One of the biggest expenses for a startup or small business can be leasing premises to house their business. Many commercial landlords require a long lease (3 – 5 years), which means if your business changes in size or direction a year or so after signing the lease (something which is quite likely to happen), you could end up trapped in commercial premises that are too small or no longer suit your needs.
And most commercial lease agreements provide for a percentage-based rent increase every year, so your office space is only going to get more expensive as time goes by. Add to that a share of the building’s maintenance and repair costs, and the legal fees involved in drawing up the lease, and you will end up making a large capital investment simply to have somewhere to run your business from.
What are the alternatives to a traditional office space?
So what’s the alternative? You could work from home of course, although this has obvious limitations and does not always present your business in the most professional way.
To overcome this, some small businesses use what is known as a virtual office. This is an office in name only. It is a company that provides you with a professional business address, a receptionist who answers your calls using your business name, phone call and mail forwarding facilities, and usually a meeting room if you need it. In terms of actual office space however, there is none; hence the term ‘virtual’.
Other small businesses choose to forego any office space at all and work entirely remotely. This is becoming a popular option for some larger businesses as well, due to the significant saving in overheads and the benefits to worker productivity, providing full use is made of mobile communication technologies that are available today such as video conferencing, queue managers, auto attendants and the like.
Serviced and shared offices
The remote approach doesn’t work for every business however, as some by their very nature require a dedicated office space where staff can collaborate with each other and meet with clients face to face. A serviced office is a regular office without all the fees and charges associated with leasing traditional office space.
It is rented out by a serviced office provider and includes a fully furnished office or offices, all utilities including electricity, phone and Internet, a dedicated receptionist, state of the art office equipment and resources, and access to meeting and board rooms as needed, all for a weekly or monthly rental fee with no long lease required.
But if you only want the bells and whistles on an as-needed basis, but still want somewhere you can work without incurring a long term lease, there is a third option which is rapidly growing in popularity. This is the shared office or co-working centre, such as the one offered by Nexus Smart Hub on the NSW Central Coast.
A shared office is a corporate building or complex which is owned by a third party who rents out space to different startups and small businesses. These are usually like minded business types who enjoy an environment where idea sharing and entrepreneurship thrive. Each business has its own dedicated space and all share the modern office facilities, equipment and resources for an affordable weekly or monthly fee.
The advantage is because you’re only renting the office space without being locked into a long-term lease, this type of arrangement gives small businesses the flexibility to adapt as they go, either downsizing or growing into a larger rented space. In addition, co-working centres such as Nexus Smart Hub combines the professionalism and corporate grade infrastructure of a traditional serviced office with the vibrancy, creativity, collaboration, networking and learning opportunities that have come to define the rapidly emerging co working spaces.
And if you want all the bells and whistles, Nexus Smart Hub in Wyong NSW are offering their members everything they could possibly need, including:
- Exclusive concierge service
- A-grade office space configured to your specifications
- Faster than NBN data connectivity
- High speed video conferencing
- AV and presentation facilities
- Photocopier and printing facilities
- Beautifully designed work spaces and break spaces
- A selection of small meeting rooms to large board rooms
- Purpose designed event spaces for product launches, seminars or mini conferences.
- Complimentary gym
- Kitchen and business class lounge with tea, coffee and refreshments
- Ample free onsite parking
- Public transport to the door
- Food and beverage catering on request
- Biometric security access
- A range of onsite facilities including childcare, service station, café and food outlets, car wash, medical centre and chemist.
A shared future
The shared office market is predicted to grow exponentially as corporate downsizing continues full steam and employees dissatisfied with traditional jobs and long commutes look for alternative ways to work. And the days of the lengthy and expensive corporate lease will be numbered as a result, with businesses becoming more reluctant to lock themselves into traditional contracts, when they can have access to dedicated office space and all the latest facilities for a low flexible monthly fee instead.