Author Archive for Juliet Martin

Juliet Martin is writing in a freelance basis for Regus, a company that specialises in providing meeting rooms, work pods, and business lounges across the globe.

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Common Office Rental Mistakes – Six to Avoid Making When Hiring an Office

August 26, 20140 Comments
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There’s little doubt that there are some great office rental opportunities out there, though for the inexperienced business owner, entrepreneur or manager, how can they tell a great deal from one precisely the opposite?

Rental rates naturally play a major role in their estimations, but as anyone who’s ever hired office space before should know well, there’s a lot more to a great office rental than rental rates alone, no matter how favourably low they are, or as is often the case, appear at first.

An orange office

Image credit: Simon Collison, license Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/collylogic/4793874877

There are many areas in which office rental mistakes are made, not all of which involve contracts, landlords or office space, but rather the way one goes about making arrangements, for example, procrastinating and not allowing themselves adequate time which often leads to them making panic decisions – that’s number one.

Procrastinating and making panic decisions

Six months prior to relocating is widely considered the right time to start searching for a new office rental because there’s a lot more involved in hiring an office rental than signing on the dotted line and moving in – much more.

Commercial tenants who fail to give themselves ample time generally find themselves making panic decisions and these are the decisions that often take their toll on the health of a business in a myriad of ways.

Not clarifying business objectives

What are your objectives for relocating to a new office space, or if you’re taking your business from the spare bedroom or garage to a ‘proper’ office, what are your reasons for relocating?

Failing to clarify your business objectives regarding office space often has disastrous results; consequently, you need to understand your office space needs to make sure the office you hire meets the specific needs of your business.

Not shopping around

With so many offices for rent it really does pay to shop around. Not only do you need to compare office rental rates in the area you’ve decided upon, but you also need to compare factors like contract flexibility, location, access to public transportation, car parking facilities and meeting space, networking opportunities, local amenities and so much more – this is why you need to allow yourself ample time to hire an office.

Not seeking representation

This isn’t necessary everywhere, though in some countries, most notably the US, commercial tenants aren’t afforded the same rights as residential tenants. “Unlike residential tenants, there are no laws that protect commercial tenants. You are on your own to negotiate a lease that protects your own interest,” says Otto J. Kostbar, Esq., a real estate expert based in Jamesburg, NJ.

Not inspecting the office and/or the contract

Before signing on the dotted line it’s imperative that you inspect the office for breakages and signs of wear and tear and document them with the landlord for future reference.

Inspecting the contract before signing is also crucial, and whilst you probably don’t need legal representation, it’s not a bad idea and could prevent problems in the future. If you don’t want to pay for a solicitor, have an experienced business peer or friend look over the contract for you.

Not negotiating with landlords

Never underestimate your negotiating leverage – most landlords would rather have a tenant in now at a lower rate than deal with the uncertainty of leaving an office vacant.

Most commercial property experts advocate making plans to hire office space at least six months in advance because this provides tenants with ample time to explore the options available to them, inspect offices, scrutinise lease documents and negotiate with landlords – how much time have you given yourself?

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Top Tech Tools for Up and Coming Entrepreneurs

May 7, 20140 Comments
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Many entrepreneurs began their careers in business as specialists with certain areas of expertise but have, as is often the nature of entrepreneurialism, gradually drifted towards becoming more of a generalist with their fingers in multiple pies.

This calls for tech tools that empower entrepreneurs to bridge gaps in experience, knowledge and specialisation and there are many excellent tech tools that can help them do just that.

A cartoon of people collaborating

What tech tools do you need for your business?

Organisational tech tools

Organisational finesse is essential to successful entrepreneurialism but if you
weren’t a business manager in your previous incarnation, organising yourself and others can be tough going at times.

Of the many aspects of organisation that entrepreneurs need to take note of, keeping track of their finances and tax obligations are two of many and the tech tools to keep organised here are bookkeeping tools like Xero, paperwork organisational tools like File This and travel management tools like TripIt.

Collaboration software

Entrepreneurs frequently collaborate and work with others and some also work on hi-tech projects where they’ve assembled a team of ‘boffins’ and need to oversee their progress.

Mendix is a good choice as a free collaborative tool for entrepreneurs working on technical projects, as is Podio for customer and lead management and Moxtra, which is seemingly great for everything an entrepreneur could collaborate with others on.

Video conferencing tools

Whilst savvy entrepreneurs realise that nothing can take the place of the face-to-face meeting, they’ll generally need to be able to videoconference in the office and on the move.

The easy-to-use Skype platform is still one of the best free videoconferencing tools available to entrepreneurs – they can upgrade to a paid version if they want to conduct videoconferences with more than one person – and Google+ is also increasingly popular as a free videoconferencing tool.

Enterprise solutions

Many entrepreneurs have an aversion to traditional payment methods because they’re somewhat restrictive and stifling.

Fortunately there are some excellent tech tools available that enable entrepreneurs to accept cost effective and safe payments, most notably the increasing number of mobile payment apps that empower entrepreneurs to accept payments with a credit card reader and their smartphone.

Phone Swipe is a popular one – it’s currently only available in the US – as is the better known and more accessible Square and the more versatile and cost effective Intuit GoPayment.

These solutions enable entrepreneurs to increase their payment acceptance options and save them time and money.

Cloud services

There are likely to be countless instances in which entrepreneurs need to collaborate or share information with others and one of the most outstanding tech tools now available to them are cloud services.

Cloud services used by savvy entrepreneurs are often as simple as the free Google Drive, OneBox and Dropbox, all of which are excellent tools for storing and sharing information so that entrepreneurs can access important information when away from their professional serviced office space and share it with others.

Event management tools

Whether an entrepreneur has many events to attend or an event to organise and promote, event management tools can help them manage and navigate their event related needs.

Flavorus is an excellent tool for managing RSVPs and also boasts payment processing options that are both secure and cost effective. Eventbase is another excellent event organisation app entrepreneurs can use to provide smartphone event maps and schedules for attendees.

Achieving any degree of success as an entrepreneur is often, in the increasingly digitalised world in which we live and work, dependent upon utilising technology effectively – these tech tools are just a taste of the technology accessible to entrepreneurs that can empower them to achieve great things.

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