By David Saul, managing director of leading serviced office operator Business Environment

A report recently that claimed up to £800m a year could be slashed from the cost of running government buildings.

In the context of an annual saving, that’s an astronomical figure. In fact, it’s perhaps so large that many SMEs won’t heed the cautionary lesson it contains. They might dismiss such huge inefficiency as an inapplicable problem, inherent to huge organisations or institutions such as governments.

However, I believe there’s a lesson here for small businesses, namely that they must strive to find value for money when it comes to meeting room and office space.

For example, government figures show that the cost of not turning off a computer overnight runs to £50 a year. Furthermore, installing motion-sensors can cut lighting bills by 15 per cent.

Not only is it simply good business practice to seek value for money, but at a time when the country has entered its first double-dip recession in recent memory, it’s more important than ever.

For start-up businesses, the importance of value for money when it comes to office and meeting space really can’t be understated — it’s the difference between making a professional impression and gaining clients, or between losing confidence and losing clients. Essentially, this is an area that could potentially mean the difference between business success and failure.

Value for money also means quality. For a small business that is hiring professional meeting or office space in order to make a positive business impression, there’s no value in hiring meeting space that doesn’t enable them to do this.

This is why meeting space providers should ensure that professional front of house staff are on-hand to greet customers and show them to their meeting room.

The importance of seemingly small points such as this has been underlined in a survey we carried out at Business Environment that showed that rude front of house staff are the main reason businesses are put off working with other companies.

You may not save £800 million, but searching for meeting space that offers quality and value can prove essential to business success.

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