Tips when looking for office space

Caption: Finding a workspace that leads to productivity is crucial for entrepreneurs and small businesses, but this can sometimes be very difficult. “People often choose an office based on how nice it looks, but then a few weeks into occupation they realise it doesn’t work for their business. Knowing what questions to ask upfront is important,” says Greg Beadle, Founder of The Bureaux, Cape Town’s leading flexible workspace provider (pictured above is one of The Bureaux’s office spaces in Sea Point).

Beadle’s advice is to ask for a ‘test drive day’ before committing to signing a lease. “No one buys a car without driving it out of the showroom first, so take the same approach to the workspace you are considering. Ask to try out the space for a day and get a real feel for what you can expect,” advises Beadle.

Beadle shares the top questions to bear in mind when looking for office space.

1. How fast is the internet?

“Internet is probably the single most important aspect of running a successful operation these days,” says Beadle. “Check whether the upload and download speeds are the same and if the internet is fibre-based. You may have to work after hours, or if your business runs around the clock over different time zones, you need to be sure you can count on reliable and fast internet 24 hours a day not only from 08:00 to 17:00. Confirm what contingency plans are in place should the primary internet service not work and ask existing tenants for their opinion on how reliable the internet is.”

2. Where is the office located?

“Everyone needs to take a break from work to refuel and rehydrate, so location and surrounding amenities like restaurants, gyms and coffee shops are important. However, it’s not only about how close you are to your next caffeine fix, but also if the workspace puts you conveniently close to your key stakeholders making meetings easy to arrange,” says Beadle. “When considering location, keep in mind the commute for all employees when travelling to work and whether parking and public transport options are convenient.

3. How long is the lease and are they flexible with these terms?

“For a new start-up business or a consultant taking on project contracts, flexibility is very important. Having the option to easily upsize or downsize according to your needs helps a lot because you may not want desk space for five team members until March next year,” says Beadle. “Our maxim is that tenants should stay as long as they want to, not as long as they have to so find out what the minimum notice period is to cancel your lease. A three-year fixed contract rental is something that should be avoided, especially if you want to keep a tight hold on your business expenses and can’t forecast budgets too far into the future.”

4. What is not included in my rental?

“If renting a boardroom comes at an additional cost, you’ll never be able to follow an annual budget for expenses for this line item. Don’t be shy to ask if usage of a communal kitchen is billed in addition to the rental fee; even this can become a premium add-on. Sometimes the superior high-speed internet is offered at an additional fee, so do be aware of these extras that you may not expect and look for all-inclusive options that suit your needs,” advises Beadle.

5. Is the workspace available 24/7 and can I leave my personal belongings on my desk?

“Safety is undeniably important,” says Beadle. “It’s important to check whether 24-hour security is provided. Should you have to work late, you want to feel comfortable doing so. Find out from current tenants if there have been any breaches of security and be sure to check that you don’t have to lock your laptop away every time you leave.”

Hot desks are to be avoided because service providers tend to ‘oversell’ this option. Beadle explains, “If you rent a hot desk, you have to pack up and take home your personal belongings every day, not knowing where you’ll sit the next day. On busy days you may not even find an open desk. Ideally, you want your own safe space where you can leave your laptop and files, knowing you’ll find them there when you return the next day.”

6. What comes as a value add when you rent office space here?

“Enquire about reception services; this is very useful if you want to maintain a professional appearance with clients. Having dedicated receptionists to receive couriered post or forward calls helps you to focus on the important work you need to do,” shares Beadle.

7. Can I use workspace at your affiliated locations?

“You may want to meet or work in a different part of town from time to time; it’s important to find out what affiliated locations are available with your rental contract. Know what you can expect at other locations that could make your work life even easier,” concludes Beadle.

For more information about The Bureaux, visit thebureaux.co.za or contact: +27 87 470 0369 or email: info@thebureaux.co.za. For more information about Bureaux Black, visit bureauxblack.com or contact +27 87 470 0369. Find them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/thebureaux/.

