How to Keep Work Secure While in a Coworking Space

coworking spaceBesides being trendy, flexible, and calm, coworking space is an affordable alternative compared to renting traditional office space. Such working models are currently in vogue, with more people preferring them to conventional working offices. Approximately 77 percent of those using this working model claim that it provides more benefits than previous arrangements. From improved networking options, easy accessibility, peace of mind to flexibility, co-working spaces are undoubtedly the best.

This working model has gained popularity, with several fortune companies, including Facebook, Microsoft, and Starbucks adopting it. However, while this formula provides several benefits, it presents some of the biggest risks in equal measure. Therefore, if you intend to adopt a co-working office space model, consider the following tips for utmost safety.

1. Protect Your Network

Your company and clients’ data are key valuables in your work. However, cybercriminals can take advantage of several vulnerabilities to hack into your network. Before connecting to any WIFI network in a co-working space, ensure that you determine the available security measures. Hackers can set up spoofed networks designed to seize any incoming and ongoing traffic from office connections.

You can also fall prey to WIFI sniffing, a technique used by hackers to intercept data shared over public networks. Through this, they can capture key details, such as browser history, usernames, and passwords to crucial documents. Intruders can also gain access to your essential documents by installing malicious malware and much more.

That said, installing strong network security measures is the best solution that keeps your co-workers’ information safe. Since hackers target WIFI networks, consider hosting co-workers on personal networks rather than one WIFI network. You should also allocate them different credentials and unique passwords. With this, even if one network is hacked, other workers will remain safe. You can also invest in an electric timer that automatically switches off the WIFI connection overnight.

Installing antivirus and software to protect your network is crucial. Strong antivirus helps mitigate risks, filter your mailbox, and protect the WIFI network.

2. Watch out For Security Updates

Even after installing proper security measures to your network, you should constantly be on the lookout for updates. This will prevent your network from vulnerabilities to cybercriminals and data miners. Hackers spend a lot of time searching for security loopholes on networks that they can exploit. However, you should take advantage of security updates regularly released by security companies that patch the vulnerabilities. Ignoring them exposes your business network to unimaginable security risks.

The Wannacry Ransomware Attack is a perfect example of a cybersecurity threat that most businesses could have averted if they had made network updates timely. To be sure, make a point of hiring specific IT experts who frequently check your devices and networks for security updates. You can as well opt for an easier option of automating the updates.

3. Train Your Workers

Your employees are at the forefront in preventing and fighting various data security concerns. Unfortunately, more than 90 percent of data breaches originate from human error. As such, it is prudent to ensure that your employees are trained on the common security vulnerabilities and ways to avoid them. Educate your workers on data security and the ways it can affect their work. You should also train them on how they can prioritize data security when handling your client’s data. You could also consider hiring cybersecurity professional.

4. Be Keen for Phishing Attacks

Over time, phishing attacks have terrorized several unsuspecting businesses, and they may be detrimental to your co-working space as well. Recently, one of the common phishing attacks launched by hackers used the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic to dupe naive internet users. Cybercriminals working in a façade of trusted parties can send emails or texts to your employees or users of your co-working space to access login credentials and steal crucial business data.

Fortunately, phishing scams are easy to identify. For instance, some have obvious spelling mistakes, and others are written in an unnatural tone. Therefore, encourage your employees and co-working individuals to look out for such nominal errors when reading their emails and texts. Other measures to avoid phishing attacks include;

  • Installing updated firewalls and web browsers
  • Avoiding emails that come with some sense of urgency
  • Not sharing crucial business information with unauthorized individuals
  • Installing software that filter emails commonly used for phishing attacks

Bottom Line

The use of coworking space is increasingly becoming a mainstream working option for various people. From freelancers, startups, and established businesses, remote workers to part-time hobbyists, this working model attracts people from various backgrounds. Besides providing an accommodative and appealing working environment, it is important to ensure that it is protected suitably.

Businesses should protect their crucial company and clients’ data from cybersecurity threats in all ways. Note that your co-workers’ data security is strongly tied to security measures placed in the coworking space.

If you are looking for office space, coworking space or traditional, we can help. Contact us today to find out about our no cost service.

4 Ways To Make Sure Your Business Has Plenty Of Working Space While Coworking

A new workstation setup can affect a employees’s performance and mood. That is why when choosing workspaces for your employees, you need to ensure that they feel comfortable in the area. The working environment needs to create a positive ambience, influencing the work performed by the employees in a good way. Having plenty of working space in the office to move freely and comfortably can also help boost the productivity of employees.  

