Singapore is a “tiger” in the field of economic growth. The small country is considered a “giant” in terms an investment destination. It is actually ranked as the fifth largest international financial hub in the world and second to none in Southeast Asia. Singapore's status as a major trading center in Asia-Pacific is a fact.
Multinationals are converging in Singapore as the country is in the middle of extraordinary growth in all aspects. The procurement of an office space is an issue due to the number of businesses wanting to establish its presence in Singapore. One of the prime considerations (and a good business idea) in Singapore now is the provision of serviced offices for quicker setup of small to medium scale companies.
Serviced Offices Explained
In a nutshell, a serviced office is a concept that provides a business a fully equipped and furnished physical office area with work station numbering from 1 to 100 or more. Serviced offices are leased for a minimum of a month with flexible terms in case the required tenure is extended or the agreed upon number of workstations is insufficient, or in excess. A serviced office is a business solution that affords credibility, flexibility, and business presence. Instead of allocating a great percentage of the total financial investment on a permanent office space that has to be furnished, equipped, staffed and maintained, opting for a serviced office is a better option.
Advantages of a Serviced Office
There is no doubt that a serviced office is cost-effective more so for a start-up business and small to medium scale corporations.
Serviced Offices have strategic locations in a city's central business district. The buildings housing serviced offices are modern, efficient and are near major transportation hubs. The business addresses are prestigious thereby ensuring an impressive company presence.
Managing an office becomes easier as serviced offices present one billing statement which includes the rent, staff and other support systems, maintenance and utilities.
A customer and IT service team is included in the package. The office staff is trained, maintained and managed by the serviced office provider.
A contract lease of at least 3 years is the standard for traditional office space. There is no telling what the financial status of a business will be in 3 years or so. With a serviced office, a business is no longer tied up with a long-running lease contract in case a business meets a financial low or, worst, goes belly up.
There is no need to pay the rent in advance. More often than not, serviced office packages include utility bills, internet and telephony, insurance and more. If more services and personnel are needed, the terms are usually on a pay-as-you-use basis and not on a fixed rate.
There are other advantages that mainly depend on the type of business. There are disadvantages too, such as the unavailability of a shared facility in case it is needed immediately.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Serviced Office Provider
The advantages of a serviced office may well be the factors to consider when choosing a serviced office provider. A serviced office provider should be able to present an office space in the right location, answers the needs of the business, afford the right equipment, people services and IT support.
Location: The location of the serviced office should be situated in the heart of the city's CBD. What good is an office location that is tucked in an area far from where the action is? The idea is for the serviced office to be easily accessible to clients.
Business Requirements: Depending on the type of business, the serviced office provider should provide the needs of the business. An architectural or Interior Design firm needs drafting tables, CAD-able computers and more. A law firm requires extensive space for conferences and a room for a library. In general, business permits and other licenses are taken care of by the serviced office provider.
Right Equipment and Furniture: A doctor's clinic does not require a large format or CAD printer. A graphic design firm does not need a weighing scale. The right serviced office provider should be able to equip and furnish the office space accordingly. If not, other arrangements should be presented.
People and IT Support: The office staff and IT support offered by a serviced office provider should meet the requirements of the business. They should be well-trained and have expertise in their line of work. Most staff are multi-lingual or at the least, bi-lingual (native language of the country and English). Internet must be fast. IP Telephone communication must be part of a global network.
Other points for consideration are the reception service and waiting lounge for clients, an office pantry that could be fully-stocked or not depending on the package, filtered or purified water for office consumption, video conferencing services, pay-per-use meeting rooms, cleaning and maintenance services and more.
Servcorp Singapore offers all these and more. Their serviced office building, the Marina Bay Financial Center, is fronting the Marina Bay and linked to various transportation hubs and has access to a multitude of retail outlets, restaurants, cafes and first class hotels.