Flexspace have helped me turn my little dream into a profitable reality! Being a small business owner looking for premises can sometimes be daunting but Loraine and the Flexspace team helped me with every step in finding the perfect solution for my business and I couldn’t be more grateful.
The team go above and beyond to look after their tenants and nothing is every too much trouble. Premises are clean, well maintained and I always feel extremely safe when I’m at work even on those dark winter nights! I have highly recommended Flexspace to fellow business owners – a hidden gem in Peterborough!
Our offices in Blackpool are easily accessible for the people we support, some of whom are in wheelchairs, there is a ramp to the entrance door and disabled facilities. Our offices are nicely decorated, comfortable and affordable.
Our Area Manager is very helpful and readily available should we have any queries or problems. The public areas are kept clean, safe and presentable. She goes over and above the call of duty for the clients.
Very helpful and easy to get on with
I have enjoyed renting from Flexspace for the last 3 years and hopefully will be there for a good few years to come. Found the staff very helpful and easy to get on with.
Friendly, professional and knowledgeable staff
Excellent service, the Centre team are happy to assist with meeting rooms at short notice. They ensure that repairs are carried out quickly. I needed several new sockets in my room and these were provided very quickly with no inconvenience to myself.
The staff are friendly, professional and knowledgeable and nothing is ever a problem.
The dedicated on site team are always on hand to assist
Flexspace Dunfermline has had a big impact on the growth of my business over the last 3 years. Offering the ability to offer in-house training to clients with the use of the meeting room facilities. The team always ensure that the rooms are set up to the exact requirements I need to deliver the training to my clients. From equipment set up to the supply of refreshments to my delegates.
Having a dedicated team onsite that are always on hand to assist with anything from reception to administration is a real benefit to my business. The staff are always very approachable and nothing is ever too much for them when I ask for their assistance.
Dramatic improvement and investment in the facilities
RDM Group has occupied buildings on the Bilton Industrial Estate for over 22 years and we have seen many owners in our time. In 2007 ‘Flexspace’ acquired the estate and through their resident manager, we have seen a dramatic improvement in the overall operation of the estate together with a continual investment and improvement program into the buildings, security and facilities which makes the estate an extremely good place for our company to be located.
Big thanks to you and Alan for your efficient handling of the whole process.
Giles Turnbull, The Human Voice
Everything has been really smooth and easy
Many thanks for your support in our move into new office space, everything has been really smooth and easy even down to ensuring locks were changed and secure.
The facilities are excellent and spotlessly clean throughout and it’s so helpful for us to have access to additional rooms for booking for training events when we need it. We are so glad we made the move into a really pleasant and well maintained working environment.
Sometimes you can get fed up from working in your own garage, or over cramming your shed with all the stock and equipment you need to run your business efficiently.
As a company, you may require premises that is specific to the activity which needs to be carried out in. There are many benefits to renting a dedicated workshop unit to run your business from. Below we cover a few of them.
Strong transport links via road, rail and air are vital to many businesses, as well as to their staff. Having a workshop unit that is based on a business park is ideal as it gives you the options to pick from small, medium or large units. Workshops on all Flexspace business parks have easy transport links to get to, which makes it an ideal place to base your business. Your location can also play a huge part in the impression you want your business to give to your customers and clients.
Health and Safety
One important consideration for all businesses is health and safety. Employee health and well-being are crucial when it comes to the physical working environment. Workshop units are usually designed for specific use and are better suited when it comes to the health and safety requirements of the work carried out inside them.
Dimensions and Office Space
Every business will have a different need for the space available to run efficiently. It all comes down to what equipment is needed and where it can be positioned within the unit you take out. One of the benefits of workshop units is the dimensions and space within that allows the operation to run smoothly. Higher ceiling and areas dedicated to storage will benefit you when working in a workshop unit.
Some companies may need storage space within their units, others may need an office space included within. For SME’s having management and admin staff in the same location for all staff has a lot of benefits. An office within a workshop unit could allow more oversight and efficiency.
