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Tips and Caveats to be Aware of When Selecting a Serviced Office (Executive Suite)

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Selecting a serviced office is an important step in ensuring the success of your business. The reason for this nomenclature is that the office comes with all of the most common services already in place. This type of office is often called a "turn-key" office or an executive suite.

If you need a venue to hold meetings with clients, sign contracts, negotiate, and do some paperwork, this office solution might be just what you should lease. By renting this type of business space, you'll have a furnished private office with computer equipment but share common needs such as reception area, meeting room(s), and other resources used by the entire group housed in the overall space. You'll be able to use certain equipment and services on a “pay per use” basis.

Here are tips and caveats you should be aware of when selecting a serviced office for your business needs:

  • Location: Choose a location which is convenient for you, but also convenient for your clients. Is there parking available either on-site or nearby? What about handicapped parking? Is the building easy to spot or well-known? You want your clients to be able to find you easily and get to your door without walking blocks in the wind, rain, heat, or cold.
  • Appearance: Does the building entrance, lobby, and office interior make the statement about you and your business that you want and need? You need furnishings which are attractive and elegant yet not pretentious. Making the right statement about your operation is critical. Is the meeting room comfortable enough for a two- or three-hour meeting if those are occasionally part of your business lifestyle.
  • Equipment: Learn what equipment is provided in the turnkey office lease. You will likely find a desktop computer included, but check to make certain it is powerful enough to meet your needs. Learn what the restrictions are regarding bringing in your own laptop or other equipment if needed. Realize that equipment you own may not be covered by the insurance covering other equipment, so keep this in mind and learn if the services provided by any specialized equipment are available nearby for a fee. Also, learn what speed internet connection is provided and ensure the speed meets your needs. If wifi is important to you, find out if it is in place.
  • Receptionist: Listen to the receptionist answer a phone call or call in yourself to see how the phone is service. Your messages will be taken by this staff person and your clients will have contact with him or her, so you want to ensure the job is done well.
  • Pay Per Use: Speaking of fees, you want to make sure exactly what the fees are for every pay-as-you-go service. These services will almost certainly include use of the copier and fax machine but may include other services such as large paper printers, binders, or other less common equipment. Ascertain that the costs are reasonable. Compare prices with nearby providers for services you use in massive quantities; it may well be less expensive to have the local Kinko's or similar store produce large copying jobs. Ensure you don't get "nickeled and dimed."
  • Lease Provisions: Carefully read all the provisions in the rental agreement. Unlike renting vacant office space which you staff, there will be extensive details about what your private area will contain and what can or can't be done with it, who must maintain what items, and other matters which deserve your attention.
  • Provider: Find a reputable executive office suite provider to help you locate the perfect serviced office. See our post on selecting a provider. You can find great brokers online, Like OfficeFinder.com, who have sound knowledge of this type of office and are waiting to help you.

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Regus 2010 Earnings Down 67%; Stock Price Up 15.6%

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Regus (RGU.L), the world's largest provider of executive suites and flexible workspaces, announces today its 2010 annual result. 

EBIT was down by 67% from 2009. Their cash position is still strong at £191.5m (USD $117.7m) down from 2009 levels of £237.0m. A dividend increase of 8% was also announced. Despite the lowered earnings, they were within the range of analysts expectations. Regus's stock price was up 15.6% on this news as of 11:17AM EDT.

Mark Dixon, Chairman of Regus stated "In the year to 31 December 2010, we added 20,122 workstations an increase of 13% on 2009 for a total investment of £69.7 million. Approximately half of this growth came from acquisitions in markets such as Brazil, China, UK and USA.  We will continue to explore such opportunities as we look to strengthen our market position and deliver on our strategy."

"In terms of outlook we remain cautious on the economy, however we have been encouraged by recent positive trends that reflect the continued strategic delivery of our initiatives. In 2011 we are well positioned for a year of solid revenue growth and business improvement with continuing strong underlying cash flow generation."

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Report: Office Space in Paradise (Honolulu)

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Thinking about moving to a warmer climate? Here is what our Hawaii Local OfficeFinder Member tells us about the Honolulu Office Space Market:

The Honolulu office market ended 2010 by continuing its occupancy slide. Nine of the last ten quarters have seen negative absorption. The 4th quarter saw 61,382 square feet of negative absorption bringing the 2010 total to negative 216,997 square feet. Vacancy increased to 12.1% vacant, 0.6% higher than the previous quarter and 1.9% higher than the same time in 2009. The islandwide average asking full service gross rent increased $0.03 during the quarter to $2.99/sf/mth. Operating expenses, which are included in the gross rent figure, decreased by $0.02 to $1.26/sf/mth. Asking base rent increased by $0.05/sf/mth during Honolulu CBD Class A Office Snapshot - 4th Quarter, 2010 the quarter, however the spread between asking and taking base rents is larger than in recent memory.

Weak Job Growth and Limited Tenant Demand
Although job growth turned positive in the 3rd quarter of 2010, it is forecast to remain weak through 2011. Because of a relentless push to reduce costs including rent, most businesses are putting more people in fewer square feet. The result is that the market needs slight job growth to offset this effect.

A 12% vacancy rate is a lot better than many other office markets!

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Wall Street Office Space Rents 18% Lower than Manhattan's Average

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According to a study by Studley Inc, asking rents for buildings at the one-time mecca of global finance have fallen to among the lowest in Manhattan after ranking as some of the priciest as recently as 2008. Wall Street landlords are seeking rates about 18% less than the city average, hurt by years of exodus by financial firms looking for bigger, more modern offices.

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85% of Businesses in US Offer Employees Flexible Working

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DALLAS, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- "85 percent of U.S. companies now offer their staff some form of flexible working, according to a new global research report from Regus, global leader in flexible workplace solutions.  The majority of those same companies are finding that flexible working is bringing them significant benefits, including reduced overhead expenses, improved staff productivity and work-life balance. Additionally, 62 percent of U.S. businesses believe flexible working costs less than fixed office working."

"75 percent of businesses offering flexible working assert their staff has significantly better work-life balance, improving satisfaction and motivation."

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