Many businesses choose to build or rent small offices for their employees. Some companies also take advantage of using coworking space to optimize the cost of operating their businesses. Jeremy Ellis from Launchpad says that the prices of coworking space is around $600 per month since the start of 2020 despite the rise of many companies adapting to new normal and remote working practices.

Individual’s and team space within a coworking space tend to be small, so how can you ensure that the small space is maximized for your employees? Here are four ways you can increase the working space of your business: 

1. Choose The Right Furniture 

Some coworking spaces aren’t fully furnished, and you need to buy furniture for your workforce. This is an excellent opportunity for you to choose furniture pieces that are compact yet functional. It’s important that you know the total office area before buying any furniture to maximize the space.  

Aside from that, it would be best if you considered the needs of your employees when buying furniture. Do they need a desk with drawers? How much storage space does each employee need? Are you planning to have a common area for meetings? Choosing the right furniture will not only complete the working spaces for you and your employees, but these will also be critical in making the room look more significant, professional, and functional.  

2. Go Paperless 

Documents and other different papers fill up storage spaces in any office quickly. If you want to clear up significant space to store other items or convert it to an additional workspace, you should consider going paperless.  

By going paperless for business, you won’t have any more problems with consuming resources and money on documents. Not only will you be able to cut down on paper costs, but you will also eliminate the clutter in your office. That means no more filing folders and files everywhere! There will also be no need for mailing the papers or hardcopy files. The time you save by going paperless for business can give you more time to do more important things like running your business, improving your marketing strategies through an online system, and cultivating a desirable work culture. 

Aside from that, uploading to the cloud is also one of the effective ways to store private information. This is also essential to protect the confidentiality of these materials. Make sure that the passwords are given to people who are allowed to access the documents.

3. Choose The Right Layout 

The first factor that you need to consider when thinking about maximizing office space is the layout. You need to think about your office design and make sure that all of the furniture pieces that you will be using will fit into the allotted area.  

One of the best tips to use when arranging your office layout to maximize the space is to place furniture on the edges of the walls. It would be best if you aim to have an open space concentrated in one area to make the small office space look less confining. You can add an area rug in the middle area to avoid a cluttered view. 

4. Provide Enough Storage Space 

Having enough storage space is one of the best ways to keep everything in the office organized and to avoid clutter. When choosing an office storage space, you should consider the needs of your business and your employees. You must provide your employees with lockers so they can place their personal items on these cabinets. It’s also a good idea to give locks so they can keep private things safe.  

You should also choose the appropriate storage space for every item that needs to be kept. There are file cabinets for documents, and there are also cabinets or boxes to store some office supplies. To keep everything organized and reduce the clutter, it would be helpful to use labels to keep everything in the right place.  

Summary 

There are plenty of ways to maximize office space without breaking the bank. By staying organized and providing the right furniture and storage space, you create a lot of working space for your employees even when you have a small office. Aside from that, it would be best if you consider going paperless so you won’t have to stack and store paperwork that uses a large amount of space in the office. Maintaining a small office space and maximizing the area will help you reduce business costs while increasing your employees’ productivity

And if you are looking for office space, coworking or traditional, we can help. Contact us today to find out about our no cost service.

 

 

4 Best Ways To Store Sensitive Material For Your Business

Store Sensitive Material For Your BusinessWhen you’re running a business located anywhere in the world, you certainly have to deal with sensitive documents and information. From any personal data involving clients and employees to essential company plans, documents containing such information should be well handled to ensure the success of your company. When these materials aren’t stored properly, your business may be at risk for information leaks, leading to significant financial losses. 

Fortunately, there are many ways to keep sensitive materials private in today’s business world. Whether you’re dealing with hard copies or electronic files, here’s how you can store sensitive material for the benefit of your company: 

1. Use An Office Safe 

Offices worldwide have been utilizing common safety measures in the workplace. For physical documents and other sensitive business materials, necessary steps should be taken to ensure that they’re safe and not at risk for theft. This is where the use of a high-quality office safe comes to the rescue. 