16 Days of Activism: Marching against violence and crime

[CAPTION] Almost 200 Grade 5 to 9 pupils from Rabasotho Combined School marched through Diepsloot to protest against crime and violence in the area. Accompanied by the National Children and Violence Trust, they handed over a memorandum of concerns to the Diepsloot Police Station’s station manager. 

The group of learners and NCVT staff walked through the streets of Diepsloot on Friday, 25 November 2016, singing and shouting boisterously. The learners held up placards that read, “Protect us from abuse!” and “We are the leaders of tomorrow”. They were marching to the Diepsloot Police Station to hand over a memorandum of concerns as part of 16 Days of Activism, under the watchful eye of the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT) staff.

In preparation for the peace walk, the learners made the placards themselves once NCVT social workers had discussed challenges in the community with them. The NCVT staff had compiled the memorandumof concerns with input from social workers, the learners and members of the community. The list of concerns includes a quicker response time by the police to reports of violence and the increased use of Victim Empowerment Centres in Diepsloot to assist victims of violence and abuse.

“Learners should know that they are never too young to make a difference,” says Mpumi Mndaweni, senior social worker at NCVT. “We see the signs of abuse every day; it is time for it to end. With the help of community members, even the young ones, we can stop the violence rife within our communities. The learners will never forget this experience.”

This walk is the first of two for 16 Days of Activism; the second is taking place with the Grade 8 learners from Far North High School in Cosmo City tomorrow, 29 November 2016 at 10:00. NCVT will also speak to learners from Zandspruit Primary School in Zandspruit on Monday, 05 December 2016 from 10:00 to 12:00 to help create awareness about abuse, violence and AIDS.

For more information about NCVT or to make a donation, contact +27 11 705 1960 or visit http://www.ncvt.co.za/. Join NCVT’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/The-National-Children-Violence-Trust-NCVT-197670257245796/or tweet them @NCVT_ZA.

Building reputations through transparent business results

American Businessman, Howard Schultz, once said: “When you’re building a business or joining a company, you have to be transparent; you can’t have two sets of information for two sets of people.”

Transparency is becoming increasingly essential to an organisation’s healthy reputation and continual operation in today’s socially conscious world. Active consumers and society demand that businesses play open cards with regards to financial health and shareholder value, as well as non-financial reporting and more.

“It is all good and well to be a financially strong organisation with wonderful business growth opportunities. However, without transparency in all dealings, these results do not mean much in terms of an organisation’s overall reputation,” says Regine le Roux, Managing Director of Reputation Matters. “Should stakeholders notice any discrepancies or inconsistencies in financial reporting, they will easily get suspicious and develop a sense of distrust towards the organisation,” explains le Roux.

Organisations face increasing pressure to report publicly, not just on financial performance but also on non-financial, social, environmental and ethical performance as well as on remuneration policies. In turn, this reporting is becoming increasingly more specific and measurable and therefore subject to independent scrutiny and audit. Transparent reporting is, therefore, a key reputational driver and holds endless benefits to organisations.

Transparent financial reporting helps investors and shareholders make decisions based on sound financial information. Having this information easily accessible will ensure that investors are more likely to consider investing in your organisation. “The same applies to clients, if they know that your organisation is open and honest in all its dealings, they will be more likely to trust and support your business over your competitors,” says le Roux.

“Business growth is just as important as being transparent in order to help build a strong organisational reputation,” adds le Roux. “It’s about creating shareholder value and it is believed that the only way to maximise this value and increase business growth is by ensuring client happiness and motivating employees.”

A mission-driven, value-centred organisation is able to motivate employees to create innovative products and superior client service that is sustainable over a long period of time. This, in turn, leads to increased client satisfaction and a competitive advantage that drives high revenue growth, with high-profit margins and high rates of growth in profitability. An organisation that proves to be profitable and sustainable will also prove to be commercially viable. Ultimately, this upward spiral of success attracting success contributes to a positive impact on the organisation’s overall reputation.

