office space on a budgetThere is perhaps no bigger consideration when searching for an office than cost. Luckily there are a huge variety of office options that all offer value in different ways, some of which you may not previously have considered. Today, we’re glad to share a guest post from Peter Ames of Office Genie that takes a look at what’s out there.

Traditional Leases

The most popular method of renting office space is leasing property on a long-term contract from a landlord. There are a number of reasons why you’d want to consider this option.

  • Cheap: Traditional leases are often the cheapest way to rent office space, particularly if you’ve already got all your furniture. If you’ve got to furnish the place yourself then costs may build.

  • Customizable: When you rent your own space, you can customize it to suit you and your business. You can paint it, put logos up, choose the best layout for you and even add little touches like a ping pong table or chill-out area.

  • Secure: Traditional leases are secure in two ways: you can choose your own security measures, and you also know you have a long-term home tied down.

However, if you have a “time is money” approach to running your business, then this type of lease may not represent great value. You may find yourself spending time you want to dedicate to your business dealing with everything from health and safety assessments to paying utility bills. Furthermore, if you need to expand, but there’s no room in an office you’re tied to long-term, then a leased property may end up stunting business growth and ultimately costing you money!

Shared Offices

An increasingly common way to rent office space (particularly among small businesses) is to rent spare desks in another company’s office. These shared spaces are a great option for a number of reasons:

  • Plug & Play: Space is often immediately available for you to get in and up and running fast.

  • Flexibility: Rolling month-to-month contracts mean you can get out as quickly as you got in. There’s also the option to take up any spare desks if you want to expand.

  • All-inclusive: You don’t have to waste time managing the property; these are included in the price – no hidden costs!

They cost a little more than traditional leases, but you may feel it’s worth it in exchange for the time you save not having to deal with the hassle of office admin; you can focus your valuable time on making your business the very best it can be!

Do bear in mind potential security concerns. You’ll be sending your data through another business’ network and you’ll also be leaving valuables in an office you won’t get to lock at night. Do these sound like potential issues? If so, then shared offices may not be for you.

Serviced Offices

Serviced offices are like an upgraded version of shared offices. They boast the highest service level of any type of office space and, in addition to all the features of a shared office, could include things such as:

  • Conference room access

  • Physical and phone receptions

  • IT support

  • A few might even offer childcare facilities

Serviced offices are usually the most expensive type of office space due to the exceptional service levels. But ask yourself, can you put a price on having everything taken care of for you? If the answer is no, then these may be the offices for you.

Furthermore, if things go really well, some serviced offices will give you both the space and the support to make expanding into a larger space an easy experience.

And finally…

There are ways to cut costs in your search for office space without having to compromise on the quality of your premises. For example, while the experience of an agent may be useful, if you were to go it alone you could save money to spend on a space.

You can also find cheaper properties away from town and city centers. So if you want to find some cheaper rates, why not consider broadening the parameters of your search?

Peter Ames writes on behalf of Office Genie, a UK site where you can search leased, shared and serviced offices, as well as list your own space.