As an example, ChubbsSafes, which sells office safes Perth, Australia offers premium security with dual key lock systems, programmable entry, and other essential security features. Whether you’re storing financial records, checkbooks, and other physical items such as USB drives and a lot more, you can use an office safe to keep them safe at all times. With the high-quality protection it provides, you can access all documentation and other critical materials without worrying about unauthorized access and other leakage issues. 

2. Keep Files In The Cloud

In today’s modern world, the cloud has become one of the most popular tools needed to grow a business. Generally, cloud storage refers to a service model whereby the data is kept and transmitted on remote storage systems where it’s made available to users who have access to the network. 

Thus, if you want to limit the access to confidential materials among authorized persons only, using cloud storage can be a great option for your enterprise. It usually comes with security capabilities such as data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and many more, making your storage efforts much easier and more streamlined. 

It is also a good idea to have backups all important documents not only in your main cloud storage system, but in another one as well… Just in case.

3. Create A Safe Document Management System

Another way to store sensitive material for your business is to create a document management system. Since all kinds of materials are being produced and stored within the company—from hard copies to digital ones—a document management plan should be established and employed to protect all documents properly. 

Moreover, spending a lot of time searching for a particular document can be one of the biggest challenges in document storage. As such, you should have a streamlined and secured system in place to make the searching process easier and faster. 

For example, you can store all your sensitive materials in alphabetical order, according to date or another factor. This organization process can help you find what you’re looking for without exposing other documents to the potential risk of theft and loss. 

4. Provide Password Protection and Firewall For All Computers

With the advent of several modern innovations these days, it’s easy for most entrepreneurs to store essential documents on desktop computers and laptops, potentially exposing sensitive data if stolen or lost. Because of this, it’s important to have password protection for all computers and devices to ensure an extra level of security when storing crucial documents and other data. 

For example, you can utilize the password protection feature in Microsoft Word or Excel to limit an unauthorized person from making changes to the document. When you’re sharing files within your organization, you can convert them to PDF format to prevent editing, copying, and printing sensitive materials without your permission. This is especially true if you’re dealing with the confidential contracts of your business. 

And make sure your entire computer system is behind a strong firewall to keep those unpleasant hackers out. Pasword protection is good, but adding a firewall is even better.

The Takeaway 

No matter how big or small your company, there will always be the need to store sensitive material critical to the business that you should keep with the utmost security. Whether they’re internal documents, financial records, or any other essential files, keep the information mentioned above in mind so you’ll know exactly how to store data and materials properly and safely.  

Certified OfficeFinder SpecialistAt OfficeFinder we can help you find the “safe” office you want. Our local pros are intimately aware of the local market and can assist you in finding the best space at the best price. Contact us today to find out more.

 

 

6 Things To Qualify You to Lease Office Space

6 Things To Qualify You For Renting Out Office SpaceFor some, it would seem that property owners lease office space to just anyone. Not so.  Even if the office space has been vacant for more than a year, most landlords follow a qualification system.  

Ordinarily, this process involves assessing credit statements, background verifications, tax returns, or examining references. Even so, your financial reports aren’t the only valuable documents property owners go over before deciding to lease your office space. How landlords perceive you is also critical. 

In case a property owner feels you’re an unstable tenant, you’ll most likely lose the contract. So, to gear you up on your next meeting with a landlord, here are six things that a 2020 case study by Uxbridge business park found that you may need to do to qualify for renting an office space. 

1. Furnish a Solid Business Plan

Do you have a brand-new company? Furnishing a solid business plan to the property owner is fundamental to demonstrating your business knowledge to the landlord. You can also give a background on the company budget, expected sales, competition, etc.  

It is better to include details such as when you forecast your company to be productive and break even. As a future tenant, your target is for the property owner to believe in your company the same way they will trust your tenancy.   

2. Submit Thoroughly Completed Form

In case the landlord provides you the lease application form, submit it after filling out all the data completely. It may sound straightforward, but often some company owners neglect to complete it. If you want to avoid leaving a wrong impression, submit a thoroughly completed  form to guarantee your application is on top of the file.  

3. Enlist a Credible Tenant Advisor

Enlisting the services of a reputable tenant representative (like the ones we have at OfficeFinder) and/or a lawyer can prove to property owners you’re serious about renting an office space. Having professional representatives to help you deal with landlords will ensure you’ll be able to talk about every crucial detail in your contract and avoid costly mistakes.

What’s more, they can help you shorten the negotiations with the property owner and avoid lengthy proceedings. Also, tenant advisors are familiar with the real estate market since they do this day in and day out.

