So you’ve established the perfect location for your serviced office company. (If that’s still on your “to-do” stay tuned for a future blog post for some tips and tricks for that process.) Now, you might be asking yourself, “What are the steps I need to take to ensure that this venture is a successful one?” Over my seventeen years of experience in the workspace services industry, I’ve uncovered five secrets that guarantee success in the business when owners keep them top of mind.
1. A Solid Manager is Essential
Staffing your serviced office company might seem a daunting task. The most critical employee is your center manager. Unfortunately, in the hundreds of center analysis projects I’ve carried out over my career, the manager position and usually the person holding it leave the most to be desired. We find many of the best managers come from the residential property management/leasing fields. Not only do they have operations management and bookkeeping experience, they’re also skilled salespeople, who know what it takes to keep the center’s sales pipeline flowing. Your manager must be able to balance key roles, demonstrate great interpersonal communication and presentation skills, and exemplify top quality customer service for the rest of your staff. This person must be just as dedicated to the success of your company as you, the company owner, are. If you don’t have the right manager in place with all the necessary skills and abilities, the rest of the steps included here just aren’t worth the effort.
2. Meaningful Marketing is a Must
It’s not uncommon for me to find serviced office company owners taking a passive approach to marketing. This is probably the second greatest deterrent of success behind inadequate management. I’ve found that when owners ensure that they or their managers are actively engaging referral sources, monitoring the effectiveness of online advertising, and developing new and innovative ways to build brand awareness they experience the greatest success. I cannot stress enough how important it is not to get stuck in an advertising rut. Don’t turn a blind eye to your competition. Make sure your message outshines theirs. Be diligent about tracking your ROI for each of your marketing strategies. If the results aren’t there, then it’s time to shift focus.
3. Make Sure your Staff knows the Company’s Value and How to Sell on it.
Your packaging and pricing must be competitive for your market, but you don’t need to be the least expensive. Your service level should be a cut above the rest. And, when it comes to selling, your staff should take a page from famous sales expert, Zig Ziglar, who said, “Each close you use should be an educational process by which you are able to raise the value in the prospect’s mind.” When your sales staff is able to do this, price is a minor point to consider compared to the true value of your services.
4. Promote A Collaborative Environment
Speaking of value, our survey results show that one of the things serviced office company clients value most is that their centers present the opportunity to collaborate with other professionals on a regular basis. Understand that those who use the services your company provides are generally in business by themselves, and they gain a lot from being able to share ideas with others in the same position. It is your responsibility as the business owner to ensure that your space is attractive to these clients looking for a collaborative environment.
5. Anticipate the Needs of your Clients
Many of your clients are business owners just like you. You have special insight into their goals, needs, and desires because it’s likely that you share the same ones related to your business. So be proactive about meeting those needs. Host a networking event where your clients can meet each other and grow their businesses. Set up a directory for your clients to learn about each other’s services. Make sure your staff has the administrative support skills to assist them with business tasks. With each proactive measure, you’re adding value to your clients’ services which will in-turn earn more for your business.
Thanks for checking out this post. If you’ve got more questions about what it takes to be a success as a serviced office company, contact us!