Selecting services for a business is no easy task. Whether you’re looking for web hosting or shared office space, there are important considerations. The right choice, early in the game, can help avoid trouble and cost later on down the line. Although price seems like the first consideration when selecting services, flexibility should count as one of your key drivers. Don’t lock your business into terms that you’ll outgrow or won’t need a few months later.

Finding the best deal isn’t just about the lowest price. Often times service providers will offer a discount if you sign up for multiple years at a time. While this may seem like a great deal, you’re going to be locked in for years down the road. You can’t predict how your business will change. If you’re stuck with an agreement that isn’t working, you could be doing your business more harm than good.

For example, if you’re considering shared office space, an agreement for just a few months to a year at a time can help you plan for the changing needs of your business. If you find that your business expands over the course of a year and you need more office space, you can always find a new lease on a bigger office space. Find lease terms that are month to month or up to a year to take advantages of price breaks, so you can change your lease and move to a setup that’s better suited to your needs. While this advice may be a little self-serving , considering we specialize in short term leases, it is still a strategy that we see our clients successfully leverage on a regular basis.

Staying flexible can save you time and money in other ways. For example, IT services are essential in today’s workplace and finding the right IT services provider takes some time. Opting with an agreement that has flexible terms for service can help you minimize risk. As a growing business, your tech needs will change over several months. Staying flexible will prevent you from being locked into a price or level of service that doesn’t meet your needs.

Most tech companies, like email service providers or hosting providers, offer several levels of service. Read the details of the services and find out if you can switch between them as your needs dictate. If you have the option of switching, start with the lowest plan available and test out the service. You can increase your usage based on your needs. You can upgrade to a higher level of service once you’ve figured out if it works for your business. In addition, you can drop a service that isn’t working without being locked into a long term commitment.

The next time you’re considering adding an important service for your business, keep flexibility in mind. More so than cost savings, having flexible terms with a service provider can help you avoid headaches later on down the line. Seek out service providers with flexible terms so you can find exactly what you need.

Courtney Ramirez
Research Analyst, Pacific Business Centers (rebranded as Pacific Workplaces)

Courtney’s research for Pacific Business Centers focuses on tracking emerging business trends and best practices – with an emphasis on how they affect business operations, technology, and shared office space trends.