By James Timpson, keen tech fanatic and blogger, his passion is in computers and has been since a very young age. Living with his partner and dog in Berkshire James works full time and blogs on a part-time basis.
The serviced office industry is significantly expanding. It has now become one of the most popular forms of office rental in the world. London is currently at the forefront of the industry and dominates over 40% of the world’s entire market; however, New York and Paris are fast approaching, and as African and Asian companies start building their own establishments, the world of business could soon begin to see some very new faces.
Serviced offices provide businesses with an affordable and professional platform in which to conduct business without a significant long-term risk. Many new businesses will often rent them for 1-3 months in order to test new markets and find out whether or not they’re able to establish themselves in a specific location. The problem operators face is retaining these businesses for the long haul. Taking the following basic steps is critical for owners and operators wanted to attract and keep their tenants, especially as they begin to grow.
Offer a personalized service
One of the main reasons why most business owners choose serviced offices over traditional leased space is because they are tailored specifically to suit the needs of their business. According to Skyline Offices, some operators will provide additional tailored services and facilities to entice businesses to stay. Such examples include gym membership, meal delivery and personal transportation.
Provide flexible office sizes each month
In addition to allowing businesses the chance to opt out of contracts without little to no notice, operators also need to allow businesses to adapt their space as and when it’s required. This means that when a business needs either more or less space to accommodate downsizing or expansion, their needs can be met dynamically, without waiting periods or additional paperwork to sign.
Build out new space in prestigious locations
Many operators have multiple serviced offices throughout any given city. This allows them to provide a location specific services. For example, in London the Shoreditch and Old Street area is known as “Tech City” because it’s riddled with web-based businesses. An operator with premises in this location should strive to attract these tech-based tenants with amenities and features that are meaningful to them. Scoping out an area and tailoring spaces to fit the needs is a smart way to ensure that a business center will stand a good chance of filling seats.
Keep the office in top working order
Janitors and technicians often take up a large chunk of the day-to-day running costs of a business. Most serviced offices provide these services as standard to ensure their clients don’t have to conduct any maintenance within their offices. But expediency is also important. If a piece of electrical equipment breaks down, tenants should not have to wait more than a few hours for it to be fixed. Little things such as a light that doesn’t work, or a coffee maker that breaks down will reflect negatively on the operator and word tends to travel fast, especially through social media.
Offer discounts on pay-as-you-use facilities
While pay-as-you-use facilities may not seem financially viable for the long-term, they will save businesses a huge amount of overheads when they’re first settling down. Serviced offices should build in flexibility with facilities and services chargeable on a per-hour, per-day, per-week or even a per-month basis. Operators should consider offering discounts when they are hired or rented for a longer amount of time. Common pay-as-you-use services and facilities also include conference rooms, meeting rooms, reception workers, telephone answering and personal assistants.
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According to Elite Tele, the number of businesses renting serviced offices is on the rise and smaller businesses seem to be leading the drive. This increase was fuelled in early 2013 as a direct result of the economic downturn due to a widespread reluctance to commit to long-term lease agreements. As the world continues to recover from this financial crisis, operators have to find new and innovative ways to sustain the growth and encourage businesses to sign up and sign on to the serviced office space model.
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