How to Get Cheap Office Space

Shared work-spaces are a terrific way to ensure your start-up is positioned for success!


If you’re company is just getting started, you know there are a lot of costs.  One of the most significant costs is commercial office space.  Aside from the space itself, there are often furniture, utility and general maintenance costs related to a commercial workspace which your business may not be ready to support.  As a result co-working office spaces are a growing trend which many start-ups are embracing.

Co-working office spaces are a relatively new concept meant to ensure innovative and collaborative workspaces, without the prohibitive costs many entrepreneurs face when searching for commercial office space. More and more freelancers and small businesses are transitioning out of the isolated home office environment towards collaborative workspaces geared to raise their business to a higher level.

In the Greater Toronto Area, examples of this sort of a space include Acme Works, WorkHaus, and IQ Office Suites.  Each of them affords access to terrific workspaces at very affordable prices.  In the Calgary Area Commons Calgary,  Work Nicer, and The Collective 12 are highly rated options for co-working office spaces. If you’re operating in the Vancouver area L’Atelier Vancouver is a 5 star rated establishment for setting up your business.  Alternate options are HiVe and The Network Hub.

Co-working office spaces serve as a hub of activity dedicated to independents at a fraction of the cost of a standard office space. Often, spaces may be rented by the hour, month, or any interval in-between. Such spaces provide a real alternative to buying or renting office space on your own. Furthermore, as a member of the co-working office space you gain access to various amenities such as conference rooms, reception service, shared fax, kitchen and beverages such as tea or coffee to fuel your team.

While you may be keen to establish your team and your company culture in your own space, the co-working office space is a great way to save a significant amount on rent which you can then use to rapidly grow your business and succeed!

 

Avoid Pitfalls of Working From Home

Local coffee shops or shared offices make great work-spaces too!

You started your own business. You started it because you had a passion for what you were doing and a belief that you would be more successful on your own rather than working for someone else. But that was a few years ago. Or maybe it was a couple of months ago. Either way, your passion, your excitement and your energy is slowly waning, and the warm weather is only making it worse. How do you get it back?

 

Well, if you’ve been working from home this entire time, it may be time to get out. At least a few times a week. If you’re running a home office and the warmer weather is making you feel a little stifled, below are four reasons why you may want to co-work – either from your local coffee shop or at a more formal co-working space.

 

Boost Productivity: No, it’s not in your head. People are more productive when they work in a coffee shop, they provide no “work hours” pressure, just enough distractions and to a lot of people, work doesn’t seem like work when you’re out of the office. When you’re working in a public space, there’s the (needed) pressure of looking like you’re doing something. At home, you can watch TV or spend time on Facebook. But when surrounded by other productive people, you become more productive as well.

 

Get New Ideas: When you force yourself out of your home, you expose yourself to new ideas. Meeting new people, seeing new things, having new experiences. All of this will affect your view of the market, your company and how you relate to other people. Changing your environment is a good way to free up your mental bottleneck and start seeing things in a new light.

 

Build a Social Network: Whether you’re a one-person shop or even a three-four-person shop, it can sometimes be hard to build social ties you need to effectively grow your business. Working in a co-working space, whether formal or informal, can make this process easier by naturally putting you around people who can help you when needed. You build your network by placing yourself around qualified people and learning how others work.

 

Find a Balance: Some small business owners do a great job at setting realistic hours and expectations for themselves. However, some aren’t so good at this and end up working on their SMB for 12 hours straight, 7 days a week, and begin to think that’s a “normal” routine. It’s not. It’s also not healthy – to you or your business. Getting out and working in a co-working environment can give you the physical separation between work and home that so many business owners lack –  to the detriment of your health, personal relationships, and, yes, even the success of your business.

 

So get out and recharge yourself! Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Earth Day 2017

This Saturday is the 47th Anniversary of Earth Day, and to celebrate we want to take a look at the business of sustainability. How sustainable is your small business, energy wise? Commercial buildings generally use up a lot of energy.  As a small business owner you can take several measures to make your building or office more energy efficient.

 

All the “going green chatter” can sometimes feel like an incessantly beating drum.   The truth of the matter however is that the economy starts with small businesses, and this is also true for energy consumption. So, in honor of Earth Day, here are some ways your small business can conserve more energy.

 

HVAC Maintenance: When was the last time you thought about your HVAC system? Often small business owners neglect their ventilation and air-conditioning, not noticing the system is in dire need of a tune-up or replacement. Sometimes energy savings can be made with something as simple as changing an air filter or moving a piece of furniture blocking a vent.

 

Lighting: While most people realize any light not in use should be turned off, in practice this often gets forgotten.  In 2017 there are so many options to help ranging from smart bulbs to motion sensors to timers.  While such products use to be costly, they have significantly dropped in price and in time, tend to pay dividends in the savings.

 

No More Paper: Businesses in 2017, need to be as paperless as possible. Not only does it conserve precious natural resources, it saves money and digital records are far easier to keep track of.

