Tips on How to Reduce Your Property Costs
Aside from the cost of your staff force, renting an office or workplace is one of the biggest overheads a company has to face.
You see the balance sheets, so you're familiar with the dent it makes in your profit margin. Happily, however, property is one of the most malleable costs to deal with - unlike insurance, taxes and staff salaries. That is, assuming you're not tied into a long-term lease on your current workplace.
In today's post-recession age, cash flow and high value is everything - and businesses want to know that they're getting good value for what they're paying in. Overheads must also be justified, as Adam Burke from Colliers International explains:
"In the current economic climate cost mitigation is a key concern for businesses," he said, speaking to SME Club. "Property occupancy costs account for a large portion of expenditure to most business, and minimising these should therefore be high on any cost control agenda."
With this in mind, what's the first thing you should look for in new premises? Flexibility. But be warned - flexibility doesn't always come as standard.
In a conventional office lease you'll often be tied in to a contract for a number of years, sometimes 5, 10 or 15 years, or more. For any business, that represents a considerable investment and a massive risk. What if your structure changes 6 months into your contract? What if you lose a major client? What if it's just too expensive? These are very real risks that can become catastrophic if you don't have the flexibility to adapt quickly - such as downsizing or relocating.
Serviced offices provide an alternative solution, offering a high level of flexibility without the daunting tie-in. This is a more practical model for businesses that are looking to reduce property costs, particularly those looking to expand into new locations.
With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to get a good deal from your serviced office agreement:
- Choose Your Location Wisely: London might be calling, but that's also where you'll find the highest rental values. As a general rule, city centre offices are more expensive - so consider out-of-town locations or seek serviced office centres on business parks. These are often positioned near major road networks and are easy to get to, and they usually represent excellent value.
- Be Conservative on Space: When considering the size of your office, don't take more than you need. Yes, in a serviced environment it's easy to up or downsize, and move around inside the business centre. But it's much easier to start conservatively. That way you're not paying for more than you need and you're starting your business off on a sensible and affordable footing. If you need extra space quickly, alternative workplaces like hot-desking or coworking can provide a temporary solution. You'll find these in most UBC centres.
- There's More Included Than You Think: When comparing serviced offices with conventional lease agreements, the savings aren't always immediately obvious. That is, until you consider what's included. Serviced offices typically offer all-inclusive packages covering essentials like on-site support, receptionists, office furniture, security, maintenance, utilities, cleaning and rates. You can usually tailor these services and select a package based on your own needs.
- Talk to Us! The reason you won't see prices displayed on most business centre websites, ours included, is because the cost varies depending on exactly what you need. If you want a basic interior office with the minimum of services, the cost per person will be lower than a high-end all-inclusive package in the snazzy corner office. So, talk to us and see what we can do.
The flexibility offered with serviced offices are its greatest calling card, and that's why businesses of all sizes - large corporate firms included - are making the switch. Why don't you?
Find out more about serviced offices online at www.www.ubcuk.com or simply call in and see for yourself.