Photo credit: Compass Offices
Looking for office space in Hong Kong? Whether you’re a Hong Kong based startup looking to move-on-up from the Sheung Wan coffee shop, or an international success story hoping to try your luck in Hong Kong – a serviced office might be the solution to your needs. Spacious sat down with Happy Le, International Office Solution Consultant, to talk about what you need to know before jumping into the Hong Kong office market.
You may just be getting started, but you’ll need to think about your future growth. The rule of thumb in the office market is if you have more than 6 employees in a given location, it starts making sense to consider conventional office space over a serviced office space. But if fast growth is likely, you may run the risk of outgrowing your conventional office space before your lease is up.
Conserving limited capital and keeping costs low are key tenets for many bootstrapping startups. Deposits (typically equivalent to 2 to 3 months of rent) and renovation/furniture costs (conservatively HKD $500 to $1000 per square foot) associated with conventional offices are often out of the question until some serious capital has been raised. On the other hand, serviced offices have no upfront investment or costs, which is great for most startups.
Keep in mind though that these costs are often built into the higher monthly rates you can expect to pay, so once your business looks like a going-concern, conventional office space might be the more economic long-term option.
Recruiting talent is key for startups and expanding businesses. Your current and future staff will want to have good access to public transportation, a variety of dining options, and be near to customers and business partners. With office rental rates at record levels in centrally located office areas like Central, Admiralty, Wan Chai, Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui, a smaller and temporary serviced office might be the only way many startups and small businesses can afford to play in these areas that employees and customers are keen to do business in.
Lippo center in Admiralty, a famous office building
Depending on your industry, having a professional and trustworthy image can make or break you in your early days. On the contrary, looking too flashy too soon could also be risky – making you look all sizzle and no steak to potential customers or like you have no sense of value to potential investors.
Serviced offices can give you that professional image from day one, but having an obviously short-term space can also make it look like your business might not be viable for the long run. A conventional office space says that you’ve got some capital and a long-term view, but hopefully you had enough cash leftover to put a coat of paint on the walls and not have to pull your furniture off the street corner.
Serviced offices can offer a variety of “big time” perks – receptionists, high tech meeting rooms, coffee/pantries areas, and telephone answering services. Some serviced offices do their own building or lobby branding, clearly given away the fact that you are in a serviced office to potential customers. Others opt for no branding of their served office brand or allowing custom branding for your own business, so your customers can remain none the wiser that you are in a temporary space.
Let’s get a headstart right before you land by getting an office!
If overseas meeting and office space is required for your business, a serviced office can make international travel and expansion much easier. International serviced office providers like Compass Offices, Regus, The Executive Centre , and Servcorp will give you access to their overseas network of offices for international business travel as part of your serviced office lease agreement here in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has many serviced office providers, including the big international players above or smaller, local players. The local serviced office providers tend to be less centrally located in terms of the classic Hong Kong office market but might be closer to the Hong Kong startup community – physically and culturally. The local players offer networking, speaking and educational events unique to the Hong Kong startup scene where you can meet other entrepreneurs, investors, or recruit talent. Many also offer additional services such as business registration, consulting/advisory and business services outsourcing.
|Cocoon in Tin Hau
The Hive in Wan Chai, Kennedy Town and Sai Kung
Paperclip in Sheung Wan
Uno in Central, Sheung Wan and Jordan
Jumpstart Offices in Central, CWB, TST, Kwun Tong
Garage Society in Central
Once you have found the perfect office for your expansion in Hong Kong, you will need to start thinking about where to house your employees, and of course, yourself. Relocation is not easy, especially when you haven’t even figured out where your permanent base is going to be. Serviced apartments might be a good answer to all your questions.
Whether you are looking to rent serviced apartments or finding a new home – Spacious’ scientifically driven search engine and large property data base can help you with that.
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