 

Office Equipment: This may sound trivial and unnecessary, but this is actually an area where a business can suffer the most when it comes to energy conservation. You should always make sure that your building is constantly turning off machines when they are not in use. Just enable the machine to automatically switch to sleep mode or have employees turn monitors off manually.

 

Hopefully you take these tips on energy conservation to heart, and help in preserving the natural beauty of our planet.  Happy Earth Day to all!  Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Business Lessons from the Easter Bunny

Easter is just around the corner, but small businesses all over the country are hard at work making sure their customers are happy. Happy customers are the keystone of success for many businesses. Poor customer service can quickly bite you where it hurts most: your profits. The Easter Bunny has several valuable lessons about customer service that small businesses may benefit from learning.

 

Hiding “Goods” Isn’t Always Good

The Easter Bunny sneaks in and hides Easter eggs all over houses, yards, parks and other areas. While this might make for some good treasure-hunting fun, your customers will not appreciate going on a hunt to get answers about your business. You can’t hide your answers as a business. Having a well-developed knowledge base is a good start. With quality content from which to draw, your customers may be able to trust that you understand your business and can provide them with the goods and services they desire.

 

Visiting in the Night Limits Availability

Have you ever caught a glimpse of the Easter Bunny? Probably not. He only seems to visit in the middle of the night, much like Santa Claus, he’s not around when you’re awake. As a business, it’s important to be available when your customers are. If most of your business happens at night, then you need to be available at night. If your customers are working from 9-5, that’s when you need to be available.

 

A Mysterious Myth

We all know the Easter Bunny sneaks around, leaves candies and hides eggs. What else? He’s mysterious and, according to some people, a myth. This is intriguing for a figure that leaves candy for children, but no one appreciates such mysteriousness in business. People want to speak to people. Mystery makes many customers and clients feel uncomfortable. Don’t tiptoe around; be real and upfront with your customers.

 

Everyone Loves the Easter Bunny

Who doesn’t love the Easter Bunny? We’re not saying you should give out baskets of chocolates and hide eggs everywhere but going above and beyond for your customers is likely to bring you the same type of love and loyalty.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Business Communication Mistakes

 

Are You Making Communication Mistakes?

Communication with your customers is the key factor in determining whether they will have a positive buying experience and if they’ll come back to purchase again. Technology is a tremendous competitive weapon that small businesses can leverage.  Unfortunately, there are many common mistakes among small businesses.  Here’s how you can address a few of them:

 

Phone Communication System

Don’t get stuck with old PBX switches or just using cell phones for company business. By getting a central business number and an automated receptionist with an auto attendant menu, customers will become more comfortable with your credibility and more likely to conduct business with you.

 

Call Data

Analytics are critical for small businesses to understand their customers. By knowing who is calling, how often, and how long they are on the line, you can get significant insights into what is working and what is not working.

 

Team Collaboration

One of the most important things in a company’s productivity is how easily your team can collaborate even when they are not physically in the same place. Having a system where all your team members can collaborate on documents in a secured environment facilitates the exchange of ideas and increases efficiency.

 

Social Media Management

Being able to easily manage a company’s social media presence needs to have a strategy and process to it. Customers need to be responded to on social media, as it’s a huge form of customer and business relationship building. Instead of being only reactive on social media, content can be scheduled strategically weeks in advance using various online tools.

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

Reduce Financial Risk

Reducing Financial Risk As An Entrepreneur

There’s no doubt that starting a new business has risks. If you’re an entrepreneur considering starting a new business, you’re probably already thinking what can be done to make sure you survive the first few years? Specifically, how can you reduce any potential financial risks? Here are some things to consider:

 

Develop a Solid Business Plan

This must be the first step to help entrepreneurs reduce financial risks. Before jumping in with both feet, you should know how much time and capital you are going to be investing in your new business. Market research must be done; this gives you an idea of whether your business has a chance at success or if it may fail.

 

Keep Good Records

Establish an organized record keeping system that works from the very beginning. This can save you both time and money when it comes time to pay your bills or file taxes.

 

Limit Your Loan Amount

If you must start out with a business loan, try to make it as low as you can comfortably manage. If it is possible to fund your business without loans, that would be ideal to reduce your financial risk as much as possible.

 

Buy Insurance

Be sure to purchase insurance against the unforeseen.  Disaster, accidents, lawsuits, and any other thing you can think of that could potentially jeopardize your business. The peace of mind of knowing that you have protected your business from such risks, is well worth the money spent.

 

Save Money

When you can, save as much as you can. Build up some cushion as a “safety net” in case of a turn in the economy or other circumstances beyond your control. To do this, you may have to focus on improving your personal finances and having your own personal emergency fund before starting a business.

 

You can’t 100% guarantee that your own success will succeed, however, you can take the proper steps ahead of time to help reduce the financial risks of starting your new business, giving it a greater chance of being a success!

 

Be sure to visit the Bullfrog Blog often for more tips on marketing, productivity and risk mitigation.

 

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