Your 5 Step Guide to Viewing Office Space
Ready to view an office? Our essential five-step checklist will help you to ask the right questions and assess your options with confidence.
1. Look beyond the blank canvas
Even as you arrive at the centre to start your viewing, itΓÇÖs time to look around you and picture your company being here. Remember that the offices youΓÇÖre viewing are a blank canvas and will look ΓÇô and probably feel ΓÇô completely different with your team in situ.
Remember to view the business centre from your clientsΓÇÖ perspective too. For instance, they will see the reception and communal areas as representative of your business too. Do they set the right tone? Do they represent your business in the right way? As they say; first impressions count, so use yours as a guide to how others will see it.
Top tip: Ask about the options for personalising your space to get a true understanding of how much you can adapt it to suit your needs.
2. Be specific about IT
First off, ask about the IT provisions within the centre and get a copy of the spec to take away and show to your own IT manager. This saves another follow-up call or visit at a later date to establish whether the centre can accommodate your IT requirements.
Beyond this, ask about the reliability of IT within the centre; something which is particularly important if youΓÇÖre heavily reliant upon IT to run your business. Key questions to ask include:
- Do you have backup lines? If yes, how many?
- Do you have onsite IT support?
- If the IT system goes down, what is the timeframe for getting it back up?
3. Get to grips with services and support
Serviced offices can offer a variety of support to help you with the smooth-running of your business. ItΓÇÖs therefore worth finding out what is available at the centre youΓÇÖre viewing. For example, is the reception team prepared to answer calls, take messages and provide basic admin support such as sending template emails? For smaller businesses in particular this can be a time and money saver.
Top tip: Want to gauge the quality of service provided? Ask about the business centreΓÇÖs client retention rate. A high percentage is often an indicator of strong service and support, since it shows that businesses are choosing to stay beyond their initial rental period.
4. Understand your expansion options
If you know expansion is on the cards within the next twelve months or so, ask to view some of the larger offices as well as the smaller one youΓÇÖre currently thinking of taking. Then ask about the possibilities for expanding your office within the centre ΓÇô how would this work? What configurations could they offer you? This will help you to understand whether the centre is suitable for future growth as well as your current situation.
5. DonΓÇÖt be afraid to ask for a price
Once youΓÇÖve seen everything the business centre has to offer, itΓÇÖs time to talk price. To make the comparison easier, take the time to understand how the price breaks down, as serviced office packages can vary from centre to centre.
Ask whatΓÇÖs included within the price, whatΓÇÖs extra and establish how much these extras could cost. Things to ask include:
- Will I need to pay extra for IT, admin support or photocopying?
- What are the call charges?
- WhatΓÇÖs the cost of meeting room usage?
- What packages do you offer?
With this information in place, youΓÇÖre ready to evaluate your options and decide on the right office for you.