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Making the switch to serviced offices

Making the switch to serviced officesIn tough economic times, small businesses’ ability to adapt to the changing economic conditions will determine the strength of their business going into the next economic cycle. Switching from leased office space to serviced offices is one way to increase your flexibility and “nimblenesss.”

You can maintain a healthy cash flow and concentrate on growing your business by not simply working in the day to day.

One option available to small businesses is moving from a leased office to a serviced or virtual office. Serviced offices allow companies to rent space in prime locations without being locked into a long commercial lease or commit heavily upfront. Similarly, a virtual office creates an office presence allocating businesses an office address, phone number and office support—e.g. call answering—without the cost of renting office space.

Servcorp offers the world’s finest serviced office and virtual office solutions. Founded in Sydney in 1978, Servcorp now operates in 60 prime locations throughout Australia, New Zealand, Japan, China, South-East Asia, India, Europe and the Middle East, including the prestigious Chifley Tower in Sydney; Shiroyama Trust Tower in Tokyo; Emirates Towers in Dubai and the Louis Vuitton Building in Paris.

Servcorp Executive Director Taine Moufarrige says: “Serviced and virtual offices take the cost and the hassle out of establishing or growing your business so that you can focus on your product. It is that simple. Serviced offices such as Servcorp’s, allow you to focus on your business, and let us focus on running your office and administration. Outsourcing services such as office administration and secretarial support removes the day-to-day tedium and hassle from running your business. We believe that it gives you twice as much time to focus on business success – time is money.”

The key benefits

Ability to expand or downsize

Servcorp’s Smart Office and Virtual Office products allow businesses to expand or downsize the office space as required. During economic boom times, businesses can hire more office space to accommodate increasing staff. Conversely during an economic downturn, businesses are offered the flexibility to downsize their office space as staff numbers reduce. All this movement is relatively risk free as it can be done on a monthly proposition, whereas if traditional commercial space was leased they are locked in to three-to-five year financial commitments.

Facilitate expansion into overseas markets

Smart Office and Virtual Office products make it easy for clients to expand their business into international markets. By using Servcorp’s existing infrastructure, clients can set up another office presence (Virtual Office) overseas without the massive upfront investment usually associated with overseas expansion. Alternatively, clients can take a Servcorp Serviced Office with complete flexibility and without the hassle and investment of office hardware and support (office administration staff). Plus, the network runs off the one infrastructure ensuring the systems, processes, billing and support functions are identical in all 61 locations around the world. You can grow your presence around the world and rely upon the familiarity and support you’re comfortable with.

Reduction of overheads and upfront costs
One of the key benefits of Servcorp’s product offerings is reduction of costs. For small businesses in particular, a significant upfront capital investment is required to take commercial space, secure office support staff, purchase hardware and lease office space. Servcorp’s Smart Office and Virtual Office products enable small businesses to access to all the functionality required to run a business without a commitment to ongoing overheads or an unreasonable upfront investment.  They can use those funds that would otherwise be tied up in office fit outs and security deposits and put it into running and growing their business.

Excellent IT support and infrastructure

The reliability and customized services facilitated by Servcorp’s sophisticated IT infrastructure would ordinarily be beyond the reach of many small and medium sized businesses. Conversely, larger businesses are able to take a Smart Office solution without expecting a downgrade of IT support and services. Servcorp are the only Serviced Office provider who built, owns and manages their network, thus delivering a 99.8 percent uptime for all internet services, the operational level required of financial institutions. The infrastructure helped their clients in Chengdu when the earthquake decimated the city. Servcorp’s communication system was up and running within hours, where the city and other businesses struggled for weeks to restore communications. In the aftermath of the earthquake these services were offered to support organizations and other businesses to help get the city back on its feet. Communication and being able to operate online is key to today’s commercial success.

Serviced and virtual offices

Servcorp’s Smart Office offering is a physical office product, with fully furnished office space available at 61 top locations around the world. Servcorp’s Smart Office product includes access to:

  • Meeting rooms and boardrooms
  • Office support staff (to answer phone calls and help with administrative office tasks)
  • IT infrastructure that includes fast and reliable broadband, IP telephony solutions and video conferencing capability
  • Servcorp Online: software that enables office and virtual office clients to very easily book meeting rooms and offices anywhere in the world, update their company details, change how their company phone is answered and it is all done online in real time.