4. Provide Statements of Assets & Liabilities

For property owners to see your company as a qualified tenant, provide your bank statement showing your assets and liabilities. This statement will show the landlord if your company has adequate assets or cash to pay off your lease after factoring in your debts. 

Furthermore, property owners want to see if your assets and cash can cover your entire lease in case of a business failure. Handing over an impressive statement of assets and liabilities will ensure your deal will end positively.  

5. Display Stable Credit History

It’s common for companies to experience late payments on loans or credit card statements. In case this happens to you, this is the time to change and clean your habits. For property owners see you as a steady tenant, you need to demonstrate you’re financially stable. And as proof, this will require exhibiting strong credit and financials.  

If you’re planning to apply for any loans, begin with the application already so you can show sufficient cash flow to cover your lease. You can also provide these other standard requirements: balance sheets, tax returns, cash flow documents, and other notices from your bank indicating your financials.

6. Be Ready to Relocate Soon

Finally, if the space you’re eyeing is in a popular and hot office location, see to it you can relocate immediately. Most often, landlords lease prominent locations fast. In case you chance upon an area you feel is right for you, focus on securing the place to prevent another company from renting it.    

When there are one or more groups wanting to secure a specific office space, landlords typically favour the able, ready, and eager to move party quickly. Remember, property owners avoid wasting time on clients who are not aware of their requirements.  It’s best to know your office space needs, electrical requirements, and zoning needs so you’ll have an idea if the location is a good fit for your company.  

Final Thoughts

As an entrepreneur, one of the significant decisions you have to make is whether to purchase a property or rent an office space for your business. If you’re starting your firm and working on a limited budget, it might be in your best financial interest to lease office space.  

Please note that it’s essential for potential clients to know you have an office they can physically visit. Showing customers you possess an office space is a huge step in establishing your company. Moreover, demonstrating to property owners, you’re ready to rent will help you get that office space faster.  

If you need help finding office space to lease, whether conventional or flexible space, we can help. Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion on how one of our tenant representatives can help.

5 Tips For When Negotiating for an Office Space Rental

5 Tips For When Negotiating an office space rentalOffice Space Rental is one of the significant expenditures of a rising company. It makes sense then that negotiating for an acceptable lease is a challenging yet necessary process one has to take. Take note that there are several approaches you can adopt to obtain the best deal without undermining your finances or slowing down your business.  

Regardless if you hired a tenant broker, do your research on the space you want to rent. Are there other companies eyeing the property? How long has the place been empty? These are aspects that can significantly impact your negotiation process. 

And since there’s no such thing as a standard lease, you will find below five tips when negotiating the office space rental you want.  

1. Settle Length of Lease Period (Term)

Property owners or landlords are usually amenable to grant long-term leases. In a way, this condition can be beneficial; however, it’s normal for the company to adjust. When this change happens, you’ll find yourself stuck in a lease with either a sizeable or small space for your business.  

As a tenant, aim to negotiate a short-term contract with extension options. For instance, seek a two-year deal with a two-year extension option instead of a four-year agreement.  

2. Manage Rent Hikes

When it comes to office spaces, it’s unusual to find fixed rent with long-term contracts. Typically, property owners expect yearly increases based on rate hikes found in the Consumer Price Index (CPI). 

If the landlord requires rent hikes, see if you can arrange for a fixed CPI rent increase. For example, your monthly rent is $7,000 a month. Your second year will increase to $7,200 per month, then $7,400 a month on your third year.  

3. Explore Hiring a Tenant Broker

Yes, it’s common to come across stubborn landlords with unreasonable requests. If you’re in this tight situation, you may want to look for alternative office space to rent.  

A credible tenant broker, aka tenant representative, can help your company search for available spaces or industrial developments like the Gloucester business park. These professionals can give you a background and help you understand the dynamics of the market. Moreover, they can help you discover office spaces that satisfy your standards, set up viewings, and go with you to see these properties.  

Tenant brokers likewise help their clients draft offer letters and deal with property owners so you can obtain a sensible lease for your company. 

4. Discuss Office Space Improvements and Repairs

Meanwhile, please note that some contracts will include clauses that state tenants must reinstate premises to their primary condition. 

See if you can modify the provision to say that you will return the office space in the same state at the start of your contract as a tenant. This condition excludes devastation by fire that isn’t the responsibility of the tenant and usual wear and tear.  

