Finding the right office space

 

The benefits of starting a company in Singapore are well documented It’s unique safe location, highly developed infrastructure, tax advantages and political stability make this little red dot an ideal location for companies to set up their regional headquarters in the APAC region. Singapore is certainly becoming a major player in the technology hub and attracting many new innovative tech start-ups to the region.

For all start-ups, managing operational costs at the initial phase is extremely important. This is key for the first 1-5 years. For many, start-up companies can fail at the initial hurdle and this mainly comes down to poor business plans, operational costs and overspending. Truth is 96% of businesses fail in ten years. Cutting company expenses by 10% can increase your bottom line profit by as much as 50%. Many of these expenses can easily be cut as they are not critical to growing your business.

One area of expense which can be really costly is office space. Where to begin on initial entry into Singapore can become mind boggling. There are various types of office options that are available in Singapore. Other than location the next condition will be that of costs. Understanding the type of office space available in Singapore will allow you to make an informed decision that will help your company save thousands, sometimes millions.

Let’s take a look at Google’s Asia-Pacific business headquarters in Singapore. They started with eight people in 2007 and now have expanded to more than 1000 employees today. Google were smart because they started in a small “pokey” office and slowly expanded into some magnificent offices late 2016. So you don’t need exclusive offices to start with.

The most popular spaces available to the market are as follows:

 

The Co-working Revolution

 

Businesses today are more dynamic and progressive than ever before. You can be part of an exclusive community who share the same values, high performing start-ups and rapidly growing businesses.

Desk space can range from SGD$50 – $500 per month pp. Some co-working areas also rent out office space which is cheaper than serviced offices

To give you an idea on space and prices check on the link to see some really cool office co-working spaces.

http://sg.asia-city.com/city-living/article/11-hot-co-working-spaces-singapore

 

 

Serviced offices

Serviced offices are often overlooked purely because their monthly rental fees are higher, but one must look at the big picture before coming to a decision on what may suit your needs.

A serviced space comes ready-made with such things as Internet connection points, wiring, utilities and a kitchen/breakout area for staff to relax in during coffee breaks. They also provide an extra service of support staff if you don’t have the budget to hire full time staff. You also don’t have the hassle of worrying about fit-out costs etc. unlike leasing an office premises.

Shared working spaces are disrupting Serviced offices and are having to improve their services in order to keep up with the ever changing work environments.

 

 

Leasing

 

Statistics show that most new business owners start out by leasing office space, and many business consultants advise leasing over buying until you get on your feet.

Be realistic when considering space. It’s best to avoid renting more space than you need. A larger amount of your limited resources will go into paying rent and you don’t want to pay for unused space.

A few important points to look out for when leasing an office

  • Grade of the office A,B,C. Not much difference between A&B.

  • Be aware of charges like GST and service charges which do not show up on the lease.

  • Reinstatement costs when relocating or ending the lease can be extremely costly.

  • Costs for fitting out the space. (Most spaces come empty)

 

Government Initiatives

 

JTC LaunchPad at One North is the first of many concentrated sites conducive for inclusive growth for start-ups. Located at the heart of one-north, LaunchPad is within the vibrant ecosystem of Biopolis, Fusionopolis and Mediapolis, and has the opportunity to plug into the multi-disciplinary R&D environment which includes knowledge-based companies, institutes of higher learning and research institutes that are at the forefront of innovation.

Eligibility

Start-ups are companies who are:

  • Singapore-based company

  • Incorporated not more than 5 years at the point of tenancy commencement

  • Not a subsidiary of an established company (local/foreign)

  • Comply with URA industrial usage guidelines

Start-ups can apply for not more than 100 sqm of space.

If you are a new start-up to Singapore and not sure what type of space to rent, feel free to drop me an email and I’ll only be too happy to point you in the right direction.