Not Quite Seventh Heaven - 7 Ways Serviced Offices Could Prove To Be More Expensive Than You Thought Created on 27/04/2011 11:44:00
7 Ways Serviced Offices Could Prove To Be More Expensive Than You Thought
If you are looking for a flexible hassle free well equipped workplace to move straight into, you could try a serviced office.
Add pre-agreed costs with no hidden extras to the mix, and you get a ‘win-win’ situation for start up, growing and mature businesses alike. At least that is what we at Langstone Technology Park believe; but beware, this is not always the case with serviced office space.
The concept of ‘you pay the rent and enjoy the services’, seems simple enough, so why then, do so many companies end up dissatisfied with their serviced office space?
Well, there are a number of reasons - and no surprises, the most common are related to costs and charges! Often, companies become exasperated with their serviced office providers because many simply turn out to be more expensive than they initially budgeted. In other words, what they thought was included in the standard charge, often transpires to be an unforeseen additional expense.
Here are SEVEN of the most common ways that serviced office charges can end up being more than you expected when you initially moved in:
1. Internet connection charges
Few businesses operate without the internet there days and yet some serviced offices still class this cost as an optional extra rather than a standard inclusive service.
If you can’t find a serviced office where internet charges are included, at least ensure that you can access the connectivity and speed capability required for you to run your business. In some cases, the Landlord may be able to manage the capacity you require for your business however you may just be sharing your bandwidth with the other tenants and this may prove unsatisfactory. Always wise check in advance.
2. Business rates
A large part of your choice of serviced office is location, and with that comes a council organisation (VCA) who sets the business rates. You need to try and control costs as much as possible, so opting for an office where these costs are included in the ‘per-square-foot’ charge, could help with budget and expenditure management.
Don’t forget, as a small business you may be eligible for small business rate relief (SBRR). Ask your office provider or approach your local council for more information.
3. Housekeeping Services
In general most businesses want a clean and environmentally friendly office, where rubbish is collected, offices are cleaned and faults or incidents are dealt with. Again some serviced offices will charge for these as an ‘additional service’, rather than a given. Plus on the maintenance side it’s good to be able to call someone to change a light-bulb or mend a floor tile to avoid health and safety issues – yet more questions to consider.
4. Parking charges
Parking space can often be a prime consideration especially if you and your employees are office bound and/or you expect clients’ onsite. This charge can almost feel like adding insult to injury and many businesses resent this in additional to rent/rates/service costs. Check this in advance, it may alter your choice of office location.
5. Mark-ups on phone and postal charges
Unbelievably, some office providers think it's acceptable to charge an unreasonable mark-up on your outgoing post or adding a little bit of cost onto every phone call. These hidden costs can really hurt as they are unpredictable and hard to swallow.
6. End of contract
When you come to the end of your term and are not renewing your lease, some providers will insist you set up and pay for a ‘virtual office’ for a period (in some cases up to 3 moths) to cover such things as mail redirection etc. Again, this is a cost that can be hidden up front, but can leave you with a bitter taste at the end.
So, your business is growing and you are upgrading to a larger space within the same office location. Is it therefore reasonable for an office provider to charge relocation administration fee and/or connection charges? At Langstone we don’t make these charges and in fact we will even help with the move!
Avoid these disappointments
Let's face it, hidden or unexpected charges are one of the biggest disappointments for users of any ongoing facilities; and with offices that are marketed on service and convenience, that is just as true.
Langstone Technology Park is an example of a business property provider that takes the more traditional serviced office model and turns it on its head.
With serviced office space located just next to the A3/A(M)27 in Havant, Hampshire, that ranges from short-term office rental to fully managed office and manufacturing space, one important feature is the all-inclusive Facilities Charge, which incorporates many of the ‘hidden costs’ outlined here and more; and presents you with a fixed monthly cost – no hidden extras!