Small businesses have unique needs in many areas, especially when it comes to growth. Since many small businesses are started by entrepreneurs in their homes, when the business begins to grow, there are many considerations to be made.
For instance, small businesses often quickly realize they need more manpower. Soon, they realize they now need more space. While working from home offers many benefits, there’s no way to get around a lack of space. There are alternatives to running a business from home, of course, and in this article, we’re going to break down the pros and cons of one of these alternatives.
If you’ve been looking into extra space for your small business, you’ve likely come across serviced offices.
What is a Serviced Office?
A serviced office is a single office housed with many other such offices beneath one roof and managed by a single company. Serviced offices are an enticing alternative for small business owners because they pose the major benefit of convenience, which we’ll delve into in just a moment.
Serviced offices, like those listed in ServicedOffice.Directory, are tailored for startups and growing companies, offering the choice between shared workspaces and individual offices. As opposed to leasing a dedicated office, serviced offices lease out individual offices within their building and offer a community hub for entrepreneurs.
The Pros of Serviced Offices
There are a number of reasons why small businesses choose serviced offices. As we mentioned before, convenience is a huge factor. Serviced offices are generally already furnished, which means that moving in is just a matter of bringing essential items to the office.
Another reason why small businesses choose serviced offices is because they are more cost-effective. The up front cost of renting or leasing a serviced office is much cheaper than building a new facility or leasing a building. By not spending such large amounts of money up front, startups and growing companies can focus assets elsewhere in the business.
Serviced offices generally come with short term contracts, which make it easy for companies to use a serviced office only when they need it. For instance, a small business experiencing reliable growth might factor in 6 months in a serviced office before they move their operations elsewhere. While they are in the serviced office, the small business gets to enjoy a professional physical address as opposed to a residential address.
Small businesses also enjoyed serviced offices because they get to choose the space they need. In addition, built-in benefits help save money in other areas. For instance, serviced offices often include administrative support, a dedicated receptionist, internet, utilities, and meeting rooms. This helps small businesses keep costs down so that they can invest in critical areas.
Lastly, serviced offices are known for their unique entrepreneurial culture. Small businesses leasing serviced offices get the opportunity to network with like-minded professionals, which offers a wide range of learning opportunities as entrepreneurs share knowledge, skills, and resources.
The Cons of Serviced Offices
While serviced offices certainly seem like a prime choice for small businesses, the truth is that there are cons that should be taken into consideration before a final decision is made.
Most small businesses move up to a serviced office when they realize that their company is growing and the space is needed. For some small business owners, this won’t always be the case. While freelancers are technically small business owners, they can – in many cases – continue to work from home, even if they expand a bit. Since a freelancer works remotely and usually on their own, it just doesn’t make sense for them to spend the money on renting a serviced office.
Money brings us to our next point. While renting a serviced office is cheaper up-front, the long-term costs will almost certainly cost more than other alternatives.Plus, there are often fees not built into the lease. For instance, printing, upgraded amenities, and faster internet are usually going to cost more than just the base lease amount.
Another consideration about serviced offices is that they can’t be fully customized, which can reduce branding opportunities. Without a branded space, small businesses and their customers can begin to feel stifled and somewhat generic.
While collaboration can be a good thing, sharing space can be tough. In a serviced office, bathroom and kitchen facilities are shared. Conference and meeting spaces are typically shared.
Due to their cons, serviced offices aren’t meant to be permanent, but they do offer many benefits that can help small businesses bridge the gap from startup to full-fledge operations. The best thing to do is to ask as many questions as possible – and be honest with yourself – to determine whether or not a serviced office is the best solution for your small business.
Alternatives to Consider
While you’re considering a serviced office, you might be wondering what your other options are. Well, you’ve probably got a few options: work from home, lease a dedicated office space, or build a facility. If none of those seem like the best option, then a serviced office just might be the solution for you!