27 March 2019/ Serviced office

How to choose the right office for your growing company

Ask the leader of any established business to name a really tough time in their journey, and they’ll probably say that the first phase was the hardest.

Getting established as a start-up business can be hard. The line between success and failure often seem paper thin. Even with endless hours of exhausting graft, and single-minded dedication to the brand, the concept, the customer base and the day-to-day operations, things can still go wrong.

It might seem like a nice problem to have then, in comparison, when you’re actually expanding, or ‘scaling up’. But this can be just as precarious a time. For one thing there is a difference between scaling up and simply growing.

A blog post in business bible Fortune defined the difference like this: “If you add operating costs (sales, marketing, administrators, R&D, etc.) at the same rate you grow revenue, then your business does not scale. Alternatively, if additional revenue requires relatively smaller and smaller additions to operating costs, then congratulations… your business scales!

This presents a problem when it comes to property. To truly scale up, a business needs to keep its costs roughly where they are; but to expand it needs to take on more office or retail space, or perhaps an additional site, inevitably adding more costs.

Thankfully, especially in London, the office market has become dynamic enough to make this not such a stark choice. Huge demand for flexible space has been answered with a range of options, including those to suit businesses looking to scale up with as little risk as possible

The option of doing this within a serviced office building barely existed ten years ago – now this uber-convenient practice is becoming the norm for small and medium-sized businesses. For those already based in a serviced office building, whether they are hot-desking or leasing private space, it couldn’t be much easier to expand: they can simply opt for more space, or relocate within the building to a larger private area.

If you are already leasing your own private office, and possibly committed to a long lease, this might also be an option. Serviced office providers are so abundant in London now, and present in most parts of the city, that a company might want to opt to have its staff split across the original site and a temporary unit within a serviced building nearby.

This is also a great choice if you are both expanding and, in the process, looking to trial a new area. A serviced office or a pop-up retail store allows you to test a new area with low costs and commitment, and this mitigates the risk of committing to a commercial property.

A full relocation from a conventional office or retail unit is naturally more complex: if you have a lease commitment it’s very difficult to get out of it. But with enough research there are always options; information is the most powerful tool when it comes to finding property, whether you’re opening a first store or office, or you’re at the stage where you’re scaling up.

Realla’s database includes a huge range of serviced offices in London, from a spectrum of providers from Instant Offices, WeWork, Regus and WorkPad. The first step to finding new space in which to grow, whether that’s a relocation or a second site, is to use our powerful search engine to research locations and individual properties.