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For small companies, an office is an overhead that many feel they can do without, at least when starting up, but as a business grows and takes on staff, an office becomes an essential. Even before that, there are many arguments in favour of a physical presence; an office can add credibility, and suggests permanence, that the company is going to be around in the future, perhaps particularly important for new companies. But how much space should you rent or buy? Obviously this will depend on the employees that you expect to be working there, but you will need to factor in growth plans, whether you require an open plan working environment (allow 75-100 sq ft for each person) or individual offices (about 175 sq.ft) and meeting areas (215 sq.ft will accommodate a table and chairs for about six to eight people). An alternative, particularly if your growth is uncertain is a serviced office, where you rent space by the number of workstations you require and by the month.

This may not only help with cash flow, but also allows a company to grow or contract in a fairly flexible manner. There are no capital outlay costs for furniture or telephone equipment, all of which are provided and if you need meeting space, you pay for it by the hour. Additional services, such as secretarial assistance are also available as required and the telephone is answered by a dedicated receptionist and in your company’s name. On a price per sq.ft basis, serviced offices are more expensive, but this additional cost is often outweighed by the fact you are paying for just the space your business needs.


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