All posts by Adam Williams

Boost Your Startup Business With These 3 Co-Working Tips


When building a business from the ground up, success is a matter of creativity. The challenges as an entrepreneur can push anyone to the limits of their critical and imaginative thinking. Naturally, startups deserve working environments that maximise their flexibility and dynamism.  Co-working space providers like Maple Leaf recognise this need and offer a unique twist to office rental: a communal experience packed with amenities, extra services, and opportunities to interact with other professionals in your area.

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Consider these tips to make the most out of your co-working space:

1. Soak in the Productive Atmosphere

Startups have to contend with a plethora of challenges and tasks in order to thrive. Developing a product is complicated enough without having to consider growing a network, perfecting a brand, and nurturing a corporate culture that keeps all partners and employees passionate about their work. This means that a startup’s nine-to-five is hectic and full of things that need to get done.

One major benefit of shared space is the healthy sense of urgency that’s constantly in the air thanks to the variety of businesses and professionals making use of the communal areas. Startups stand to gain from this culture of focus, and setting up in an environment with a self-propelling vibe of productivity is the ideal direction for new companies to set an efficient pace for their workflow.

There’s also a great value in learning from the innovators, entrepreneurs, and experts who share a space with your business: keep an ear out for tips and best practices, or better yet, strike up conversations with the other professionals in your new office. Odds are, they’re willing to share a valuable insight or two.

2. Take Some Time to Mind Your Business

A good business begins with a unique vision. A great business never loses track of that vision, knowing that thriving in an industry means giving clients and customers a one-of-a-kind experience.

Co-working spaces can assemble scores of different businesses, professionals, and freelancers at a time – each one with a brand that sets them apart from the other. Faced with this diversity, a startup’s own corporate identity gets a chance to shine during the many interactions that can happen in a given day. More chances to share the details of your business means more chances to reflect on what your business means to you, and what it can mean to potential customers and clients.

3. Take a Break

Co-working spaces offer an easy solution to the problem of morale, freeing up time for management to keep its eye on launch or expansion. Many top-rated co-working businesses offer amenities to keep workers’ spirits high. In-house gyms, free-flowing coffee, and even siesta stations are common offerings when turning to co-working sites to house a business. Others go the extra mile and provide for regular social and recreational events like happy hour celebrations and bartending lessons. For the cost of rent, co-working is a great choice for any startup. But for those that know how to maximise their stay, these revolutionary office spaces can mean the difference between success and mediocrity.

Here at Maple Leaf we have succeeded in creating a working environment where our startup clients can thrive.  To discuss your startup plans and how your business may benefit from being part of our thriving co-working community visit www.mapleleaf.global.

 

 

Protecting the Hidden Assets in your Business


Maple Leaf_Drip ManagementHave you heard of DRIP Management?

Data + Reputation + Intellectual Assets + People = D R I P

We are always surprised by the entrepreneurs who have spent years thinking (and talking) about their business idea, only to risk everything by not protecting the intellectual property and business assets they’ve created. How do you identify, understand and protect the hidden assets in your business?

You need to understand where these assets live in the first place. Why? Because they are almost always at risk because they are not properly protected.

Good Risk Management around your Data, Reputation, Intellectual Property and People gives competitive advantage and therefore makes good business sense. In fact, in most cases the most significant asset of a company also represents the greatest risk.

Let’s quantify the cost to your business of not managing your DRIP with a few shocking facts you may not know about.

Data

50% of employees admit to taking corporate data when they leave a job and 40% say they plan to use the data in their new job. Over 50% of departing employees claimed one reason they took employer data was their perception that “everyone else did it when they left.” Other reasons cited include the employees’ sense of ownership around what they helped to create (52%) and their belief that the company cannot trace the theft back to them (49%).

If you’re handling customer data, do you manage and dispose of it properly? Under the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA), companies are legally bound to ensure that any personal data is correctly disposed of when no longer required. A complaint could be made to the Information Commissioner’s Office and that could result in legal action and a fine anywhere up to £500,000. From January to October last year (2014) alone, a total of just over £1m in fines was levied by the ICO. Every single person in the UK has a legal right to ask at any point what information you hold on them, whether you still hold it and if not, how it was destroyed. Everything from a Post-It note with a name and telephone number to client surveys and customer reports must be disposed of under the DPA.
Here are some of the highest penalties issued by the ICO in 2014:
Loss or theft of unencrypted devices – £150,000
Insecure websites – £10,000
Postal errors – £140,000
Email errors – £140,000
Insecure disposal of both paper & electronic – £325,000
Loss or theft of paper records – £100,000

Reputation

Be mindful how you deal with people on your way to the top. Prospective job candidates are extremely hesitant to join a company or CEO with a bad reputation and among those who may be willing to accept a job offer, a significant pay raise is required.

