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 base your business. We've laid out some options below to give you a sense of your choices and to help you find an office that's right for you.
Virtual office - a good starting point
If you're just setting up and building 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 postcode, a business mailing address and your own reception team, but you still work from your own house to keep costs low. Starting from as little as £45 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).
Shared offices - a flexible low-cost starter office
Coworking has become a popular workplace choice for small business owners, startups and freelancers who want the company of like-minded professionals without the costs of a full-time office. Coworking comes in many different forms, from design-led luxury boutique spaces (with matching price tags) to small, friendly environments designed to foster innovation through entrepreneurial communities.
Coworking spaces are springing up in towns and cities all over the UK. At UBC, our shared offices include a collaborative workspace environment with your own dedicated desk, lockable storage space, receptionist services, mail sorting, use of the business address, and discounted access to meeting rooms. It's a low-cost alternative to working from home that helps you to engage with like-minded business owners and benefit from local networking opportunities.
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 reduce the amount of space you rent so you're not paying for workplace facilities you're not using. And because most utilities are included in your rent, your monthly outgoings are predictable, which helps cashflow forecasting.
Serviced offices are also a great place to network and meet like-minded business people. Business centres are 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 the help of our IT and telecoms partner, ip-Xchange. Their market-leading services allow you to plug in to a secure network and get up and running immediately.
Managed office leasing - when you want a longer-term agreement
Thanks to high demand for flexible workspace, even longer-term office leases now come with flexibility and bespoke service agreements. UBC provides an end-to-end corporate solution for large firms or project teams who want to expand their office space, or acquire a new office suite, to help take the hassle out of sourcing, designing and managing a great workplace.
Whatever size or style of workplace you want, there are a number of essentials you should always consider.
For example, if your customer base is located in or near city centres, you may wish to be close to the action - but beware limited and expensive car parking options for staff. If your team spends a lot of time out on the road visiting clients or branch offices, car parking and good links to motorways will be high on your priority list. An out-of-town location near the train station or a business park with ample parking 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 - and that starts with a great place to work.