There are two main options for small businesses when it comes to setting up a permanent office outside of your home; serviced offices and wholly let offices.
Services offices are offices where you pay a flat monthly rate in return for the complete package. Everything is usually included so there is no water bill, electricity bill, internet bill etc. This is what we have. If you Google office space you can usually find a ton of people who provide directories of offices in your area. A tip is to get the contact details from the directory sites and contact the office company direct rather than going through the agent. The office co will have more wriggle room when it comes to discounts that way as there is no commission of them to pay. We found this out afterward.
Wholly let offices are offices whereby you rent a space and are responsible for the majority of costs, so you have to pay the business rates and the heating bills etc.
My personal opinion for most small businesses is to go for the serviced offices as most businesses of this size value the predictability of the costs from month to month.
Why get an office?
Well in our case there was two reasons, one was that working from home is not ideal when there is more of you in the company than just yourself. Having everyone in the same place at the same time also has loads of spill over advantages such as morale and better for coming up with new ideas.
The other reason for us was that more and more of our bigger clients wanted to meet up. Having a fixed place to meet these clients, in my view, greatly increases the professional look of the business.
Why not to get an office?
Well getting an office means you have to commute to work each day which adds a big cost to yourself. Also the office its self is going to add around £270+vat a month per a person to the business. It may be that you are unable or unwilling to add to your costs.
Another reason is many people start a small business because they want to work at home, time with kids, time with partners etc. If this was the motivation for setting up business, you may not want to go back to what feels a bit like a normal job.
Should you get an office check-list:
- Can you afford it?
- Is it expected for your industry?
- Are you happy to go back to the daily commute?