For small businesses, one of the best ways to improve your startup’s cash flow is by reducing how much money you spend. For many new business owners, the monthly rent payments they make on office space are one of the biggest fixed expenses on their book. With businesses looking for more and more creative ways to reduce their costs, serviced and virtual offices have gained popularity around the world.
Many people have heard of these types of offices, and may think they are familiar with the concepts, but the majority of the public doesn’t truly understand how these types of rentals can benefit a small business, and how they even differ from each other. By examining the characteristics of each, this article will help you determine if either option is feasible for your small business.
What Exactly is a Serviced Office?
A serviced office provides your company with dedicated space – often times private offices or separate work areas, just as a normal office would. These serviced offices, also called executive suites, normally rent a large area of space and subdivide it to fit the needs of the smaller companies that lease from them. By offering fractional floorplans and shared resources, these offices are able to provide your business with a work area at a rate that is usually much less than a small business would be able to get on its own. In addition, many of these offices are located in prime, desirable commercial locations.
How is a Virtual Office Different?
The virtual office provides the most cost effective way for your business to radiate a professional presence while still having the utmost in flexibility. Virtual offices in similar to serviced offices in the sense that they provide administrative services and features including:
- Receptionist Services
- Answering Service for Incoming Calls
- Mail Receiving at a Professional Address, as well as Forwarding or Scanning Services
- Complex and Professional Phone Systems
The most significant way that virtual offices differ from executive suites is the fact that they do not provide you with any allocated space. Many of these offices have open areas to work in, and provide offices and conference rooms which can be rented per hour, day or week, but are not included in the base monthly price. While this doesn’t fit into all companies’ business plans, it works well for firms that can operate independently of a central office. By operating remotely, you and your employees can reduce wasted transportation time and costs, work on your schedule and enable collaboration with co-workers all over the world.
Which is Better For My Business?
Each business is different, and you must examine all of the specifics of your business to determine if either of these types of offices is right for you. If your company has a big need for space, or are constantly meeting with clients, then a traditional office may still be the best bet for your organization.
If your company has a small space requirement, but does still require employees meeting together in person in order to retain maximum productivity, then a serviced office could be a good choice for you. This office type will allow you to lower your monthly rent expensive while maintaining the professional workplace that you need.
For companies that are able to work independently, a virtual office provides all of the benefits and services of a traditional office without the dedicated space. Not only are they a good choice for companies with employees in different locations, but are great for any small company which does not frequently meet with clients and communication is feasible through virtual means.
While these offices may not be ideal for every type of business, they can save tremendous amounts of money each month for others. By looking at the difference between traditional, serviced and virtual offices, business owners can examine their individual’s requirements and see how compatible they are with these convenient, money saving options.
Stefan Loewer has spent years writing and is passionate about sharing his insights on a number of different prominent business blogs.