How to find office space for your business

Before you can set about looking for space you need to outline exactly what you want from your offices; it could be that you could make do with a virtual office if you're just starting up and want to keep costs down. On the other hand if you've got staff to accommodate then serviced or conventional office space could work better. This guide takes you through the options available:

  • Virtual offices
  • Serviced offices
  • Conventional office space

Virtual offices

Once you've worked out what you need from your premises, it could be that a virtual office is the most cost effective choice. A virtual office gives you an office experience, but you don't have to physically lease office space. What it does give you is the use of a business address, personalised telephone answering, post handling and forwarding and in some instances you're able to use meeting rooms on an ad hoc basis.

Serviced offices

If you need physical office space but don't want to deal with rates, utility bills and general office admin then a serviced office may be the best option. A serviced office gives you office space complete with phones, furniture, broadband, receptionists etc and allows you to get up and running within 24 hours.Rather than leasing space you enter into a service contract, which are often more flexible than standard commercial property leases. The other good thing about these contracts is that it's usually easy to upgrade to a bigger office as your business grows.

  • Before you sign up check the contract term and make sure you meet the people who will be taking your calls and greeting your clients.
  • Use the  Search Office Space website to find serviced offices in your area

Conventional offices

If you need a fairly large office space (eg you have more than 25 employees) and you can be relatively certain about the rate of growth of your business over the next three to five years conventional office space is probably the best solution. To make sure you find space in the best possible location you need to detail your requirements. For many businesses the location of the office is dictated by how easy it is for both staff and customers to get to the building. Image may be important for some businesses - what will clients expect when they visit your office.  If the building is shared then the quality of common areas and the standard of facilities you need will also be a dictating factor. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • How many staff do you need to  accommodate now and how many will you need to accommodate over the next three to five years
  • Do you want individual offices or open plan space?
  • What meeting/kitchen facilities will you need?
  • Do you need parking for clients and staff?

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