Le Roux shares pointers to keep in mind when it comes to building your reputation through business results:

  • Be transparent in all your doings, especially financial ones: disclose information, even though you may think it is insignificant.
  • Ethical behaviour is non-negotiable on all levels of the business: stakeholders are activists and are always scrutinising organisations for any inconsistencies or discrepancies. Manage your business in a way that it is a responsible and ethical participant in society.
  • Continuously build value for your shareholders: put yourself in your shareholders’ shoes and deliver the value to them that you would have wanted to receive.
  • Shareholder value is maximised by ensuring client happiness and motivating employees: keep your employees motivated and they will perform above what is expected and keep clients happy. If the clients are satisfied with the service and continue to support the organisation, shareholders will be pleased with the business results.

“By keeping these pointers in mind when conducting business, it will result in a win-win situation for both the organisation and its stakeholders,” concludes le Roux.

For more information on managing and investing in your reputation, visit www.reputationmatters.co.za or call +27 (0)11 317 3861. Reputation Matters is also on Facebook (www.facebook.com/yourreputationmatters) and Twitter (@ReputationIsKey).

Western Cape non-profit against gender-based violence

Friday, 25 November 2016 marks the start of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children. Mustadafin Foundation, a Western Cape non-profit organisation, is once again at the forefront in poverty-stricken communities in Cape Town to educate and raise awareness on gender-based violence.

Initiated in 1991 and coordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership, the campaign celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and takes place internationally from Friday, 25 November 2016 until Saturday, 10 December 2016.

Director of Mustadafin Foundation, Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem, says, “This year, our focus is not only on violence against women and children; we are focusing on men as well. We often overlook that everyone is susceptible to violence, regardless of their gender or age. We deal with numerous violent cases throughout the year, be it women, men or children.”

Education is a key focus for the Foundation and for the 16-day period they will create awareness on domestic violence as well as social, health and safety issues. World Aids Day is taking place on 01 December 2016 and the Foundation will have an awareness programme where youth, aged between 14 and 18 years living in Tafelsig and Delft, will be educated on HIV and AIDS.

“We are calling on all residents to advocate peace in the home not only for 16 days, but for 365 days. Without education, support and commitment, gender-based violence will not stop. We call on everyone to please report suspicious and violent crimes to the SAPS,” concludes Johnstone-Cassiem.

For more information on any of the programmes or to donate, please contact Mustadafin Foundation on 021-633-0010 or visit their website at www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation.

KZN organisations applauded for efficient and effective waste management

Caption: Unilever Tea Factory Pietermaritzburg (top image), Tongaat Hullett Sugar Darnall Mill (middle image), and Dolphin Coast Landfill Management (bottom image) took home trophies for being committed to responsible and effective waste management practices. These organisations took part in the Institute of Waste Management of Southern Africa (IWMSA)’s KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Waste Management Awards and were announced last Thursday evening (17 November 2016) at the IWMSA KZN Branch’s gala function at Mount Edgecombe Country Club in Durban. [Photographer: Leigth Eksteen].

Organisations in KZN had the chance to be acknowledged for effective and efficient waste management practices at the IWMSA KZN Waste Management Awards 2016. After a rigorous judging process, including site visits and audits, the winners were honoured for their positive contributions to waste reduction and cleaner production. Unilever Tea Factory Pietermaritzburg (large general manufacturing category), Tongaat Hulett Sugar Darnall Mill (smaller general manufacturing category) and Dolphin Coast Landfill Management (service industry category) walked away with top honours at the prestigious awards.

Dating back as far as 1992, the biennial IWMSA KZN Waste Management Awards recognises the top organisations in the province that actively promote and incorporate best practices in waste management.

“It is fantastic to see the winning organisations’ reports. The 2016 entrants proved that organisations are becoming more environmentally conscious, showcasing a reduction in energy, water usage and waste generation,” says Sue Beningfield from the IWMSA KZN Branch, responsible for the awards portfolio.

Some of the key takeaways from the opening speech of Fawzia Peer, the Deputy Mayor of eThekwini Municipality, include that people must be accountable for their waste and that recycling creates more jobs than landfilling, which is why everyone should support recycling.

Jan Palm, President of the IWMSA mentions, “It is great to see the strides made for responsible waste management practices and we applaud this year’s winners.”

