WORKING from home as a small business has its benefits: low overheads and a well-stocked fridge are probably the main ones.
But many businesses outgrow the spare bedroom and struggle to cope with even the most basic commercial needs. Receiving clients and holding meetings can be difficult; taking deliveries from large commercial vehicles can be a nightmare and you’re bound to be at the post office when they turn up. Then there’s the lack of separation of home and business life, not to mention the possible lack of credibility that comes from not trading from a business address.
These are facts not lost on Peterborough Workspace project director Philip Moores so Peterborough Business went along to the facility in Maxwell Road, Woodston to find out more.
Philip, how would you describe Peterborough Workspace?
It’s a ‘not for profit company’ partly funded by the Peterborough City Council. It was set up in 1991, aiming to provide support and low cost accommodation for start up businesses.
The premises have space for 52 small workshops and offices of various sizes, which provides businesses with privacy and freedom to operate, whilst enjoying the benefits of fully-equipped commercial premises.
What’s the success rate for companies that come to work with you?
We have an excellent record, much better than the national average. According to the TV programme Dragon’s Den, about 40% of new businesses fail. Peterborough Workspace does much better with approximately 85% of all businesses that move into Workspace House still trading successfully after three years.
Why do you think this is, Philip?
We’re more than just a provider of competitive accommodation. We have free twice monthly workshops, held in the new boardroom. They cover topics like business planning, health and safety, debt collection and marketing to the ability to purchase stationery at cost. We also have a strong relationship with Business Link who provide ongoing support to many of the businesses on site.
The boardroom is available to businesses, of course.
We offer broadband internet access and a state of the art telephone system with an individual telephone number for each business, voicemail and personal messaging service.
OK, the question everyone wants asked: how much does it cost?
Tenants pay an inclusive monthly license fee, which starts at around £200, covering rent, telephone line rental, heating, lighting, reception, security and business rates. In addition the tenants only need give 28 days notice to vacate the premises, which means that the fledgling business is not taking a long term risk.
For more information about Peterborough Workspace, visit: www.peterboroughworkspace.co.uk