Workshop Units For All
It’s not just businesses involved in manufacturing that can benefit from workshop units. Many companies that require space to maintain or store equipment can also make the most out of these workshops. With 58 locations around the UK to choose from, Flexspace offers easily accessible units, allowing your business to succeed in whatever you do.
At Flexspace we take pride ourselves in helping clients maximise the use of our facilities. Most of our workshop units have 24-hour access, CCTV, and come self-contained with their own toilet and kitchen amenities.
We understand that trying to find a place to set your business up can be stressful, with plenty of things to investigate, so we have a management team on hand to assist with any requirements. Nine of our sites with workshop units have staff on hand to help.
The option to downsize or grow can be accommodated on many sites, so if you find your business is booming, we can discuss moving to a larger workshop so that you can plan for the future. Furthermore, as a tenant of Flexspace, you also have easy access to our conference and meeting room facilities which are provided at a minimum cost. Free ample parking is provided at all our 58 sites which is an extra bonus.
So, why don’t you explore having a secure workspace you can call your own? We have a mixture of small, medium and large workshop units to let in ideal locations across the country, all available to let under flexible terms.
If you’d like to find out more about our workshop units, or would like to book a viewing in, call our sales team on 0800 033 4444 or email us in at email@example.com.
Choosing the perfect home for your business is an important decision and can be an exciting, but also daunting, experience. The need to find the right space with the amenities you need to meet your business needs is crucial. Choosing the wrong space could have detrimental effects on the day to day running of your business or staff productivity.
When it comes to fulfilling the needs of modern businesses, Flexspace centres offer the perfect solution. We provide all the services and facilities you may need under one roof or within a business park.
Flexspace Has it All!
We take away the stress and worry by providing you with all the facilities your business needs. By choosing to locate your business within one of our centres you get convenience, a professional address in a prominent location and excellent transport links.
Today’s modern businesses can rest assured that they are in safe hands with Flexspace, the facilities and services available across 59 locations nationwide include:
Free onsite parking is available at all Flexspace locations, you will have ample space for your staff and visitors.
Data & Telecoms
Working in partnership with Excell Group we can build the right data and telecoms package to suit you. Offering VOIP services and up to 100MB high speed or 1GB superfast fibre connectivity (available at selected centres).
Internal and external CCTV is provided across many locations. We also have access control at the majority of sites.
We are no longer living in a 9 to 5 working world. So when it comes to your working hours, our flexible business units are accessible 24 hours a day.
A wide range of meeting rooms are available to suit all types of usage, from meetings, interviews, product launches to training and workshops as well as conferences. We can also provide you with additional extras including refreshments, audio visual equipment, printing, scanning, copying, laminating and high-speed internet access.
Most locations have breakout areas which are perfect for informal meetings, networking and events. Whether you need space to take a break, or to collaborate with others, we have it covered.
Fully Serviced Centres
A selection of our locations include serviced office provision where our onsite centre management team are able to support you with reception services. Our team will be the face of your business, meeting and greeting clients and giving that extra bit of customer service.
A virtual office allows a business to enhance their corporate and professional image. With a Flexspace Virtual Office package you can choose mailbox, telephone answering or a combination of both.
These are just a selection of the amenities Flexspace provide, we continuously seek to expand and improve our offering within our flexible business centre locations to ensure we are able to exceed customers expectations.
Search for your nearest business centre, and you can see which amenities and services are available on this site.
If you would like to discover how we can help your business thrive, please do get in touch on 0800 033 4444, we would be delighted to discuss the options available across our 59 locations nationwide. Find a new home for your business.
** Please note that all services are subject to availability and vary dependant on location. Whilst many locations have most or all of the above services, please check first. Ask us when you enquire to ensure that the on-site services match with your expectations when you enquire or visit your local Flexspace.
