Company directors Dawn Pratley and Liesl Guy know first-hand the benefits of managed business suites as it has helped their company, Care, Compassion and Conversation, grow into an award winning business in Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
Back in 2012 when faced with redundancy, Dawn and Liesl saw an opportunity to step out and start their own business, providing domiciliary care in the Chipping Norton area.
However with the lease terms, business rates and potential cost of maintenance, meant the pair soon realised an office was too much of a financial commitment for the business in its infancy stage and decided to register their company from Liesl’s house.
It wasn’t too long before the reputation of Care, Compassion and Conversation’s commitment to quality care in the community spread and the business started to grow. With the increase in workload and clients, Liesl and Dawn realised they were outgrowing the kitchen table and began to research options again, this time considering a managed business suite within Country Estates’ Cromwell Business Centre.
Liesl explains, “The managed business suites offered many benefits that appealed to us. Firstly we could secure a very flexible six-month contract with early exit clause, providing us with the essential peace of mind that if the business didn’t succeed we could be released from the contract with no financial penalties.”
“Secondly, the fully managed status of the office suite meant no bills for upkeep or repairs, plus it came fully furnished so we moved straight in with minimal costs. The only equipment we had to provide was our computers. As a small business this makes a great difference and has definitely contributed to our ability to concentrate on growing the business. If a light bulb needs changing, we make a quick call and it is conveniently fixed, saving us valuable time and money.”
With affordability and flexibility built into the contract, Care, Compassion and Conversation moved into its first office space in July 2013.
Dawn explains, “When we first moved into our office it felt like we had formalised our commitment to establishing the business. It created a professional image which also gave potential employees and clients the confidence that this business was permanent.”
Since its inception three years ago, Care, Compassion and Conversation has enjoyed impressive growth which has led to the company being awarded a number of local business awards. Last year it was obvious the business needed to expand into a bigger office space to cope with the extra workload and paperwork.
Country Estates stepped in and made the move straight forward, creating a bespoke office by extending the existing room into the adjacent suite, knocking the adjoining wall through.
Dawn continues, “Being able to expand without having to move was a fantastic help for us. Today we enjoy the larger office space as it provides an essential base for staff meetings, supervision discussions and even visits from prospective clients. We also appreciate the security phone entrance, because it allows us to work late at night and at the weekends without the worry of someone walking in.”
As well as business benefits, having an office away from home has contributed to a better work life balance.
Liesl explains, “Being able to separate home from work is very helpful when you want to unwind after a busy day and I am getting better at not taking work home.”
Country Estates has business suites available at three of its Business Parks: Cromwell Business Centre in Chipping Norton, Kingfisher Court Business Centre in Newbury and Lansdowne Business Centre in Chippenham. Suites can cost as little as £235+VAT pcm, fully furnished for one person (excluding telecommunications bills).
For more information visit www.countryestates.co.uk or call 0118 950 8366.