All over the modern world, we’re witnessing a boom in the shared office business space industry, and one can hardly deny that with any rising trend, there are bound to be opportunists capitalising on a piece of the pie by undercutting consumers. That’s why, for budding entrepreneurs looking to take their business to the next level, finding a credible and trustworthy business space provider can be cumbersome. If you’re currently looking for, or even just considering entering this world, then here’s a useful checklist for you to gauge whether you’ll be getting bang for your buck or simply bamboozled.

1. They do the running for you

When you sign up for a “fully-serviced business space solution”, make sure it’s fully serviced. Although this sounds like a no brainer, it can make all the difference in the world for you. Check and double check that the space provider offers a full range of services that include courier, dispatch, receptionist and document services. One way to be sure that they do is to see the number of employees they have on standby – two at the minimum. Also, check that the rates for these services aren’t too expensive.

2. They aren’t running a stone-age office

You don’t want to pay for a hole in the ground with minimal tech facilities. Make sure that they provide WiFi, not just Internet through LAN cables coming out of the wall. And, enquire about their Internet speeds. 56kbps modems? Walk away. Make sure it’s at least 5Mbps; 20Mbps would be ideal. Other things to look out for are their printers, copiers and scanners – any piece of equipment that you might need to facilitate your business needs in the future. There are no two ways about state-of-the-art when it comes to your business.

3. They don’t have dingy nooks they call conference rooms

As this is a key offering for business space providers, some companies have this facility with minimal amenities and equipment, just so they can advertise it. Ask for a tour and check out the conference rooms. The last place you want to meet a potential client is in a closet with a “conference room” sticker on the door. Best if the room has a projector, flat screen TV or at least a whiteboard for your presentation needs. Also, check on the rates, in that they’re not too high, or best yet, free of charge with the package you want.

4. Their rent agreement doesn’t sound like a life-in-prison sentence

One key advantage that shared office spaces have over lease agreements is the flexible, on-demand rental terms that they usually offer. Put on your glasses and scan the terms of agreement like you’re looking for winning lottery numbers. Things to look out for include low barriers to entry and flexibility. If there are undesirable items in the package that you want, ask if a customisable plan can be worked out to get the best value for your money.

5. They offer services that can boost your business

Certain business space providers go the extra mile to give their customers value-added services such as legal advice, company secretarial services and even accounting and tax consultation. Ask about this, and make sure they are capable of delivering. If all goes well, you’ll find yourself with a true one-stop solution to your business needs, leaving you to focus on your business’ growth in comfort.

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