This month’s ‘meet the client’ brings us up to date with the latest technology. We spoke with Jamie Brown who owns and runs a 3D printing company Psyber-Tech 3D Printing. Office based, in Flexspace Livingston, they can create a wide variety of objects.
Background and Early Beginnings
Jamie’s background is in electronics and component manufacture. He cut his teeth working for a manufacturer called Jabil based in Livingston. Last year the factory announced they were going to cease manufacturing. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for Jamie to change direction. He wanted to be his own boss, so he decided to set up on his own.
First, Jamie needed premises which would allow him to grow and expand with the business. Flexspace Livingston fitted the bill. Their flexible terms and facilities encouraged him to become a Flexspace tenant. After investing in a couple of 3D Printers, there was no turning back!
For those Unfamiliar with 3D Printing – Here’s the techy bit
3D printing (sometimes called additive manufacturing) is a process of making three dimensional solid objects from a digital file.
The creation of a 3D printed object is achieved using additive processes. In an additive process, the object is created by depositing successive layers of material. This slowly building up to a 3D object. Each of these layers can be seen as a thinly sliced horizontal cross-section of the eventual object.
3D printing is therefore the opposite of subtractive manufacturing. Subtractive is the cutting out or hollowing out a piece of metal or plastic. It usually involves the use of a milling machine.
The Impressive Benefits of 3D Printing
3D printing allows for the production of complex (and functional) shapes. It uses less material than traditional manufacturing methods as well. This keeps costs down.
It requires no moulds or prototypes. Yet allows for very complicated products. Many objects include internal moving parts. Its therefore ideal to develop early products for real world testing. Which means faster to market at significantly less cost.
What items have Psyber-Tech been making?
Since starting up, Psyber-Tech have made a variety of objects from the everyday to the extraordinary. One of the first items to come off the line was a Fixture to hold circuit boards whilst on the assembly line.
More complicated items were manifolds for a set of chemical reactors. They have very complicated internals. They were made from a certain type of plastic, so it didn’t react with the chemicals.
Psyber-Tech even made a learning tool for children at a local primary school. This supports them in learning specific words, by helping them to build up muscle memory.
During the festive period, Jamie participated in a ‘meet the engineer’ talk at a local primary school. He talked to the class about 3D printing. As a parting gift, the pupils were given 3D printed Christmas trees to hang in their homes!
In summary, Psyber-Tech can make anything which can be thought of and designed. The limitations of 3D printing are the limits of the imagination only.
Get in Touch Today
If any readers of this blog like what they have heard, or have any questions, Jamie can be reached on 01506 657307 or by email Jamie_brown@psyber-tech.co.uk
Remember to visit the website www.psyber-tech.co.uk and check out their Facebook page
If you would like to join one of our business centres or if any company would like to work alongside similar companies to Jamie’s, get in touch on 0800 033 4444 for a no-obligation chat about your situation. We’ll try as hard as we can to find something suitable for your business needs. .
Optimism Reigns Supreme
Despite the uncertainty around Brexit and the wider economy, the optimism of small business owners would appear to be bucking the trend. A majority of them are forecasting growth in 2018.
Flexspace undertook their annual Business Sentiment Survey recently, canvassing over 160 SME owners across the country. The majority of the UK’s small business owners are putting growth on their 2018 agenda according to the survey results.
In fact 80% (128) of respondents expect moderate or substantial growth for their business in 2018 A further 78% (126) expect their confidence in the UK economy to increase or remain the same for the remainder of 2018.
SMEs are Vital to the UK Economy
“With uncertainty around productivity, the UK economy and a changing global landscape, it may be easy to assume small businesses are pessimistic about the future,” explained Lee Maytum, Managing Director of Flexspace.
“Yet this survey suggests the exact opposite. Small businesses are feeling positive with plans for growth.
According to the Federation of Small Businesses, SMEs accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2017. That’s the bread-and-butter of the UK economy, making surveys like this so important. They stop us making assumptions about how small business owners are feeling and instead provide a strong indicator to business sentiment and expectations.”
