Serviced offices continue to be a popular choice for all types of businesses. The reason? It’s the many benefits that come with a serviced office. Not only do they provide the flexibility to scale up or down as needed, they’re also a cost-effective option that creates just the right atmosphere for staying productive.
If you’re considering a serviced office, then there are certain questions you’ll need to ask before signing that contract.
1). Location: check first to see where the serviced office is located. Ask these questions:
- Is the area in a location that works for your company and brand?
- Is the location easy for partners and clients to find?
- Can staff easily access the site?
- Is the serviced office located in an area that’s safe, with low crime rates? Do they offer security? If so, what type of security measures do they provide?
2). Accessibility: this is another important issue—be sure to ask these questions:
- Is the serviced office easily accessible for everyone?
- Is it near transportation hubs such as a metro, buses, taxis, etc.?
- Are there highways nearby, making the site easily accessed from the airport and train station?
- Does the facility provide 24/7 access if you or your employees need to work after hours, or on the weekends?
3). Facilities: what type of facilities does the serviced office provide? The facilities offered will vary between management companies. You’ll want to focus on facilities that offer what your business needs to operate successfully. Ask these questions:
- Do they offer more than one type of office space? If so, what are differences?
- Can they accommodate your business if it grows?
- Does the facility offer enough parking to for your visitors and employees?
- Is office furniture included in the lease, or do you need to supply your own?
4). Amenities: these will also vary between serviced office management companies. Be sure to ask these questions to find out what’s included in the lease:
- Does the rent also include the use of a meeting room?
- Do they provide access to office equipment, such as printers, projectors, etc.?
- Does the facility provide a break area or kitchen? If they provide a kitchen, is it fully stocked?
- Are support services also included in the lease? These may include a reception/welcome desk, call forwarding, admin support, etc.
5). Infrastructure: you’ll also need to find out what type of infrastructure the facility provides. Ask these questions to determine if their network will provide the services you require:
- Do they offer a fast, secure connection to the Internet? Ask if you can perform a speed test—they should be happy to accommodate this request. Then you’ll be able to see if the connection is fast and stable enough for your business needs.
- Do they provide postal services (sending and receiving) on behalf of your business? If so, do they give you a dedicated postal address?
- Does the facility provide phone connections?
6). Style: when you’re looking for a serviced office, it’s important to make sure the facility meets the needs of your business, even when it comes to style. For instance, consider these questions:
- Does the site’s furniture and décor fit your brand?
- Does the overall style (colours, décor, atmosphere) fit your company and industry?
- Are you allowed to decorate your office space? If this is allowed, is there an addition charge involved?
- Consider how you’d feel about posting images of your workspace online. Would you be proud to display this workspace on your website or on social media?
7). Rental costs: before you begin looking at the lease, make sure to learn how much you’ll be charged for use of the serviced office space. It’s a good idea to know your budget beforehand, so you’ll have a good idea if you can afford the rent on the space or not. It’s also helpful to do a little research to see how much similar service offices in the area are charging. This way, you’ll avoid being overcharged.
8). Packages: along with considering the costs involved, it’s a good idea to ask if the management facility offers packages. These can sometimes save you money—you only pay for what you use. Ask these questions:
- What does each package include?
- Is it possible to mix or match packages? This way you’ll be sure to only pay for what you need.
9). Scalability: when it comes to running a business, there are generally times of growth, and other times when it’s necessary to downsize. Be sure to ask if the following questions to see if the serviced office can meet your growth needs:
- Does the lease include an option to downsize or expand, as needed?
- What’s involved in the scaling process?
- Are there additional charges involved?
10). Hidden costs: before signing that lease agreement, be sure to read through the terms and conditions and check for any hidden costs. Watch out for:
- Internet charges: some serviced offices facilities do charge extra for Internet usage. Also ask if there’s a monthly cap for accessing the Internet. Some facilities do charge extra if you go over the cap limit.
- Use of facilities: you may be charged on a monthly basis for accessing kitchen facilities, meeting rooms, the gym, etc.
- Utilities: be sure to ask if there’s an extra charge to use utilities such as electricity, etc.
- Cleaning fees: some serviced offices do charge cleaning fees.
11). The lease: now you’re ready to review the leasing terms. Here, you’ll want to consider what your business needs. Ask these questions:
- Do you need a temporary, part-time space?
- Does your business need more flexibility in regards to workspace?
- What type of lease does the management facility offer? Do they have flexible payment options (such as 3-12-month agreements)?
- How much time is needed to give notice?
- When can you move in? Can you move in when you’re ready?
- Do they offer a move in service? Can they help get your space set up and operating before moving in? If so, is there an extra charge or is this service included in the package?
While this may seem like quite an exercise, the goal is to ensure that you ask the right questions to get the right serviced office space for your company. You’ll be sure the space is a good fit for your business and your budget by asking all the right questions.