Compare the pair – serviced offices ARE very affordable
I’ve recently had reason to look at getting some commercial space for myself. As you know, I work from home. It’s a wonderful place to work. Sometimes, however, I find myself a little isolated.
Whilst I have the Sohovian team to keep me company, I have a yearning to ‘get out there’ and experience more of the business life of my town. I’ve been so busy working on getting out of the day to day tasks of my business, that I almost lead a life reminiscent of Sandra Bullock’s character in the 1995 film, The Net. (No – I’m not worried that my identity is going to be stolen as part of a secret conspiracy to take over the world!) But it is not good for the soul to be cooped up all day without any real human contact. So last weekend, my husband and I set out to have a look around to see what commercial space was available.
We found a great little space. It’s right.next.door to an awesome coffee shop. The northerly aspect promises bright, sunny, winter mornings. The price is, at first glance, very affordable. Here’s the rub: The landlords want a 3 year commercial lease. They want a 3 month bond. I have to pay all legal costs for the drawing up of the lease. I have to pay for my own fitout. I have to buy the furniture. I have to organise the connection of all the services. I have to arrange for security and cleaning. And I get that – that’s the lot of a commercial lessee.
But I’m asking myself questions such as:
- What happens when I need more space?
- What happens when I need to hire another person?
Hiring another team member would present an issue: there’s barely enough room for me, a desk, storage and equipment, let alone trying to fit another person in. Let’s face it, if I have a presence in the business district, then I need to have my office open during business hours. I won’t get a break at all if I don’t hire another team member, at the very least on a part-time basis.
It’s quite the conundrum – I would like to get the space so I can grow my business, but the space that I get may end up stunting that growth.
As a first step, I did a quick calculation of what this would all cost. And while I was at it, I decided to compare it with a serviced office. In the table below are some estimates of my costs – some have a solid scientific basis and others are educated guesses.
I will add that this was the cheapest space I could find. I looked at actual office space as well and the price was similar. So, I have compared the cost of setting up a regional shop front office for my business with the cost of one of our serviced offices in Toowong. Take a look for yourself:
Serviced office cost – 10sqm office (I don’t need to accommodate a reception desk, waiting area, kitchenette, photocopier etc)—$880
|Costs per calendar month||Commercial||Serviced|
|Office rent – 13sqm||$275||—|
|Internet and phone||$100||$92
|Solicitors fees – $2000 amortised over the 36 months||$50||—|
|Fit out & furniture – $5000 amortised over the 36 months||$138||included|
|Equipment rent – Multi-function unit: photocopier, fax, scanner, printer||$200||included
(Pay as you go)
|Receptionist – Employed directly – 6 hours per week, including casual loading and super||$750||—|
|Receptionist – 38 hours per week||—||included|
|Refreshments – water cooler, milk, tea & coffee||$20||included|
That’s a saving of $741 each month, $8892 each year or a total of $26676 over a 3 year period. And this doesn’t take into account the fact that serviced offices don’t lock you into a 3 year commercial lease. This means that when your business is growing, you’re not constrained by an onerous term on your office lease.
Yes, I take the point that the comparison is not real world – my shop front is 250km away from my serviced office so I wouldn’t consider taking a serviced office in Toowong if I’m living and working in a country town. That wasn’t the point of the exercise. Think about it, if running a “cheap” little space in a country town is still more expensive than a city fringe serviced office, how much more would you save if you were to compare two city fringe properties?
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