43 per cent of business owners also said they intended to recruit in 2018. A sizable 32% of those, said that they hoped to recruit four or more employees.
“92 per cent of those who responded to the survey currently employ less than 26 members of staff. The intention to up headcount by four or more is a sign of significant growth for a small business,” added Lee.
A Brewing SME Give Their Perspective
Responding to the results, Flexspace Leominster customer and Partner in Swan Brewery, Gill Bullock, said the positive outlook was not a surprise. This was perhaps, a representation of small businesses, like their Leominster microbrewery, of targeting new opportunities:
“Increasing competition in a static market is probably our biggest concern at the moment. That’s why we’ve put strategies in place to maximise new routes to market.”
Almost exclusively working with local small businesses, the sentiment expressed in the survey is a positive indicator for Swan Brewery. Gill explained: “The ingredients used in our ale are, by and large, from a British source. We use local suppliers and our customers are primarily based in Herefordshire and Worcestershire. There are many different UK-based stakeholders in the chain. Naturally, their mood and income will impact our business too.”
Gill has some advice for other small businesses.
“Anyone concerned about securing growth in the next 12 months. I’d suggest looking for new ways to sell your products. That also helps you stand out from competitors. We always aim to establish ourselves as a brewery that’s big on sustainability. That feeds through to our entire business model and differentiates us in a busy marketplace.”
A Landscaping SME Gearing Up for Growth
Based in Flexspace Tockwith, Perennials Gardening & Landscapes, is approaching business in 2018 in a remarkably similar way. Julia Harker, Company Director of Perennials, explained: “We’ve identified new routes to market and we’re gearing up for growth.
We recently moved into our new Flexspace unit to give us better access to areas where our services are in high-demand. We’ve also focussed more on landscaping as opposed to horticultural services. Landscaping for new builds is proving to be a lucrative and growing market for us, especially with the recent government drive to build more new homes.”
About the Business Sentiment Survey
The Business Sentiment Survey was open to all Flexspace customers from all of the company’s 59 centres across the UK. 98% of respondents stated their business turnover was £5 million or less in 2016.
If you’d like to join other optimistic SMEs at our 59 Flexspace locations across the UK, please get in touch on 0800 033 4444. We’d be please to discuss our various introductory deals for new clients.
This month’s Flexspace client focus (where we take a look at one of our amazing tenants) takes a look at Vision Waste who provide waste management across the UK from their base in Scotland. We asked Amy Martin, Vision Waste’s Account Manager, to tell us a little about themselves.
About Vision Waste Management
We are a national reactive waste management company operating across the UK. We have three main services that we offer:
Reactive waste management
General waste collection
Working with a mixture of private and commercial clients, we have a group of drivers who crisscross the country sorting out people’s mess. Think of it as a bit like Winston Wolfe (the character from Pulp Fiction played by Harvey Keitel) but without the sharp suits dress code. We make waste problems disappear!
Vision didn’t start out commercial life organising waste management but like all good, entrepreneurial companies, we spotted a gap in the marketplace and decided to reposition ourselves.
Our earlier incarnation was as a cleaning company, specialising in new builds (post construction, pre moving in) and offices.
A Total Focus on the Customer
Amy continues, ‘since we’ve moved into the waste management arena, we’ve never looked back. Up to 97% of our material is recycled which is obviously good for the environment. We have a recognised list of disposal sites and waste transfer stations across the UK, which our eight drivers use. Essentially our selling point is that we’re very customer focused. So when someone gets in touch to report some fly tipping (its invariably a council), we’re there to collect and dispose of as quickly as we can’.
Our Relationship with Flexspace
‘Interestingly, Vision’s and Flexspace’s history is somewhat entwined’ says Amy. ‘We were a tenant of Flexspace about 12 years ago, then we left for a short time. We then reappeared again, relocating to our current location – where we’ve been ever since. Our current unit suits us just fine. We have a flexible unit at a good price, with access to the UK’s transport networks. We certainly have no plans to move again’.
