Finding a home for your business - Startup options
Starting out on your own can be as daunting as it is exciting. Whilst there are many freedoms that come with working for yourself, there are additional costs to think about too. One of the biggest decisions you’ll face is where you’re going to be based. We’ve laid out some options below to give you a sense of your choices and hopefully, help you find an office that’s right for you.
Virtual office- a good starting point
If you’re just setting up and trying to build your business from home, a virtual office is a good place to start. Virtual offices combine the cost savings of working from home with the professionalism associated with having an established office. Whilst you work from home, or travel to meetings, your virtual office provides a ‘receptionist service’, answering incoming calls, taking messages and sorting your post.
Virtual offices can also help to make your start-up business appear bigger than it is - you have a prestigious post-code and your own reception team, but still work from your own house to keep costs low. Starting from as little as £50 per month at UBC, our virtual office packages also give you access to meeting room facilities, so if you do need to hold a face-to-face meeting, you have a professional space to do it (rather than over your own dinner table).
Serviced office- a step up without too much commitment
Once you begin to expand and take on your own workforce, a good next step is to move into a serviced office. You get all the benefits of an office address, without the long-term commitment and investment of leasing or buying your own office. Plus, at UBC, you can tailor your space to reflect your brand; whether it’s putting up signage and artwork or painting a feature wall with your brand colours. One of our clients even commissioned a graffiti artist to liven up their space.
Serviced offices also offer a great deal of flexibility- if your business takes off quickly, you can increase your office size without any hassle or long-term commitment. Similarly, if you need to downsize, you can just reduce the amount of space you rent - so you’re not paying for things you aren’t using. And because utilities are often included in your rent, your monthly outgoings are usually pretty consistent and predictable which helps cashflow forecasting.
Serviced offices are also a great place to network and meet like-minded business people. Business centres are often a hive of activity with a wide variety of different companies on site. You might find you can learn a lot from them and even pick up a few new clients. At UBC, we regularly arrange networking events at our serviced office locations to help you meet and connect with other businesses.
Business continuity can be a major concern when moving office, but UBC can help to reduce the stress with our ‘Take me with you’ service. This allows you to keep your existing phone numbers, call plan and Internet connection wherever you move in the UK. So you can hit the ground running as soon as you move in to your new space.
Long-term office leasing - when you want a place of your own
When you’re ready to commit to a long-term office lease, there are a number of things you need to consider consider. For example, if your customer base is located in or near city centres, you may wish to be close to the action, in which case, a prestigious city centre location may be the best option. Those who are out and about a lot may want an office with decent car parking and good links to motorways, to make travelling for business quicker and easier in which case a business park location may be preferable. And if you have a lot of international clients, you could even base yourself near an airport. It’s all about taking the time to find the best fit for your business.
When choosing the perfect home for your business, thorough research is key. Take your time when making any decisions - ask fellow business owners or request a meeting with current building tenants to discover how they made the choice. Ultimately, you have to decide what’s right for your business; but surely that’s what starting out on your own is all about?