This is because, with a serviced office, you have a complete armoury of services to help you run your business, whatever that business is and whatever stage on its’ journey you have reached.
The office that isn’t an office
Would your day be easier if your phone calls were answered for you? Important calls never missed, unwanted calls fielded?
Or maybe you would benefit from a credible business address in a location that’s just right for your business, with mail forwarded to your instructions?
With a virtual office you gain a professional business presence even when you are not there. You spend less time on the phone unnecessarily and you never miss an important call – from a client or prospect say – just because you are with another prospect or client.
So, if you work from home and want to improve your business presence, save valuable time and use facilities like meeting rooms, hot-desks and business support services from time to time, then a virtual office could be the answer.
Of course, for larger companies, a virtual can be a good way to set up a regional or local presence to test new markets or products, so it isn’t just for start-ups and micro businesses.
The office that is only there when you need it
A traditional office only really has two settings: on and off – you either have an office or you don’t, and if you do, the chances are you are going to have it for quite a while.
In a business centre, you have total flexibility of tenure, but you also have a wide range of services to choose from that you can use – and pay for – only when you need them.
This gives you real control over costs and cash-flow. If you have specific work or specific periods that require certain solutions, you book for that period and your outgoings correspond to your income against those particular projects.
So maybe you need a hot-desk for the odd day, or one day a week or for a project: you walk in, get wireless access to high speed broadband, a workstation in a co-working space and all the on-site facilities you might need.
Perhaps you need somewhere to meet clients and suppliers or to conduct a professional pitch: would a meeting room, bookable by the hour, with wireless and audio visual aids at a reasonable cost be useful?
And again, the size of company is irrelevant. These services have value whether you are a solo entrepreneur or a large corporate with an agile workforce.
So, do you even need an office?
Using the services above and the latest technology, it is perfectly possible and practical to work from home. You don’t even necessarily need the aforementioned services: you could use coffee shops, libraries, client offices and more.
It very much depends on the nature of the business and your own nature. Some of us need the discipline and contact of an office. They are also good as a hub for contact and admin and they are good for learning, brainstorming, networking, collaborating and socialising.
The (nearly) permanent office
If you decide you do need an office, then you still want to keep costs manageable and you still need flexibility and adaptability.
A serviced office gives you exactly this control.
You can rent monthly, quarterly or annually; you pay one monthly fee that covers rent, rates, utilities, furniture, cleaning, reception service, maintenance and all service charge costs; and you can grow, or contract, to meet the needs of your business.
You can even drop out for a while, if you need to - we have had clients do this and come back stronger than ever.
The license is very simple, with a small deposit requirement, short notice periods and no dilapidation charges. This means no borrowing, no surprise costs and no long-term commitment.
And you’re sharing services that a company in conventionally leased premises would have to provide themselves, both in terms of space and staff: switchboard and manned reception to meet and greet; kitchen facilities; and access to secretarial services and meeting rooms.
This is great for your cash-flow and the agility of the business.
Not only are you saving time (no facilities management role and the use of our telephone management service) and money (no borrowing or solicitors fees, for example) you are not committing to any term beyond the immediate needs of your business, which dramatically reduces risk.
So, a serviced office is always there for you: saving you time; saving you money; and providing the agility to keep your business thriving, even in the most difficult circumstances.