Waste alchemy – Producing Energy and Fertiliser from Rubbish
One of the most exciting aspects of Vison’s work concerns Anaerobic Digestion Facility Processes (ADFP). ADFP is a collection of processes by which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. This process is used for both industrial and domestic purposes to manage waste or to produce fuels. In our case, we take waste products to create fuel for power, with the added bonus of creating a fertiliser, which we can sell.
So any CAT3 food (unsuitable for human consumption) we can collect. Not just removing the problem, but actually producing something good from it, in the form of energy and fertiliser. So you could say our service, whilst not performing miracles, certainly performs a type of magical alchemy!
Flexspace partnership providing benefits both tangible and intangible
The Flexspace staff are amazing, they’re very professional and always happy to help when required. It’s a very pleasant and enjoyable place to work and it’s got such great transportation links. We have been given good rates for the size of office we have and as the business grows, we have the ability to grow with it by increasing our office space as required.
If you like the sound of flexible commercial premises with Flexspace, please call us and see what we can do for you. With 59 locations nationally, there’s bound to be a centre to suit your business.
Business risk for smaller operators or startups is found in many forms. It is often created when a startup actively looks for business premises to work from, for example.
All too frequently, suitable workspaces are sought which will only fit the business plan as it currently stands. The trouble with this approach is that the best-laid plans of SMEs tend to change in the short and medium term.
Sometimes, the business grows much more rapidly than expected. During these early stages, your business model needs to be flexible and adjust accordingly.
Fortunately, Flexspace offers two types of contract, a shorter licence for flexibility and a longer lease for those who want more certainty in their planning.
Below, we take a look at various risks to your business, including your overhead or business premises risk.
The cost of business premises is one of the more significant but inescapable overheads that a small business will face. You should focus on it to reduce this risk to your long-term financial health as much as possible. Aim to sign a contract for a premises which suits your business today and tomorrow.
Flexspace are experts at recommending what type of contract will be best for your business. You should be looking for a space that suits your current requirements, yet have the flexibility to change if needed.
If you need to upscale later, then ensure you are not tied down to a longer-term arrangement than you need. Again, Flexspace provides the sort of flexible agreements which offer shorter arrangements that can change as your business needs evolve. Essentially, flexible agreements remove the threat of several risks but – most importantly – those that come from excessive overheads.
Obtaining the right staff is key to many small business managers who rely on a dedicated team of employees. Always take your time to obtain the best people that you can.
Don’t offer a job to a candidate you are not fully certain about. Re-advertise, if necessary. Keep newcomers on a temporary contractual arrangement until you are sure they fit the bill. Removing permanent members of staff from your employment who do not work out can be costly, stressful and time-consuming.
Nearly all startup businesses operate with a certain level of debt that they need to service. Few SMEs get up and running without borrowing to some degree, in order to handle their inevitable startup costs.
Borrow from a respectable lender who understands the business plan and who can see the longer-term vision of what you are trying to achieve. In addition, it is wise to ensure loan repayments, local business tax and rent are the priority over other business debts, such as supplier invoices. Of course, flexibility from your landlord will allow you to reduce your exposure to longer-term business debt, as previously mentioned.
Should you fall behind with any repayments that are due, then it is better to be upfront. Inform creditors of any short-term cash flow problems you may be experiencing. Work out a payment arrangement with creditors from the outset in order to catch up. This is certainly much better than waiting until they lose patience and call the debt in via the courts. Such action can damage your reputation as well as your bank balance.
Some SMEs will face particular business risks that only relate to their sector, such as companies who have seasonal workloads. However, all smaller businesses face risk from debt, overhead management and staffing. Get it right in your handling of these three and your business will succeed. Conversely, if you don’t keep your eye on the ball, then you could be placing your enterprise at a greater risk than it ought to face.
Flexspace pride themselves at helping SMEs flourish. Why don’t you get in touch on 0800 033 4444 and see what flexible deal they could offer you.
