If you’re starting up a business in London, then access to the right office space will be one of your primary considerations, particularly if you are customer-facing in any way or have strategic reasons for being in the city. For some businesses, the prestige of a central London postcode is essential to their brand and delivery, and the benefits far outweigh the costs of locating in the UK’s first city.
The costs of engaging in a long-term commercial lease can be expensive and require extended contract terms, where there may or may not be a break. Landlords know that City of London office space is at a premium, and many will not need to negotiate on terms to get business in this prime part of the city.
Flexible offers suit new businesses
For this reason, flexible office space can be an excellent solution for start-ups, giving them flexibility, excellent accommodation and the space that they need to evolve and grow.
The main selling point of these packages is their lack of a contract and their ‘easy-in, easy-out’ nature. You can move in rapidly, plug in your kit and basically go, with IT services, telephony and other on-site services provided in your customised package. Each serviced office space will offer something different, and you can typically start with a basic package and add on extras according to your needs.
Things to look for include access to local facilities such as shops, restaurants, cafes and bars, especially if you or your staff need to entertain clients. Proximity to public transport and local tube stations is also essential, but rarely a problem in the City. Parking may not be as necessary, but you may want to know that there is an available space to hire or nearby commercial provision for visitors that need it.
Accessibility for deliveries may also be a requirement for your business, as well as services such as receptionist or PA support, access to meeting rooms and teleconferencing facilities, 24-hour security and the opportunity to brand your space.
Check too what the arrangements are for increasing the size of your space if you take on more staff as your business grows, and understand what technical service elements the contract covers — usually telephony provision, IT support and broadband, for example.
You may also find that sweeteners are on offer to win your business, such as the first month for half price or similar incentives. And once you are in your new accommodation, you will be able to network with other businesses and potentially reap the rewards of doing so. There could be a range of benefits to your new start-up beyond the allure of high-quality accommodation alone.
Speak to an experienced property agent who specialises in commercial property lets and explain your particular needs and budget. He or she will have knowledge of all the best commercial spaces within your target area and relationships with the agents or landlords that market them. Your negotiator may be able to get you a deal on your package and will give you access to the skills and expertise that you need to make a confident decision on your accommodation.