We recently talked to Serviced and Virtual Office provider, Servcorp; about the ways they help companies work smarter and manage their costs effectively in the competitive Middle Eastern market. As part of their technology and service-driven Servcorp Smart Office® and Servcorp Virtual Office® solutions, they offer clients cost-effective and flexible ways to have a professional presence, support and infrastructure without the long term commitment of a traditional lease or the uncertainty and anonymity associated with many serviced office providers.
Servcorp is an Australian-based company who was one of the pioneering forces in the serviced office industry. Since starting in Sydney, Australia in 1978 with just a corner of an office; Servcorp has now grown to become an international network of premium locations with a strong focus on innovation, client service and technology-driven solutions. Servcorp prides itself on offering real solutions which help clients find the optimal office solution for their situation. A Servcorp Smart Office® or Servcorp Virtual Office® aims to help businesses of any size or location operate with the presence, support and infrastructure of a multinational organisation without the capital expenditure required to normally do so.
Servcorp already has 3 premium Middle Eastern locations (Emirates Towers, Dubai; Bahrain Financial Harbour, Manama and Commercialbank Plaza, Doha) and has plans in place to open 2 new locations in the heart of Jeddah and Abu Dhabi by the end of 2009. The Commercialbank Plaza is a QFC designated building.
Each prime CBD location provides serviced offices for the 1-10 person business called Servcorp Smart Offices. Typically including a fully-managed corporate office with elegant, high-quality furniture and fitout, Cisco telephone handset with local telephone number and dedicated receptionist, use of the corporate boardroom and smaller meeting rooms, use of fully-managed common areas (kitchen, waiting area etc.), access to secretarial support when you need I and exclusive Servcorp Online - Hottdesk® membership to access and control a wide range of additional services and business tools.
Leveraging off the premium serviced office environment, Servcorp also offers virtual office packages to suit a wide range of needs and budgets. This enables clients to work from home or another location yet access the facilities, support and infrastructure associated with a Servcorp Smart Office® at just a fraction of the price. It's a great way for businesses to have a cost-effective presence in a new market or start up a new venture without the costs associated with traditional office space.
1. Don't get caught in the real estate game.
Signing a long traditional lease in the current turbulent times could be a risky move which leaves you paying higher than market rates in the coming months or years. Signing a shorter lease of 1-6 months, as typically offered by Servcorp Smart Office®, is an ideal way to ensure your office rental costs stay at market rate as the economy settles down. It's also a great way to enjoy an office with a high- quality corporate fit-out without the upfront capital expenditure. Servcorp offers lease agreements from as little as just one month, which not only allows you to control your rental costs but also allows you to grow or downsize accordingly as your business changes. You won't have to look for new office premises - at Servcorp it's as easier as moving into a different office on the same floor and keeping the same phone number, address and support services.
2. Does your receptionist spend more time on Facebook than your business?
Many small to medium sized businesses say they would like to have the professionalism of a corporate receptionist, but don't have the call volume to justify the extra head count. Servcorp Smart Office® and Servcorp Virtual Office® both offer the services of a dedicated receptionist to answer and manage your calls in your company name. With Servcorp Online you can update your receptionist instructions online and in real time to ensure that you never miss an important call. You also won't have to worry about salary costs, training or managing – Servcorp does all that more you.
3. Consider support staff without the salary costs
Whilst decreasing head count or minimising administrative resources might be an obvious way to reduce costs during tough times, having support staff available is essential for a business to be well placed to capitalise on the economic recovery. Servcorp Smart Office® and Servcorp Virtual Office® have a team of experienced and well-trained secretarial and administrative staff available. It's an ideal way to save costs when you can, but have the support on hand when you need it. Clients can book Servcorp team members at an instances notice or for specific tasks on a regular basis.
4. Spending more time on the runway than in the office?
Meeting with your colleagues and clients is an important but costly part of doing business. Rather than cutting costs by avoiding meetings, why not consider a video-conference or online meeting. You'll still benefit from the face-to-face interaction, yet save time and money on travelling. Servcorp offers both Smart Office and Virtual Office clients access to a global network of meeting rooms, boardrooms and video-conferencing facilities. You can book a Servcorp meeting room at any location via Servcorp Online -Hottdesk® where you can instantly see what is available and make your real time booking. Servcorp Online-Hottdesk® also offers clients the ability to host or participate in an online meeting from the convenience of their own desk or office.
5. Stay home and stay happy
Many businesses report that they are unable or unwilling to pay staff bonuses in the current economic environment. It is still possible to keep team members motivated in alternative ways such as increasing flexibility and support for work/life balance. All Servcorp clients have exclusive membership to Servcorp Online-Hottdesk® which enables client team members to access email from home, share and access secure files, make and receive calls from their office extension and take part in online meetings. This all makes working from home a more viable way for employees to support their staff with greater flexibility.
6. Save time with online technology.
The pace of change in the online space has facilitated lots of new technology to help you work smarter, faster and easier. Taking advantage of online tools will not only save you valuable time but also offer cost savings. Servcorp has invested more than US$21million on a fully converged global network to provide clients with Servcorp Online-Hottdesk® – a portfolio of online tools to put clients in control of their business and make better use of the internet. Services such as online meeting room bookings and alteration of receptionist instructions are now widely used across the client base. Newer functionalities such as sign-up online, provision of a phone number in minutes and Servcorp Onefone are all exclusive new technologies which are receiving great feedback from clients.
7. It's easy to be green
By taking small steps towards "greener" practices are work, you are not only helping the planet, but in many cases also saving money. Servcorp actively promotes greener practices in all locations and encourages simple actions such as:
8. Don't lose the presence
The reality is that some companies are being forced to downsize in the current economic climate. With Servcorp Virtual Office® this doesn't have to translate into a downsize in corporate presence. You can work from home, another location or another city, yet maintain the corporate address of a big professional corporation, a business telephone number and dedicated receptionist and access to meeting rooms and office facilities when you need it. You can even sign up online and be operational with a telephone number within minutes.
9. Purchasing power in bulk
Managing your cost flow and expenditure is an easy way to keep your budgets balanced. Servcorp Online-Hottdesk® offers all Servcorp clients access to a range of corporate products and discounts. By creating an international community of business, Servcorp is able to negotiate greater discounts thanks to stronger purchasing power. It's the only way a small to medium business can tap into the discounts that bigger corporate players enjoy.
10. Don't lose productivity with old technology
Improvements in technology can translate directly into improvements in productivity. Don't let your business get stuck with out-of-date resources or infrastructure. Servcorp is constantly monitoring broadband speeds to ensure they set the standard for fastest speeds, unrivalled security and in-house IT support. Servcorp also ensures that both serviced office and virtual office clients always have access to the latest office equipment. By sharing such resources with other serviced office clients, it's easy to have access to the best equipment without the capital expenditure.