With 59 sites across the UK, there’s bound to be one that fits the bill.
This month’s client focus (where we take a look at one of our brilliant tenants) is a rather unusual one. We chat to artist Michele Caira, one of Flexspace’s newest tenants. Michele rents a space in our John Smith centre in Kirkcaldy.
In fact, one of Michele’s creations proudly hangs in the centre’s reception area. As a proud supporter of Michele (as well as being his landlord) Flexspace plan to beautify our meeting rooms in Grangemouth and Livingstone with examples of his creations. We sat down to chat with Michele to understand what motivates him and how he became an artist.
Early Influences and early life
‘I’m second generation Scottish- Italian (from an all-Italian background) . One of my earlier influences was Eduardo Paolozzi, perhaps better known for creating the (Tottenham Court) Tube mosaics amongst many other public works. His work seems to resonate with me, and he creates a similar type of graphic art. In fact, my whole relationship with art could be subtitled ‘the itch that has to be scratched!”
‘I am a late developer as far as art is concerned. I was interested in art as a kid, and I can remember that it seemed to be the only thing which captured my attention. It also seemed to be the one thing I was really good at. You could say that art is my first and oldest love. I did well with it at school, but didn’t take it any further. I suppose there was some pressure to work for the family firm. We had a cafe, chip shop and confectioners at the time.’
Forging a career, but not in art
‘After working in the family firm for a number of years, my full-time work took me in a couple of directions. Initially, I worked for Kingsway Entertainments, managing a series of bingo halls.
After that, I worked in Health & Safety for Diamond Services 1 in steel construction, a local firm supplying the oil industry. I consider myself a versatile person and I also found myself working in advertising for a period. These jobs were good enough in their own right, and allowed me to pay the bills, but they didn’t provide sufficient relief to the itch that I continued to have in the background. That itch was my subconscious telling me I needed to have art within my life. But that voice still wasn’t sufficiently loud at that time.’
Life takes a different turn
‘Sometimes you have to go in the wrong direction before knowing the right door to open in life’, says Michele.
It was this latter period of his life that he decide that art had to assume a significant role. ‘It was now or never I reasoned. So I enrolled at art college in 2005, when I was in my fifties’ he chuckled. ‘I studied fine art and printmaking at Dundee, and even managed to achieve a 2-1 with honours when I graduated in 2009! Once again I found I was drawn towards the more abstract and graphical elements of art. I am, and continue to be, fascinated by technology and the effect it has on us all. This permeates into my art, where I specialise in the graphical elements with screen printing in particular.’
Art and Self-fulfillment
‘So now I’m doing exactly what I’ve always wanted to do.
I might not be earning thousands from originals and commissions (not always affordable to the man in the street) but I am now able to exhibit and sell affordable Giclée prints of my work, which is one of the most pleasurable things anyone can do I think. All my work can be digitally remastered to provide a unique design suited to each individual’.
How Flexspace Supports Me
‘It was a friend how initially recommended I contact Flexspace. I currently occupy an internal office space. I find its a bright space; it is structured, secure, manned if I’m out (via a front desk), 24hr accessible, friendly and most importantly, it is affordable. Also worth mentioning is the networking and community support, the cafe and the other facilities. The location is very central, its easy to get anywhere really.
The fact that I have a solid base with a real business address gives myself and my ART business the presence and credibility that I need. In time I hope that my business will develop sufficiently to enable a move to a larger or external space where I would love to exhibit more of my own work but also that of other artists’.
If anyone would like to know more about Michele’s work, it’s available to view in its original form HERE or by visiting The John Smith centre in Kirkcaldy. If you want to purchase a high quality print work, its available HERE.
Many new business startups take their first steps at home. Often a new business can take over your spare bedroom very quickly. Once you are on the right track you’ll soon need some dedicated business space. But how do you make sure that your enterprise is a success from the start?
