Rental office space has always been viewed
as a good short-term solution for adding
small increments of office space. However,
if your business involves in-person interaction
with your clients, the marketing value of
having a complete, quality mini-office in
one or more locations is tremendous. Since
meeting with clients in your own office adds
immeasurably to the credibility of your firm,
especially at an appealing or prestigious
address as offered by full featured office
suites or business centers, it can ultimately
be the winning edge your business needs.
In a traditional office building,
office park, or office storefront,
or buy the space, and everything
up to you. If you want a receptionist
greet visitors or answer the
someone else for you to hire.
If you want
computer or LAN support, thatís
to figure out. Cleaning? Get
out the feather
duster yourself, or hire somebody.
is virtually endless.
Full service office suites (sometimes called
business centers) provide the typical services
a business requires as a part of the rent.
For example, office suite companies typically
rent offices that are already furnished.
They also normally have receptionists to
greet visitors and answer tenantsí phones
(announcing your firmís name when picking
up a call coming in for you). They hire cleaning
staff, and may have mailroom personnel of
their own to handle your incoming and outgoing
correspondence. Basic office machinery like
copiers should be on-site in common areas,
though you may be charged per use. Some office
suites (business centers) go a step further
and have in-house technical support staff
to assist you with PCs, LANs, Internet connections,
and the like.
Conference rooms are bound to be on hand,
though you must share them with other tenants,
which forces you to schedule their usage
in advance. If you anticipate a need for
teleconferencing capabilities, you should
check whether these are available, and at
In short, before shopping around, you should
compile a list of the services and amenities
that you will require, and then compare what
various office suite providers have, and
at what cost. You will have to make trade-offs
between the available features, the price
thereof, and the location. Location may be
a crucial factor in your decision, depending
on your current or anticipated client base.
Depending on who they are, and what the nature
of your business is, selecting the most convenient
(to them) or prestigious address may trump
all other considerations.
Another huge consideration, but one that
is often overlooked, is your fellow tenants.
All else equal, it may be highly advantageous
to select a building that is home to potential
clients, vendors, or advisers. This can present
the ultimate networking opportunity.
If the employees of your business are geographically
dispersed, and/or if your staff travels a
great deal, particularly if they spend extended
periods in a few locations, taking space
in various office suites around the country
may be worthy of consideration. Larger office
suite firms can offer a package price to
cover this. This can be an economical means
of establishing the equivalent of a branch
office network. Indeed, you can achieve even
greater economies if you can share these
spaces with one or more firms that have similar
needs but which will not create serious time
conflicts with yours.