To leave their current employer and take a job with a company with a bad reputation, Executives would require an average of a 53% pay increase.  93% of people who are currently employed would Read more

Your New Company Name

By | 10th October 2016 | Start-Ups, Strategy | No Comments

Maple Leaf_New Business Name

Here at Maple Leaf Corporate Services we often meet budding entrepreneurs incorporating their company with us and trying to think of a name for their new business. So what is in a name? A lot actually, when it comes to business success.

Your company name will make sure you are remembered and conveys the expertise, value and uniqueness of the product or service you have developed. Some experts believe abstract names are best, others think names should be informative so customers know immediately what your business is. In certain sectors coined names (made-up words) have found their place, the same approach can be considered inappropriate or unprofessional in other sectors. Memorable one word names are common practice in crowded market places where the brand needs to stand out.

In reality, any name can be effective when it’s backed by market research and a solid communications strategy. Here’s what you need to consider for your new business name.

Read more

Why You Shouldn’t Run Your Office From a Starbucks

By | 29th June 2015 | Productivity, Strategy | No Comments

shutterstock_172185998If you walk into a Starbucks, Costa Coffee, or any busy coffee shop within central London, you are almost certain to see a throng of smartly dressed business men and women intermingled between the teenagers, tourists and general public trying to write their next presentation or close a sale.

They will be drawn to the power sockets and fighting against the din to converse and discuss the latest deal, whilst conscious not to talk too loudly for fear of disclosing confidential information.

Business meetings in coffee shops, or catching up on emails between meetings is par for the course for the busy entrepreneur or executive. However, the loss of privacy, efficiency, and reputation mean you shouldn’t run your office from a Starbucks.

The Demand for Workspace on the Move

The financial crisis of 2008 and the technological developments around connectivity, collaborative working, and data storage have been the catalysts for a rise in the number of start-ups, self employed consultants, and freelancers.

These businesses often work within the principles of bootstrapping, which means spending as little as possible on business infrastructure such as IT, marketing, and office space for maximum return.

This and their structural requirements mean that a physical office is impractical. But, they still need a place to be able to work between meetings in the city and to host clients for meetings and presentations.

The Mayfair Hotdesking Solution

The solution to this problem is the combination of having a virtual office inside a building that has meeting room space available on an ad hoc basis.

Hotdesking is the term for having open plan office space where people can come and work for an hour or a day on an ad hoc basis in a convenient and professional location.

At MapleLeaf, we combine this facility with high quality meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology, so that even those with no physical office can operate and act as though they have the highest quality facilities and reputation.

The way you are perceived in business is of paramount importance to your bottom line. So, the next time you need somewhere to work for an hour or to host a potential client, think MapleLeaf and and why you shouldn’t run your office from a Starbucks.

 

Financial Benefits of a Virtual Office


shutterstock_157566110The dynamics of the office environment are changing as a result of open offices and remote working playing an increasingly important role in the dynamics of the modern organisation.

This, alongside the costs of operating a physical office, mean that companies and professionals are looking for an alternative to having a permanently occupied office.

The Cost of an Office

The key overheads associated with having a physical presence are in the rental of the space, managing the infrastructure, and transport to a central point.

In Mayfair a typical office rental for a three desk serviced office would be around £30,000. On the other hand, a virtual office service at MapleLeaf starts at just £1,200 per year, and does not have the associated travel costs.

It is estimated that on average travelling to and from work takes 54 minutes a day. The monetary cost of this is calculated to be around £50,000 for each employee during their career.

Finding a way to reduce these costs in both time and money can free resources that can then be invested into the business.

Financial Benefits of a Virtual Office

Improvements in broadband connectivity and the evolution of cloud based software and infrastructure services mean that employees, consultants, and businesses can run their professional lives without the requirement for a bricks and mortar office.

Businesses are doing this in droves: data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) estimates that in 2014 14% of the workforce was working remotely. This figure is expanding continually.

This is not always practical though, particularly if working from home and having a residential address registered for a business can have reputational and legal ramifications.

This is why the virtual office is growing in popularity as the solution to wanting to work remotely or from home and while maintaining a professional and legally compliant image. Virtual offices provide a company with an office address and communication services without the provision of a physical office.

Normally located in recognised business district, these services allow companies and professionals to register their business and operate as though they are based in that area.

This approach to working means that there are many financial benefits to a virtual office that make them attractive to start-up and established businesses looking to expand or change their method of working.

If you are operating a technology based company and using resources that do not need a centralised hub, maybe restructuring your business to a virtual office and ad-hoc meeting space model is worth consideration.