Follow Your Passion
Whatever your business does, it should reflect your passion in life. If you are not into your business then you can’t expect others to be. Ideally, your passion will inspire others to get involved in your success. This will help attract clients, quality suppliers and even high calibre staff when the time comes to hire.
Experience is Valuable
Find mentors and try to avoid one-off advisors for expertise in their particular fields.
When you are building something new, it’s invaluable to be able to ask someone who has been there and done it. This will help you to avoid some of the pitfalls.
Avoid Cheap Clients
Some customers will try to browbeat start ups because they think you’ll accept any work or price to get your turnover figures up. Steer clear of cheap clients like these because they end up being more trouble than they are worth. You need to keep your eye on the ball.
Always Get Paid Upfront
Who says you need to offer 28 days credit in business? Some businesses might expect it, but all will have pre-payment systems for certain purchases. If you can’t get paid upfront, make sure you are eagle eyed over your credit control.
Hire Slow, Fire Fast
Some startups hire the first person who happens to be around because they need to fill demand rapidly and it seems to be a convenient solution.
However, once hired, staff are not easy to remove from post and it is costly if you go through a redundancy programme. Take your time to get the right people the first time.
Remember That Cash is King
Try to avoid cheques and BACs transactions that might come through in three working days or so. If you cannot take a debit card payment – most startups will need to pay a fee to their service provider to do so – then take cash which you know is instantly bankable.
As your business gains a reputation, you will want to seek out new possibilities and to discover what sort of opportunities might come your way.
Don’t expect these to fall into your lap, however. Make connections with other business people in your area and make contacts within your industry.
Get the Work Life Balance Right From the Very Start
Working hard is what most entrepreneurs do, but remember that you work to live, too. Take time to exercise and relax or you’ll burn out too rapidly. Set yourself business goals but set rewards on the back of achieving them like taking a holiday.
Managing Clients and Processes are Different
You might be a whiz at administration or sorting out procedures that make your business more efficient than competitors, but you need to understand people, too. Managing your customers’ varying expectations means having empathy and a little comprehension of human psychology.
How Flexspace can help New Business Startups
Get these things right and you should find that your business grows. As it does, you will need some flexible office space to be able to expand and to meet the needs of new clients. Across the country, Flexspace is the ideal place to turn for usable, flexible office space which comes at great rates. There are introductory offers for new business people where the first two to three months free on a 12-month contract can be cost free.
What do we mean by a mixed use business park?
When we talk of mixed use business parks, there’s two different ways of looking at this. At one end of the scale there’s a variety of white collar business (you know the type; slick looking business parks with manicured landscapes and impressive looking modern architecture) housing what is essentially a variety of office spaces.
And then there’s the older, mixed use business parks (frequently found on industrial estates). Here, the differences between tenants is greater. The range spans light industrial through to storage to workshops and office and clerical.
Really, there’s no hard and fast rule as to which scenario is better for networking. Although logic would suggest that the wider the range of tenants, the greater the chance that you might find benefits to any cross fertilisation. All we would say is- try to meet your neighbours. Then find out if you can help them and whether they can help you.
Networking as an attitude
When networking its only natural to think ‘what can I get out of this interation’ Thinking this way, paradoxically, means that its unlikely you’ll gain any advantage from any interactions.
Why might this be? When networking, the most successful are the networkers who have the attitude – ‘what value can I bring to this interaction’. This is because this mindset is open to any opportunities which might present itself during the conversation. I suppose this reflects another truism: seek first to understand, then be understood.
Who should I be networking with?
Quite simply, anyone and everyone on your mixed use business park. Your greatest obstacle will be your (frequently incorrect) assumptions. Will this neighbour be a suitable individual to network with.
You need to get past that and recognise that just because (for instance) your business is white collar and some of your neighbours are involved with light industry, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to help one another.
Remember, networking is all about the connections that individuals have – its their networks you are trying to tap into at the end of the day.
