index 4 Introduction 5 Content management
Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying a New Home When I start visiting homes, what should I be looking for the first time through? The house you ultimately choose to call home will play a major role in
Top 10 Tips First-time Landlords: How to make that first step onto the ladder jelfsmallbusiness.co.uk 01905 888397 Some people grow up with a burning desire to have their own property empire. Others let
Mortgage Advisers The Mortgage Guide Helping you find the right mortgage for you Hello. We re the Which? Mortgage Advisers team. Buying a house is the biggest financial commitment most of us ever make.
Welcome to Bedfordshire s Premier Business Address Enjoying a beautiful parkland setting at Central Beds Location off the A6 - M1 & A1 accessible in minutes Call 01525 864350 email@example.com
BRUNSWICK BUSINESS INCUBATOR INFORMATION PACK October 2011 Proudly supported by WELCOME Thank you for your enquiry into tenancy at the Brunswick Business Incubator (BBI). A small business incubator provides
Light Commercial Vehicle Acquisition Hire or Buy? Choosing the right fleet option for your company 1 Contents Hiring or buying LCVs. Why does it matter? Fleet ownership the benefits Fleet ownership the
Sage One tress-free ayroll Our 5 top tips to stress-free payroll What do I need to think about? Setting up and running a small business takes a lot of time and effort, so you need enthusiasm, confidence
Working as a contractor or freelancer If you are looking to start a career working as a contractor or freelancer, there are several employment options to choose from, which include: Joining a PAYE umbrella
largeequityrelease.com EQUITY RELEASE GUIDE Speak to one of our specialists today on 020 3824 0904 CONTENTS What is equity release?... 3 How much money could I raise through an equity release?... 4 What
Your guide to choosing an IT support provider T: 08452 41 41 55 Contents Introduction 3 IT and business continuity 4 About managed services 5 Modular vs packaged support 6 Checklist of supplier questions
Adult Social Care and Health Deferred Payment Agreement Scheme Information about the Council s Deferred Payment Agreement Scheme an option to help you manage care home costs if you own your property www.reading.gov.uk/carecharges
Office Moves How To Avoid The Hassles! Moving office can be a daunting task. And no wonder! The vast majority of business moves run into hitches that with a little forward planning could have been anticipated
This Free Report Brought To You By: Nicole Dean & Kelly McCausey Be Your Own Boss through Direct Sales We'll Show You How About Us Both Nicole and Kelly are online business coaches with years of experience
Creating a Successful Website The widespread adoption of Superfast Broadband by consumers and businesses means that you can include more features on your website, which in turn makes it more likely that
Room & Resource booking built on Microsoft Exchange & Outlook Build on your existing scheduling & messaging investment Microsoft Exchange & Outlook provides an excellent platform for scheduling meetings
Creating Vibrant Start-Up Communities The Enterprise Foundation helps third sector organisations and those seeking to launch or develop their own businesses by providing affordable, flexible office space
Business Energy Best Practice & Advice Guide 1 Your Energy: Best Practice & Advice for the Hospitality Sector If you are a small or medium sized business such as a restaurant, pub, café, retail or manufacturing
2015 Modern environments designed to grow your business Flexible Spaces Leases from 24hrs / 7 Days /Months /Years Davyfield Road Blackburn Lancashire BB1 2QY United Kingdom T: 01254 686 363 HOURS OF BUSINESS
CHARITY FLEETCARE THE CHARITY CAR EXPERTS BETTER VALUE. MORE FLEXIBILITY. GREATER EFFICIENCY. That s what Charity Fleetcare s unique new fleet car service offers for your charity. We know you want to make
Russell Business Centre 40-42 Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 6AA 1 Fully Serviced Office Suites Location, Location, Location Russell Business Centre is located in the upmarket and professional business area
M ake Your Move a Walk in the Park We are delighted that you are considering buying an MHA property and want you to enjoy the benefits of our retirement living as soon as possible. Share the cost Buy from
Success on the fly Tap into real business efficiency with none of the infrastructure hassle D35252 Managed Hosted_v2b.indd 1 It s great to know that I can focus on broadening my business horizons not managing
Guide to buying Phone Systems How to choose the right Phone System for your business CONTENTS Contents 2 About Computer Weekly 3 About Approved Index 4 Introduction 5 Assessing your needs 5 Key Terms 7
A Guide to Fleet Management for Small Businesses 1 Contents Introduction 3 The true cost of vehicle downtime 4 The benefits of leasing and fleet management 5 Why Buy? - The official verdict 6 Fleet options
Buy to Let Guide It has now become common for a buy to let property to form part of an individual s investment portfolio. Property has always been easy to understand in that it is tangible and therefore
CHOOSING OFFICE SPACE CHECKLIST CONTENTS 02 location 05 The building 08 Get connected 09 Costs 11 negotiations 12 Selecting a company 1 WILLMOTT DIXON INTERIORS CHOOSING THE RIGHT OFFICE SPACE HOW TO USE