Basepoint, a serviced office provider that operates 28 business centres throughout the UK, has reported a healthy improvement in turnover from the small and medium businesses based within their office buildings.
Following a comparison of its bi-annual licensee surveys from 2007, 2009 and 2011, Basepoint say that the number of clients who have seen static or improved turnover reached an impressed 92%, an increase of 10% compared to its 2009 bi-annual customer survey.
By industry, the results show that those businesses operating within the ‘professional and business services’ bracket improved to 52% in 2011, up from 31% in 2007. However, in keeping with the current problems faced by manufacturing companies and as a reflection of the wider economic crisis, those in the manufacturing, construction and wholesale and retail sectors are down by 8%.
Commenting on the results, Brian Andrews, Executive Director at Basepoint, said that these industries suffered “as a result of the credit crunch”, adding: “When it comes to borrowing, these businesses tend to require a higher amount of funding than professional services, so it has been harder for them to sustain themselves through the tough times.”
He commented on the rise of businesses from the ‘professional services’ sector entering Basepoint offices, and believes that their success is partly down to the reduced costs involved in starting a business in this industry when compared to that of manufacturing or construction.
“Many professionals who were made redundant in 2009/2010 have started up as consultants instead,” he added.
Basepoint has noticed a number of other upward trends, most noticeably the size of businesses taking space in their centres. The number of offices requested for teams of 11 or more increased to 16% in 2011, rising by 5% from 11% in 2007. This is thought to be because of larger firms and corporations needing to downsize and find cheaper office space, or because they do not wish to commit to longer term leases in the current financial climate.
Brian also believes that it is Basepoint’s offering, and that of the serviced office industry as a whole, that is helping SMEs to turn in positive results.
“For SME’s to survive, it has been critical in the tough years of the recession to have access to good business advice and solid support,” he said. “Our centre management teams are experienced business developers and provide the conduits to experts in the local business community including the few remaining funding opportunities outside of the banks.
“The communities at Basepoint are encouraged to be self-supporting, particularly to start-up businesses in their first couple of years of trading, and I believe this has been fundamental to the improved success of our customers.”
Commenting on the nature of serviced space and its increasing appeal to businesses of all sizes, Brian added:
“We endeavour to offer more than just ‘office space’, providing a support network and flexibility to ensure that our licensees are getting value and service. Many businesses that come into Basepoint centres as one-man operations stay with us and upgrade to larger space as they grow. This longevity, and the fact that they willingly recommend us to other businesses is a real accolade.”
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