Entrepreneurs` Survival Guide to The Perfect Temporary Office Space

Submitted: July 25th, 2014

Entrepreneurs’ Survival Guide to The Perfect Temporary Office Space
Tips for renting short term office space for your business

Uptown Business Club, a popular virtual office space and executive office suites rental facility, helps entrepreneurs with its top 10 tips entrepreneurs can use when looking for temporary office space rentals. When meeting in busy coffee shops surpasses the image businesses want to achieve, renting office space is a wise alternative. It also sends a clear message that the business is professional and respects the privacy of its customers. For businesses with limited resources, it is an affordable alternative to a permanent business address.
     “Since this is one of the largest expenses you will make as an entrepreneur, you should be highly selective.” said Uptown Business Club Owner Sandy Alfonsi. “You should definitely go in for a tour. Remember, your first impression will be your customer’s first impression, and as a business, first impressions mean everything.”
     Here are Ms. Alfonsi’s top 10 tips for entrepreneurs when in the market for temporary office space (virtual office) or room rentals:

1. Lease Term and Rate: For shorter term rentals, you will want to ensure that everything is clearly stated and written including the exact rate with tax, rental dates and clearly outlined terms. Ensure you request a list of included items so that you are not surprised with unexpected expenses for items you assumed would be included. For longer term rentals, you will want to factor in possible rent increases and renewal options so that you don’t face unexpected fees and particularly watch out for auto-renewal clauses.

2. Protection for your valuables: Not only will you be responsible for your own supplies, equipment and files, but any your customers bring with them as well. Will you receive a unique key that only opens the office you will be in? Does anyone else have a copy of that key? Is there an alarm system? Have there ever been previous break-ins? These are all important factors to consider if leaving anything in your temporary office overnight, or even if leaving for a few minutes during the day. 

3. Maintenance: The last thing you want to spend your time doing when paying by the hour is taking out the garbage or unclogging a toilet! Ensure that all maintenance issues will be taken care of through the office rental company. It will be one less hassle you will need to worry about.

4. Convenience features: Does the facility offer coffee, tea, snacks or other convenience items that will save you from needing to leave during the work day? Is the facility located near highways, transit, restaurants, stores, hotels or anything else that would be important to you or your customers?

5. Space options: Have a look at all of the space options available. You may not need it right now, but a boardroom or training room could come in handy should you choose to offer a presentation or hold a meeting down the road. Should you opt for desk space, ensure the room offers the privacy you may require for meetings or to take private phone calls. Check for the quietness of the venue and ensure the sound does not easily travel through the walls; after all, the main reason you are looking at office space is to have a quiet space to work or meet clients.

6. Technology: We are living in an age where technology is an integrated part of most businesses. You should thus expect the technology to be available and functional for when you need it. Does the venue offer the basic items of Wi-Fi, LAN and telephone connections? Is high-definition AV or videoconferencing available? Which services are included and which do you need to pay extra for? Is there someone always on hand to assist with set-up or trouble shooting?

7. Services and equipment: Just because you are a sole entrepreneur does not mean you need to come across as one. A receptionist service means another voice on the phone and someone else greeting and showing a customer to your office. It is a fantastic way to portray a big company image without the cost. Ask about the types of services you can expect and the associated fees. You may not need it right away, but if you have an important deadline, an extra hand to photocopy/fax or collate for you, without you needing to leave your office, is a blessing! Likewise, ensure the venue will also give you access to a printer, photocopier, scanner and other pieces of equipment you may require throughout the work day. 

8. Exposure: a number of virtual office space businesses are now offering the perk of added exposure to their customers– an extremely valuable bonus to a business, especially if the cost is included. Inquire about exposure or branding opportunities, for example, will your company name be on the door (for office suite rentals) or on a directory at the front entrance? Can your company be featured on the website? Does the venue offer a membership group list where members can get to know each other’s businesses? Do they have networking opportunities? Does the venue itself attract other businesses into the location? Some businesses offer open network areas where members can interact with each other and visitors, should they choose.

9. Memberships: Many temporary office space businesses offer membership packages that may save you money. Take the time to consider the services and type of space you will need, which will help you to decide how much money the membership will actually save you. Also, consider how useful the membership perks may be to your specific business. Finally, you may want to ask about how easily you can cancel, should you decide the membership package is no longer right for you.

10. Pricing: Venues that offer flexible pricing options can save you money. For example, would you need to pay for a meeting room for an entire day’s rate, if you only required it for a few hours? Is an hourly rate available for short term office rentals? Is the pricing competitive? Does the price you pay include value added features that would help your business or do you need to pay for each additional service?

Uptown Business Club is a virtual office space and executive office suites facility that features lounge, meeting room, conference, office and boardroom space rentals. The business provides clients a local Hamilton address, phone number and mailbox, receptionist and business services, office space and other services to help the business owner grow and be successful. For more information, please visit http://fwchamilton.ca/.