Serviced offices can provide start-up businesses with a smooth transition from working from home to acquiring their first premises. Wales, particularly the larger cities (Cardiff, Newport and Swansea) have a range of locations and facilities which specialise in providing serviced offices for both smaller and larger businesses.
Benefits of Serviced Offices
Serviced offices have a number of benefits when compared to traditional office space:
- The support network typically available in serviced offices provides receptionists who can greet the business’ visitors in person and via the telephone. This can often give the impression that the small business is in fact larger than it is, perhaps then instilling greater confidence in the eyes of the business contact.
- The physical space available to the individual business can be expanded by the use of shared meeting and conference rooms. Usually requisitioned on an ad-hoc basis, they provide flexible expansion to the business’ resources as and when required.
- Secretarial functions such as mail and franking facilities can be utilised saving the small business owner valuable time. As well as the physical franking of post, many serviced offices will also arrange for daily Royal Mail collections from the building, thus avoiding the time costs of visiting a local post office on a frequent basis.
- The protection of the business owner’s private residential address is afforded by moving to serviced offices (or traditional offices for that matter). The professionalism and stature of the business is usually increased by having a business centre address as opposed to having a person’s home address listed as the premises. This also avoids the potential of any adverse capital gains tax consequences brought about by claiming part of the residential expenditure for business use.
- Secretarial and assistant capabilities within a serviced office building can be expanded to suit an individual business’ needs. For example, during the busiest commercial periods, it is sometimes possible to requisition an office assistant from the general pool of people supporting the facility. Although this might be costly on a fulltime basis, it does provide the significant advantage of flexibility which even temporary employment agencies would struggle to match.
- Many serviced offices provide free and unlimited condiments for customers. The need to purchase basic refreshments and to clean up the facilities afterwards is thus avoided.
- Serviced office costs are generally more expensive than the use of standard office rentals. They do however result in a far easier billing system. All services, ranging from the use of the space, telephone, fax and postage charges are included in a single bill. Administratively, this is far simpler for the small business to address rather than having to account for several separate demands arriving at varying frequencies and covering non coterminous time periods.
- Other matters traditionally avoided by the use of serviced offices include the provision of a range of office furniture which can be tailored to both the size of the room and the number of occupants working in it.
- Repairs and replacement of faulty furniture is normally addressed by the business centre free of charge (excluding malicious damage). This can provide both peace of mind and reduced operating cost to a business.
Serviced Office Facilities in Wales
Regus Business Centres. Regus have four serviced offices in Wales, three in Cardiff and one on Swansea. The facilities are of a very high standard and can be tailor made in terms of volume of space, period of rental and facilities used.
Pierhead Street, Cardiff. Based in Cardiff bay, this multi-storey serviced office building has a full compliment of facilities including Chauffeur Services, Video Conferencing and Showers.
Ocean Park, Newport. Specifically for new small businesses, office space ranging from 100 square metres and above is available on a flexible lease basis. Facilities include a staffed reception area and many administrative functions such as mail collections and distribution.