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Are serviced offices suitable for my business?

As the serviced office market has evolved the options available to businesses have increased to such an extent that, these days the majority of companies looking for office space, should very seriously consider serviced offices, aka managed offices, when looking for new or additional office premises.

Historically there are three main general reasons businesses have not considered serviced offices in managed office buildings as a solution to their property needs - they are:
1. Price.
2. Lack of control within the office property.
3. Company identity, perception and size.
It is commonly believed that serviced offices provide an expensive property solution to business. This is in fact not generally the case.
The perceived expense can be because the majority of businesses are not used to seeing property costs presented in the all inclusive way that serviced offices price their product.
Businesses generally set budgets in terms of a rental cost. This cost is derived by multiplying the price per square foot / meter by the total area required. This will only though give you a figure that is a small proportion of your total occupational cost; it does not include service charges, business rates, heating, electricity, building staff costs (facilities, receptionist, telephonist etc), capital expenditure such as furniture, switchboards, network cabling, security and so on.
The price you pay with serviced offices or business centres will include all of the above, and will obviously be far greater than the cost of just the rent alone - but still may well be cheaper when all of the additional costs have been accounted for. The key to comparison is knowing what your total occupational cost is.

It is true to say that very expensive serviced offices do exist, as there are very expensive cars, hotels, houses and holidays. But as with all markets there is another end of the spectrum, and many levels between the most expensive serviced offices, and the very cheapest serviced offices.

Many companies have a false perception that if they occupy a serviced office they might be lost within a sea of many, many other businesses, or that they will not be able to stamp their corporate identity onto the space. This is true in some serviced office buildings, but in growing number of the managed / serviced offices this is generally not an issue.

A common image of serviced offices is that they only offer small units that accommodate a small number of people. Medium to Large enterprises are largely unaware that serviced offices can provide them with a viable property solution, whether the need is to office 10 or 200 people.

Historically serviced offices have appealed more to companies that:
• Needed to move in the next three months.
• Need a flexible contract that allowed there your business to grow or contract.
• Have needed the ability to change location at short notice.
• Are you projecting a 20% plus increase or decrease in staff per annum.
• That need to house any number of people for a short period of time.
These days though there are no boundaries to the size and scale, and thus the number of people a serviced office can house. Serviced offices are no longer expensive and can be just as cost effective for a 1-man-band or start up company, as they are for a large multinational corporate business.