The judging process included a site visit and audit by a team of professionals from the IWMSA, the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the KZN Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) and the National Cleaner Production Centre of South Africa (NCPC-SA).

The results were:

 LARGE MANUFACTURING (> 250 EMPLOYEES) CATEGORY:

  • Gold**** Certificate (4 Star) And Trophy: Unilever Tea Factory PMB
  • Gold**** Certificate (4 Star): Richards Bay Minerals
  • Gold**** Certificate (4 Star): Coca Cola Bottling SA
  • Gold*** Certificate (3 Star): Unilever Maydon Wharf (1st Time Entrant)
  • Gold*** Certificate (3 Star): Tongaat Hulett Sugar Refinery
  • Gold*** Certificate (3star): Unilever Indonsa Riverhorse Valley (1st Time Entrant)
  • Gold*** Certificate (3star): Constantia Afripack Mobeni Shared Services
  • Gold** Certificate (2star): Foskor Acid Division Richards Bay (1st Time Entrant)
  • Silver Certificate: Tongaat Hulett Felixton Mill

SMALL MANUFACTURING (< 250 EMPLOYEES) CATEGORY:

  • Gold*** Certificate (3 Star) And Trophy Winner: Tongaat Hulett Darnall
  • Gold * * Certificate (2 Star) Chep S.A – Prospecton
  • Gold * * Certificate (2star): Chep S.A – Pietermaritzburg
  • Gold** Certificate (2star): Constantia Afripack Flexibles KZN
  • Gold * Certificate (1 Star): Constantia Afripack Labels
  • Gold * Certificate (1star): Unilever Phoenix (1st Time Entrant)
  • Bronze Certificate: SIMS Recycling Solutions (1st Time Entrant)

SERVICE INDUSTRY CATEGORY:

  • Gold*** Certificate (3 Star) And Trophy Winner: Dolphin Coast Landfill Management
  • Gold*** Certificate (3 Star): Clifton Hill Homeowners’ Association
  • Gold**Certificate (2star): Unilever Head Office (1st Time Entrant)
  • Gold**Certificate (2star): Reclite (Pty) Ltd – KZN Branch (1st Time Entrant)
  • Gold* Certificate (1 Star): 45th Engen Convenience Centre – Jan Smuts Road
  • Gold* Certificate (1star): Ballito Convenience Centre: (1st Time Entrant)
  • Silver Certificate: Mhlathuze Water Services
  • Silver Certificate: Transnet Port Terminals Richards Bay (1st Time Entrant)

OTHER AWARDS:

  • Cleaner Production Certificate and Trophy: Coca Cola Bottling S.A
  • Innovation Certificate and Trophy: Reclite (Pty) Ltd KZN Branch
  • Individual Merit Certificate and Trophy: USE-IT éThekwini Waste Materials Recovery Industry Development Cluster: Chris Whyte
  • Individual Merit Certificates:

- Richard Critchlow
- Alisha Shadrach
- Nosipho Ntombela

  • Team Merit Certificates:

- Richard Bay Minerals
- Unilever Group and Implementing teams at production centres

The IWMSA is a professional, multi-disciplinary organisation with voluntary membership established to promote the science and practice of waste management and is a non-profit organisation. For more information, visit www.iwmsa.co.za. The IWMSA is also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/IWMSA) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/iwmsa).

 

Zip Zap inspires youth at the World AIDS Day show in Khayelitsha

Zip Zap Circus School - Photo by Anne Barbotteau

CAPTION: Children from the Zip Zap Circus School entertain the crowd at the 2015 World AIDS Day show in Khayelitsha. This year’s theme is “ACT NOW: TEST & TREAT!” Photo: Anne Barbotteau [High-resolution image available on request]                                                                                                                                                                        

Zip Zap Circus School will entertain locals at an action packed, free event on World AIDS Day, Thursday 01 December 2016 at the O.R. Tambo Hall, Govan Mbeki Road, Site B. in Khayelitsha from 14:30. The event, now in its twelfth year, is a highlight on the local calendar.

