Business centres really do make life easy.

Business centres really do make life easy.

Hauke Haas of Danish broker Match Office recently revealed that in a survey of clients when it comes to choosing a workspace, a massive 86% select a business centre based on location. This is followed by price (64.2%), access to other facilities (51.6%) and flexible contracts (39%).

One thing not mentioned in this short list and one which is often overlooked by clients is the fact that business centres make it incredibly easy for clients to move in and get to work straight away without having to go through the process of dealing with the public utilities. It is not on the list because clients do not appreciate how hard business centre managers work to make life easy for them and to allow them to focus on their business. This is particularly true if the business has never had to organise and deal with the utilities themselves.

This is something I have been aware of for a long time but I was recently reminded of how difficult it is dealing with utilities and how time consuming it is.

I currently look after a terrace of 14 self-contained offices for a client, most of which are self-contained. There is however a portion set aside as a business incubation centre with 15 start up businesses. It is run as a charity for which I am a Trustee.

For such a small site, the time taken dealing with the electricity, gas, water, telecoms & broadband providers is disproportionate to the work involved in looking after the centre.

There has been a mass of incorrect invoices, credit notes, incorrect estimated readings and a huge amount of time reconciling the correct amount due. And in the self-contained units where there have been changes of supply providers, the utility companies are not co-operative.

I completely agree with Hauke that location is the key driver in choosing a business centre. Quite simply, people know where they want to work. They will then chose a business centre in that location based on other factors such as customer services, facilities, flexibility etc.

When you are promoting your centre, do not lose sight of the fact that you really do make it easy for your client to focus and get on with their day-to-day business and leave you to sort everyday administrative tasks.

About the business centre specialist

Tom Stokes is the UK's leading specialist in the development and management of Business Centres, Managed Workspace and Serviced Offices. A Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS), with nearly 40 years experience in property and the majority of that experience in the flexible space market, he comes with a wealth of experience. Quite simply, there is nothing in this sector which he has not experienced. In 2000, he set up Evans Easyspace, retiring from the company at Easter 2011. He built up the company from scratch to having 58 business centres throughout the UK and was the leading provider of new, quality small offices, workshops and self storage units which were let on genuine easy in, easy out terms. The Evans Easyspace brand is highly respected and the company is also one of the most efficient in the sector. He is a firm believer that small businesses want flexibility and that is what he can advise on and deliver in a way which will help your business grow. He is also a past Chair of the Business Centre Association (bca), having joined the Board in 2003. He is a life member of the bca and still advises the bca on certain issues.
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