Is a Serviced Office Right for Your Startup?

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As your startup looks for its first office space, you’re probably wondering what to do. Do you need to rent or buy? Is a coworking space right for your setup? Or do you need something else entirely – such as a serviced office?

What is a Serviced Office?

When it comes to selecting an office for your startup, you have some options, including but not limited to:

  • Home office. Many startups begin in a home office setup. Whether it’s a spare bedroom, garage, or basement, working out of your own home is cost-effective and flexible. However, most companies eventually outgrow this sort of unprofessional setup.
  • Purchased office space. If prices are reasonable in your area (and you have the cash to spend), purchasing office space is a smart move for the long run. It’s even better if you can rent out some of the square footage to recoup costs.
  • Leased office space. If purchasing office space isn’t an option, you can always lease some space. The benefit of leasing is that you can reevaluate your options at the end of the agreement and move on if your needs have changed.
  • Coworking office. Don’t want to get locked down in a big lease agreement? A coworking office provides optimal flexibility and the chance to work side by side with other entrepreneurs and businesses.

And while these are the more traditional setups, many startups are discovering the immense value in serviced office space.

“A serviced office is similar to a traditional office or office building but is furnished, equipped, and managed by a company with the ability to rent individual rooms or floors to other companies,” Novel Coworking explains. “They may also be known as a business center, executive suite, or managed office.”

The Benefits of a Serviced Office

A serviced office is definitely unique – but it’s also practical. As you seek to grow your startup, here are some of the reasons you may consider a serviced office:

  • Flexibility. Nothing beats the flexibility of serviced office space. Whereas a traditional lease agreement will lock you in for 12 months or more, many serviced offices operate on a month-to-month basis. Others will give you three- or six-month leases. Considering that startups often experience rapid and frequent change, this sort of versatility is appealing.
  • Scalability. With serviced office space, you pay for what you need on an as-you-go basis. (For example, if you need a conference room to impress a prospective client, you can rent it out on an hourly basis.) This makes it highly cost-effective and perfect for businesses that are scaling up at an irregular rate.
  • Access to resources. When you’re moving from a home-based office into your first professional space, there’s more to it than just signing a lease agreement. You have to buy desks, chairs, phones, copiers, printers, etc. But when you work in a serviced office, all of these things come with the territory. This allows you to allocate your resources towards core business tasks and other valuable investments.
  • Location. In big city markets, real estate in hot downtown areas can be extremely expensive. If you were to lease or buy real estate here, you’d quickly drain your resources. But with serviced office space, the cost is spread out across many different companies. This gives you the opportunity to enjoy prime real estate at a fraction of the cost.
  • Networking. In a serviced office, you’re generally working next door to other companies and startups. Not only does this create an electric environment where you’re motivated to come to work each morning, but it also presents awesome networking opportunities.

A serviced office isn’t the perfect solution for every startup or business. However, it clearly offers several distinct benefits that are appealing to small companies with limited resources. As you search for the right space for your business to grow into, give serviced office space some serious consideration.

Putting it All Together

The success of your startup doesn’t hinge on the type of office space you select, but it’s still an important decision. Financially and emotionally, it’ll impact how your company evolves over the short-term. Be smart and leave your options open!

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John is a serial entrepreneur and writer who is passionate about helping small businesses launch and grow. His work has been featured in Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, and Forbes.