A procession will start at 11:00 from the Ubuntu Clinic, and the O.R. Tambo Hall doors will open at 11:30. Community members will start the event with a variety of performances, including theatre, gospel singing and dance. The Children’s Radio Foundation will also attend the event. The Zip Zap show will feature trampolines, trapeze, juggling and acrobatics performed by children between the ages of 8 and 19 years old from Zip Zap’s Intermediate, Simunye, SOS Children’s Village and Dare to Dream projects.

Zip Zap is a non-profit organisation that provides free circus training to children from all backgrounds. It also teaches them determination, hard work and to pursue a healthy lifestyle. Co-founder and Director, Laurence Estève says, “This show provides a great opportunity to address the stigmas around HIV/AIDS, especially amongst the youth. The children are directly involved in creating awareness in their communities and it builds their self-esteem as they teach others. The HIV/AIDS pandemic cannot be overcome without communities realising that they need to take precautionary actions to reduce the likelihood of contracting the virus and knowing how to treat it.”

The theme for this year’s show is “ACT NOW: TEST & TREAT!”. The message is simple: Know what your status is, and if positive, start treatment now. Antiretroviral (ARV) treatment is easily accessible and when it is taken as part of a daily routine, it helps to keep the virus under control.

The show is presented in partnership with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF – Doctors Without Borders), Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Gearhouse, the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation, City of Cape Town, Western Cape Government, Children’s Radio Foundation, Kheth’Impilo and the TB/HIV Care Association. Cirque du Soleil has been supporting Zip Zap’s social action since 2002 and funds the outreach programme in Khayelitsha by organising various benefit shows around the world. For more information about Zip Zap or to find out how you can support them, visit www.zip-zap.co.za. Find them on Facebook www.facebook.com/zipzapcircus.

In everything you say or do, ask these four questions

[CAPTION] Wednesday, 16 November 2016 marks International Day for Tolerance. Initiated by the United Nations, it is a day where cultural diversity is embraced and mutual understanding encouraged. Rotary Club of Claremont is challenging everyone to foster tolerance by making a habit of doing the four-way test before saying or doing anything: Is it the truth? Is it fair? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial? 

Since 1943, Rotarians across the globe have taken the test to heart, embracing acts of kindness and mutual understanding of people, regardless of culture.

“At the beginning of every Rotary Club of Claremont meeting, members continue to recite the four-way test,” says Ian Robertson, chairperson of the Rotary Club of Claremont. “It is simply a reminder to think before speaking and acting; words and actions can build a culture of tolerance and kindness.”

Ask these four questions before you do or say anything:

  • Is it the truth?
  • Is it fair to all concerned?
  • Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
  • Will it be beneficial to all concerned?

“We encourage all Capetonians to embrace our heritage and cultural diversity; take the four-way test and help move South Africa forward,” concludes Robertson.

For more information on Rotary Club of Claremont and the various community projects and initiatives they are involved with, please visit http://claremontrotary.co.za/.

Join Mustadafin Foundation in spreading joy this festive season

The festive season is around the corner and Western Cape non-profit organisation, Mustadafin Foundation is calling on the community to help put a smile on children’s faces by donating gifts to the less fortunate. The Foundation plans on making the festive season holidays a memorable one by providing age-appropriate gifts to 1000 children, between the ages of one and 18 years old, who are part of their Isibindi Child Care Programme in Tafelsig.

“Many of the children we work with in Tafelsig will not receive a gift this year. It is an area in Cape Town that is ravaged by poverty, crime, alcohol abuse, drugs and gangsterism. We are calling on corporates and individuals to sponsor gifts to brighten up the lives of these children,” says Ghairunisa Johnstone, Director of Mustadafin Foundation.

The Tafelsig Isibindi Child Care Programme is one of more than 300 programmes running nationwide which enables poorly resourced communities to develop effective protection services for children. During the school holidays children are often left unattended and at high risk of joining gangs, being caught in violence or suffer abuse. Volunteer care workers, trained through the Isibindi Programme, provide adult supervision and structured activities in designated areas; they are prepared to identify and refer any possible signs of child abuse.

