Whether you work from home, share office space with a friend or associate or lease space, there is a strong argument for looking at how serviced office space can help your business. Even if you are already in serviced space and know most of the benefits, there may be some ideas here that you or your centre have not yet thought about.
Free up your time
Time is a somewhat illusive resource. We are told it costs money, but the cost is intangible and if your finances are tight, outsourcing too many resources may be prohibitive. That said, your knowledge and the time you have to practice that knowledge are your assets and undoubtedly where you need to concentrate your efforts.
1. Telephone management – telephone answering to represent your business, even when you are not there: have calls dealt with when you are busy, but still react quickly to important calls from clients and prospects; have unwanted calls fielded. You maintain a professional image but gain valuable time.
2. Office facilities management – in serviced offices everything is done for you and included in the price: rates, utilities, refuse, maintenance, cleaning, furniture, etc. You don’t have to spend time making all the arrangements and negotiating with several suppliers.
3. Concierge and secretarial services – your business centre can do anything from order a taxi or book a hotel room to prepare a power point presentation or arrange translation of documents. Yet more time saved and also a lot cheaper than employing staff for your business.
We are all looking to reduce our outgoings: negotiating with suppliers; cutting waste; using fewer staff to do more work. Any office space costs money, but serviced offices can still be of value – after all, a saving is not a saving if it costs you more time, as we have seen above.
4. Employ less staff – developing from point three, because your business centre provides so many on-site and outsourced services: answering phones; meet and greet; secretarial and admin; meeting rooms; etc., you don’t need staff to help with these tasks and neither do you have to do them yourself.
5. Less space required – if you have less staff, you 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.
6. Shared services – there is always savings when you buy in bulk. In a business centre, the operator is buying services for the whole Centre. You pay a percentage of a cost that would be considerably more – pro-rata – if you were buying services for just that space alone.
7. No capital or borrowing for up front costs or dilapidations – the deposit is a mere two months rent. The licence is generally one or two pages – albeit with small writing – and is very straightforward; so no solicitors required. And, unless you’ve done a rock star number on the room, you will not be liable for dilapidations (payment on leasehold expiry to return space back to its’ original condition).
8. Trusted supplier network – your Centre will have built relationships with a lot of local suppliers – people they know, like and trust. Often they can save you money, but, just as important, they provide excellent products and services that will help improve the efficiency and performance of your business.
Increase business opportunities
While you are scrabbling around trying to do everything, how much business are you missing out on? How can a business centre get you more business? Read on.
9. Improve your business profile – a professional, prestigious address for your business will help get you noticed; you can get an address where you need to be – near your clients and prospects or competition, for example; add your name to local directories; benefit from profile and standing of Centre, using their networks, contacts, events, other clients, local knowledge and promotional activity.
10. React faster to clients and prospects – this was mentioned earlier, but merits further exploration. Small businesses can suffer because they cannot take every call – if you are with a client, you can’t take a call from a prospect. Obviously there is voicemail, but will a prospect or client always leave a message, or trust that it will be returned or will they simply go elsewhere?
When you have someone answering your calls, regardless of what you are doing, the call will be dealt with according to your instructions and the caller feels their issue has been taken seriously.
11. Free consultations – business centres are usually well connected in the community and will know where to find the help your business needs. We take this a step further and have arrangements with various businesses who are happy to offer our clients a free consultation, without obligation, in finance and tax, marketing, social media, business coaching, employment issues, health and safety and more.
This will not be a sales pitch – it is a genuine offer of help, advice and problem solving. If you wish to follow up, that decision is entirely yours.
12. Resource library – your centre may well have a library of interesting books, white papers, blogs and websites that offer an array of information on all aspects of business success. It’s great to have these resources in one place without having to search for them yourselves – of course you probably have your own resources that you can bring in and share with others to increase the benefit.
So, whatever your current situation and whatever your needs, serviced offices are about more than just office space: your business centre could actually help your business grow
Time, resources and missed opportunities cost money, but a serviced office could save you some of that money and increase your profit.