The joys (and benefits) of cross fertilisation
The beauty (and benefits) of interacting and meeting tenants who own wholly different businesses from you can throw up some surprising benefits. At the very least, the potential for direct competition will be low, by definition.
But there is something quite special about finding a solution or opportunity right on your doorstep. So what are you waiting for?
Why not resolved to make this week the week to meet your neighbours, or better still, why not ask your landlord to arrange a ‘meet and greet’ networking meeting on your business park. Who knows what future productive connections and relationships will come out of this.
Choose Business Networking the Traditional Way
Moving home is considered to be one of the most stressful situations we have to face during our lifetime. Not only do we have to arrange everything, all the legalities, removal companies, making sure we can get into our new home on the day, but, for better or for worse, we also have to get to know our new neighbours.
In the fields of industry and commerce the situation is very similar. For businesses, the smartest move is to build business relationships by moving to a thriving business park. Especially on mixed commercial and industrial estates which specialise in units for small niche businesses and start-ups.
And, just as happens when moving home, the smart owners take the time to meet new neighbours.
The Beauty of Mixed Start-Up Units
There are a number of reasons why a low cost unit on a mixed use estate is the best option when starting a new business. Flexibility is a big plus, of course: why spend more on space you don’t really need? Struggle in a unit that is too small? Or commit yourself to a long lease when you don’t know what’s going to happen? But it goes much deeper than that.
On a mixed estate, from day one you have the opportunity to promote your products and services, and maybe even pick up some new clients. They say no man is an island, and in business this is especially true. Getting to know other businesses on your Flexspace estate can have a very positive effect on both yourself and your business.
Begin your Business Networking
More digital speak. In the world before the internet it meant quite simply, go introduce yourself to your neighbours, or put an advert in the local newspaper. Promote yourself, and your new business. Begin your business networking. Luckily, most of us are gregarious, or nosy, or maybe a little of both. The chances are, when your neighbours see you arrive at your new unit they will make themselves known. Even if you would rather get on with what you are doing take a few minutes out.
Invariably offers of help will be made. Would you like to use the phone or other facilities if you’re still waiting for yours to be connected? First contact can be made very easily and if there’s a fit, business can be transacted.
Is there a Cafe on the Estate?
Does the estate you’ve moved onto have a communal cafe? A cafe is the ideal place to get to know a few more of your neighbours, and others. Company reps, truck and van drivers will regularly call in for a coffee, sandwich, breakfast or lunch. Often a large cork board will be fixed to a wall.
Local businesses, delivery companies, maintenance companies, and others will pin business cards up, to promote their products and services. Make sure yours is added, and take the numbers of possible future contacts.
Shared Projects Mean Reduced Costs
Although it is generally accepted that effective digital marketing can produce an effective return on investment, for many small start-ups it is still an expensive item. Sharing a website with others in a similar or complimentary business can help reduce costs, while still getting you known to a local or national audience.
Refuse disposal is becoming an increasingly expensive business. If each unit is responsible for their own waste collection, getting together and approaching the waste collection companies for quotes on bulk collections using large communal skips will often bring reduced collection charges.
Other possibilities of shared cost could be product delivery to the same area. Organised joint promotions, or shared stands at trade and business fairs. Local businesses thrive on local clients and customers, sharing space in the local trade magazine or newspaper can have a positive effect for all involved.
That other old adage, ‘strength in numbers’ can take on a whole new meaning when it comes to negotiating the best price for certain services. Just as friends and family are likely the first ‘friends’ you added on Facebook, so to your business neighbours should be your first friends in your new world of business networking.
So, make a start. Start local with Flexspace.
Looking for more than one location?
Are you looking for increased flexibility and reach without the downside of a long-term commitment or cavernous space.
Or perhaps as your staff shift to a more versatile working model, you need to be closer to where they live, and your customers are?
Flexspace has a dedicated multi-site team who can listen to you come up with all the options. To put together the perfect portfolio of locations and facilities to help your business thrive.
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