“Since we started this project in August last year, it has been tremendously successful,” says Johnstone. “During this year, 16 children on the programme were accepted in schools in the Mitchells Plain area. We are thrilled that an additional 16 have been accepted to start school at Khanya College in Mitchells Plain next year with reduced fees. We are looking for sponsors who would like to join us in paying R200 a month for these school fees.”

To find out more about how you can help, contact the Mustadafin Foundation. “There is no greater reward than to give back to those who are deserving; let’s help these children have a joyous holiday period,” concludes Johnstone.

Please contact Mustadafin Foundation on 021-633-0010 or visit www.mustadafin.org.za. Join their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MustadafinFoundation

Profile: Greg Beadle – combining business with creativity

Businessman with a creative mind: Greg Beadle, Founder of The Bureaux (above) says he is lucky to have a rare combination of creativity paired with business skills which have helped him to rapidly scale his company to unexpected heights in just four years.

How does a business which began as a bright idea penned at two in the morning expand so quickly and successfully from 175 square meters of rented office space in 2012 to 8 500 square meters four years later? Founder of The Bureaux, Greg Beadle is himself surprised at what has happened. “In the early days, it was amazing to see it grow. The demand for flexible, serviced workspace has exceeded my expectations,” says the man behind Cape Town’s leading flexible office space located in Sea Point, City Junction, Granger Bay and Woodstock.

Beadle’s creative flair and business mind have led him on an interesting career. Having worked in sales for luxury cars and yachts, as well as being the Advertising and Marketing Director of Men’s Health, he has also been the brains behind starting a fruit delivery company, a magnetic frame business and a property sales guide for Gauteng called Home Gallery Magazine. With an interest in the property space, Beadle managed Engel & Völker’s Developments Division after which he consulted on  key developments in Woodstock such as the Upper East Side incorporating The Hilton Double Tree Hotel. It was while consulting independently for the Woodstock Exchange as a design and special planning consultant, that The Bureaux was born.

“I was curating the space at the time when one of the tenants gave us notice that they were moving out. I decided to convert this now vacant space into the first ‘Bureau’ based on a dream I had the night before. I woke up at two am one morning and started writing notes about the shared office space business idea I had dreamt about.” To get the business going, Beadle did everything himself. He built the desks, hired painters over weekends and managed the sales and client service side of The Bureaux. Two years later he employed his first staff member.

“It’s only through working so many different jobs that I’ve learnt so much and found a niche area as an entrepreneur where I’m able to thrive,” says Beadle who was adamant not to take his father’s advice to stay in one job for many years. “I’ve always wanted to work for myself and I’m not a fan of routine, so I love what I’m doing because every day is different.”

Beadle’s approach to renting workspace is totally different to a regular property agent. “Running this business is like having guests stay at your hotel. You want to make sure that their stay is a comfortable and convenient one.” This approach has certainly worked as the feedback most often received from tenants is that their work productivity increases tremendously when at The Bureaux. Perhaps, in a small way, this is also due to the clever name Beadle chose for the business? Bureaux, a word more commonly used 100 years ago, means writing desk, which today evokes the idea of a productive working space, albeit with a laptop instead of a pen and paper.

His business inspiration comes from the author of The 4-hour Workweek, Timothy Ferris and life coach Tony Robbins. Beadle has certainly taken Ferris’ concepts to heart. To keep his creative side flourishing, he still freelances from time to time as a photographer at extreme sporting events like the Iron Man World Champs, Tour de France and Cape Town Cycle Tour as they appeal to his sense of adventure and love for cycling.

Where to from here for Beadle? “We’ve already got plans underway for more space in Woodstock and I’d like to expand with locations in Stellenbosch and the Southern Suburbs and eventually internationally too.” Of course with each new location, Beadle says there is a great risk involved and that’s where a business mind keeps him on his toes. “It’s the thrill of business, knowing when to expand and when to sit tight. The easiest and safe option is to always sit tight, but then The Bureaux would never have grown as fast as it has. If you believe in the opportunity then you have to take the chance,” he concludes.

For more information about The Bureaux, visit thebureaux.co.za or contact: +27 87 470 0369 or email: info@thebureaux.co.za.

For more information about Bureaux Black, visit bureauxblack.com or contact +27 87 470 0369.