19 Feb How to Select a Serviced Office in London that is Right for your Business
A serviced office in London is one that comes fully equipped and managed by a facility management company. They have quickly become a central component to the flexible workspace industry and are managed by office providers who will rent out individual spaces or floors to various businesses.
Serviced office space in London is perfect for startups or companies who have just expanded into the city. However, the high demand for these spaces can mean they are difficult to come by and expensive in the long run.
A property broker can help you source the perfect service office space for your business. At Stonelink International, the London broker, there are three (3) key factors we will take into consideration, and will talk through with you, when searching for a serviced office.
1 – Quality and Brand
A serviced office is far more than a room to put a desk in. It needs to be somewhere that will help your business grow and expand. It’s a place that needs to inspire you, your staff and your brand every day, as well as impress your clients when you bring them in.
Because of this, it is imperative that you choose a serviced office that will provide quality customer service, and the ability to grow as a business. Many serviced office firms will focus on the wonderful ‘features’ that they provide with their space, but be aware of hidden charges that they may try to cover up or avoid telling you.
2 – The Contract
When it comes to contracts for serviced offices, you should aim to position yourself into a place of control, by fully knowing and understanding the contents of the contract. If this seems like a bit too much, however, there are three (3) things you should always keep an eye out for before you sign the contact.
The first is value. Your overarching priority should be getting as much from your office space as you can, as you will be spending good money and time in this space. Know the furniture (tables, couches, paintings, plants, chairs, etc) you will be receiving, the break out areas, front office secretary or concierge, meeting rooms, direct phone and broadband lines, air conditioning units in place. Also, be aware of the distance to and from the nearest public transport and amenities. All these factors end up playing a key role in your day to day work life.
The second is what will happen to you in a risk case scenario. If the worst does unfortunately happen with the business, or with the space or the service office provider you’re renting off, you want to be in a position to cut your losses and leave – without having to suffer. Make sure you know that you have the leverage to move in a short space of time. The property broker at Stonelink International, will define all your assumptions in a risk case scenario and ensure you are well aware and prepared ahead of signing the contract.
Finally make sure you understand exactly what you will be asked to pay each month – Monthly Outgoings. Some spaces have been known to have a coffee bar serving ‘free’ coffee or alcohol to visiting clients or staff, that then gets added onto the bill at the end of each month. You might think that meeting rooms are free, but these can also come at an additional cost. Faxes (a machine some people will think is no longer) may end up being added to the bill, phone calls being transferred or phone line and broadband subscription that is ‘extra’ will add up.
Be aware of what is on the bill and ensure you have the name, contact number and email of the person who deals with disputes when they do arise. It will be a good idea to know this person and meet them as well.
Surprise bills can really un-do businesses that are on a tight budget, and personally suck up all your energy and eat into your crucial time and take you away from your focus of doing business, so be aware before you sign.
3 – The Location
The final thing you need to consider when choosing a service office is the location. It’s not necessarily about being in the ‘trendiest’ and most ‘prestigious’ areas of London, but more about which areas will work best for your business needs.
Make sure you consider the following; Will you have walk-in client’s or will you require meeting facilities that you can book in advance? Is on-site parking necessary, or do you need to be close to public transport links for your clients? How is an average day going to look for you and your staff? Draw up a draft ‘day to day logistics mind map’ and build on this. So important to envision it, ahead of just doing anything.
Once you’ve figured out what the best location looks like, the next thing to consider is budget. From East London (Shoreditch office and office space old street), to City of London (office in London), to the West End (Soho properties and Mayfair London real estate) , and even Surrey and Reading – price points can vary between £600 to £2000+ per desk, per month. So always make sure you look within your business budget. If you follow the tips above, you can always start small and move on up as your business expands.
If you’re looking for guidance and support on serviced office space in London, contact your property broker at Stonelink International today on; + 44 (0) 207 993 4081 or contact us for a fast response. We’ll be more than happy to guide you towards the perfect business space.