What to look out for when choosing a Business Center

…or why it’s worth taking a look in the fridge.

Kim serviert

In my last article I went into detail for which occupational groups or professional settings the use of a Business or Office Center is particularly suitable. And I had already written a lot about the advantages professionally managed business premises offer, including maximum flexibility, trained staff and the possibility to concentrate on the actual work instead of having to deal with travel bookings, paper jams at the printer or a dripping coffee machine.

Today I want to give you a few tips on what to look out for when choosing a Business Center. Because even though most things may look the same with many providers, the devil – as so often – likes to be in the details.

All right, here we go:

The A & O in the Business Center: Confidentiality and data protection

When it comes to confidentiality and data protection, we Europeans are simply a bit picky. Rightly so, I think. However, some business centres unfortunately offer one or two open flanks here: Letters and business documents are sometimes lying around openly and easily visible, or parcels pile up in the reception area, sometimes even unattended.

I think that the reception staff of a center operator should be extremely sensitized here. Ideally, colleagues should even have special DSGVO training in matters of confidentiality and data protection. The decisive factor then, of course, is concrete implementation in everyday life. Letters, parcels and documents must always be received personally and “processed” immediately, i.e. brought to the office, sent according to the customer’s instructions or stored in a locked room or locker.

Confidentiality also plays an important role when answering calls on behalf of the customer. If this is done by the same staff* on site over and over again and not via a call centre (which can be located elsewhere), a personal relationship between callers and acceptors can gradually develop. You know each other – at least from your voice. This has an immediate positive effect on the customers who use this service, because their business partners or customers feel treated personally and professionally. It is particularly nice when the voices already familiar to each other on the phone are given a face on their first visit to the Business Center. This may not seem important at first. In everyday business, however, it is a momentum that should not be underestimated.

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Conditions and prices: Beware of cheap bait offers

When it comes to conditions, there are naturally very different concepts on the market. From experience I can only give you one piece of advice: Anything that is not clearly regulated in the contract involves risks – usually high follow-up costs on your side. Therefore, you should pay attention to how the prices develop after the first term. Extreme caution is required here. Extensions “at the then valid market price”, for example, are formulations with which the supplier keeps the door open for later price increases. But you should also be suspicious of exaggeratedly favourable bait offers for rent-free periods. They are usually used exclusively to attract new customers. As soon as you have decided on the provider, communicated your new business address and changed your business papers accordingly, the new business relationship can very quickly become expensive fun, because the center operator is incurring high follow-up costs.

Further criteria when selecting a Business Center:

  • Open-plan offices are usually associated with a higher noise level – tens of thousands of “open-plan office victims” know a thing or two about it. Smaller units are often much better. So make sure that and how many smaller units the provider has to choose from.
  • Do not be blinded by a table tennis table or a foosball table. You alone have never turned an office into a place of productive creativity. More important is a professional and technically modern environment in which you can concentrate and work effectively.
  • During the tour you should also take a look in the refrigerator. Beer, wine, sparkling wine, everything here? This should give you food for thought, because where there is alcohol, there is often music, parties and poaching attempts with your employees are not far away, instead of concentrated work the celebration could quickly move into the foreground. And would you like to receive applicants or customers when co-tenants at the bar are enjoying a beer?

Other important criteria when selecting a Business Center are, of course, location, equipment, professional service and personal atmosphere. It simply makes a big difference whether I have to call somewhere in an impersonal call center and hope that someone will help me, or whether an employee is there within minutes who can solve the problem immediately.

Anyone who is active as an entrepreneur also appreciates the fact that a center is solid and owner-managed and that the “boss” can be contacted directly if necessary. Rapid growth and size alone offer no advantage to the customer – on the contrary. The example of WeWork, the coworking space and office space provider, is a good example of this, as its planned IPO has just failed to take off.

Feel free to write us what services you are looking for or what you think makes a good Business Center…

The history of one of our customers shows how important a role a pronounced customer orientation and individuality play: As desired, he – a US corporation – was able to design his offices freely, in the colours of his corporate identity, with sofas, PlayStation, etc., and to create his own individual style. We were happy to take over the furnishing and coordination of all work and even take care of the necessary purchases. According to the enthusiastic feedback, this was “the best service in the world we have ever experienced”. There’s probably nothing to add.

Do you already know our cooperation with the Design-Hotel TORTUE HAMBURG? Through us you can book conference and private dining rooms, hotel rooms and restaurants for exclusive use. More information https://www.cs-businesscenter.de/en/tortue-hamburg/

The next blog in November will be about the different usage and contract models for business centers and what you should pay attention to.

Good luck with your work until then.

With kind regards
Your Christian Schmidt

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