Virtual Office is a service pioneered by Servcorp in 1987 and enables clients to establish a company presence with the support and infrastructure of a professional office without needing to physically take office space. Servcorp’s Virtual Office product allocates businesses all the key elements of a professional company presence including:

  • A business address in the city’s bet commercial locations
  • A dedicated phone number and fax number
  • Calls answered by professional receptionist at their home location, not a call centre
  • Access to meetings rooms in Servcorp’s serviced office locations
  • And all services available online, including the initial set up process

Technology as driver

The smart use of technology to streamline business processes can help small business overcome their size disadvantage and compete effectively with bigger companies. With a custom designed infrastructure that is entirely developed and supported in-house, Servcorp clients have access to high-grade IT services and information systems that would be cost prohibitive for SMEs.

One of the key benefits offered by Servcorp’s sophisticated IT infrastructure is reliability. Because none of Servcorp’s IT is outsourced, small businesses can be guaranteed top-tier levels of up-time (99.8 percent).  A dedicated team of technicians monitor the IT systems every four hours to check usage and ensure the sufficient bandwidth is available to support all the businesses within that location. The benefit to clients is that the network is closed and available only to Servcorp clients. They are not subject to public ISPs with undisclosed numbers of subscribers all wanting access to the system at the same time. Customised security ensures that all clients will always be protected from viruses, Trojans and hacking

In addition to guaranteed reliability and security, Servcorp clients have access all the services of any office at the any time, allowing them to print off documents to any Servcorp location around the world.  All the printers, fax machines and physical hardware around the world are connected as though they were within the one building.

“Having a sound technology platform allows small businesses to use technology such as video conferencing that increases the quality of your business partnerships, without the time and cost of travel. Technology should be used by small companies as a facilitator of business. One of the most consistent comments I hear from our clients is how much they appreciate the convenience of our totally integrated technology platforms. Especially for small businesses looking to expand abroad, or working in a number of countries, the convenience of being to access, share and send data and information around the network is immeasurable,” Moufarrige says.

Some of the technologies that are particularly useful to small businesses include:

IP telephony

By integrating IP telephony with their service capabilities, Servcorp clients can organise conference calls that incorporate up to 11 parties, extensive call functions including meet-me, follow-me and remote administration, directory and missed call functions, online help services and direct dial back capabilities allowing users to quickly and effectively return missed calls.

Online service application
Online service applications such as Servcorp’s Hottdesk application ensure that each client has complete control of all their services via an online facility. Within five minutes of registering an account online at www.servcorp.com.au or through any of the 61 locations in the world, Servcorp’s clients have the ability to book and use meeting rooms, boardrooms and day offices anywhere in the world, provision telephone numbers, update their company details, change how their company phone is answered and hold meetings online.

In addition, Hottdesk allows clients to store data online, share and transfer files and even see invoices online in one convenient and accessible program. Hottdesk has been 15 years in the making and no other serviced or virtual office provider has a comparable client service offering.

Fast telephone set-up

One of the most common frustrations for clients moving into serviced office, starting a virtual office service or starting up a business is the length of time it takes to secure and set-up a telephone number. Servcorp clients are privy to the fastest phone set-up service offered by any serviced office, virtual office or telecommunications company in the world. Within five minutes of a new client registering due to unique software developed by Servcorp, they will be allocated a phone number from Servcorp’s unique range of numbers and the receptionist’s console will be programmed to handle incoming calls exactly in accordance with the client’s requirements—and it is all done automatically without any human intervention.  In addition the client is set up in the back end billing system and client management system all within the five-minute set-up time. Traditional communication systems can take up two days and 54 separate steps to complete these tasks.

WebEx video conferencing
WebEx is used widely across the Servcorp client base and is available through Hottdesk, changing the way clients conduct business and training and providing more flexibility.  Servcorp’s WebEx videoconferencing gives Smart Office clients the ability to talk face-to-face with people in geographically removed locations without the hassle of travel, saving time and money.

Something for every business

“By using serviced and virtual office solutions, your remove the capital risk out of starting or growing your business. Our 12,000 clients around the globe are made up of start-ups, SMEs and even Fortune 500 companies. Particularly in these uncertain economic times, having the flexibility to increase and decrease your workspace to suit your business cycle has a massive impact on your bottom line,” Moufarrige continues.

“I believe small businesses will come to the fore in this recession. Innovators and entrepreneurs who focus on growing their product organically from their cash flow will prosper. People are looking for quality products that they can rely on, that are resilient and make their life or business better off.”

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