Furthermore, if the property requires upgrading or enhancements, who is responsible for these repairs? Suppose you want fresh carpets, new paint colours, or re-arrange the layout of the office area. Take note that many leases state that tenants can only modify the property with the property owner’s consent.  

Request for a provision that allows you to render alterations with the landlord’s permission and that consent will not be unduly conditioned, hampered, or delayed.   

5. Be on the Lookout with These Provisions

Lastly, be on the lookout for these one-sided clauses that strongly favours property owners:

  • The property owner restricts potential assignment or subletting 
  • The property owner expects the tenant to settle tax escalations stemming from the property sale 
  • The property owner has the right to rescind the contract at the landlord’s convenience 
  • The property owner rents the space ‘as is’ to waive compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or any environmental laws.   
  • The property owner demands a personal guarantee of the principal shareholders of the business 
  • The property owner transfers to the tenant additional operating expenses such as repairs, insurance fees, and building taxes.

Final Thoughts

Keep in mind when negotiating an office space rental, it’s best you carry a definite understanding of what you’re willing to consider and what you can propose. It is also best to have a tenant representative working on your behalf. Always document everything in writing when clarifying lease details that you don’t understand. While this will make the process longer, it will provide you legal protection in cases some of your negotiated terms get excluded in your contract. 

It’s essential to study your lease carefully. The contract can possibly contain numerous details you’ll not understand. When faced with this kind of scenario, highlight each unclear point, and discuss it with your tenant broker or the property owner.  

Certified OfficeFinder SpecialistOur tenant representatives at OfficeFinder do this day in and day out for their clients. Contact us so we can connect you with one in your area. There is no cost for their services and no obligation to request info.

 

What To Know When Renting Office Space Following The Pandemic

What To Know When Renting Office Space Following The PandemicMaking decisions about renting office space is more challenging because of the impact of coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic. Many people are asking how the current health situation affects office leasing and businesses at large. Is work-from-home the latest trend? Or will the new normal open more opportunities for commercial property owners? 

In this article, you’ll learn the essential things about renting office space following the pandemic.  

Health And Safety Protocols Compliance 

In the ‘new normal,’ property owners are mandated by governments to comply with all health and safety protocols set in place to protect the public. Future tenants are also advised to do the same.  

In order to find tenants, office operators are taking this seriously. As an example, our friends who have Offices in Manbre Wharf, have fully implemented health and safety protocols to ensure that tenants are safeguarded from the threats of COVID-19. Everywhere else in the world is having to do the same. 

So, what are the general health and safety protocols when it comes to renting offices? 

Here are the details of the scope of health and safety protocols involving renting office space and other commercial establishments that you should know before renting office space: 

  • Risk Assessment: Assessment of environmental, health, and safety risks, which tackles the responsibility of landlords and property owners when creating rental policies and agreements. 
  • Management And Reporting Of Cases: It tackles the responsibility of landlords and property owners to report any case of COVID-19 during the period of lease to concerning health and government authorities. 
  • Implementation Of Guidelines: Once health and safety guidelines are fully explained to tenants, landlords and property owners should do all means to monitor full compliance. On the other hand, tenants, particularly office or business owners, must make their employees aware of the policy.  

Social Distancing In Offices 

Before the strike of COVID-19, many office layouts and designs have open plans, which aimed to promote good collaboration, better communication, teamwork, and cost-savings. However, the current pandemic forces everyone to maintain physical distancing or what is called “social distancing” to keep people safe from one another. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that people practice social distancing by maintaining at least a six feet distance between individuals. Because coronavirus is highly contagious, employee desks must be spaced wide apart, and possibly each employee should have an individual cubicle to avoid getting infected.  

Renting Additional Office Spaces 

It is now impossible to fit employees in offices as pre-COVID-19 having the same number of people in the same square footage. Business owners either need to set alternating work schedules for their employees by creating an Agile Workplace or lease additional office space, which means additional overhead cost. 

Here are some benefits of renting additional office spaces following the pandemic: 

  • Be able to resume peak business operations to attain higher productivity and revenue as compared to last year. 
  • Help businesses recover from low production and sales because of temporary closure or sluggish business operations during the peak of COVID-19.  
  • During the new normal, renting extra office spaces is a better option than compromising the health of your employees and facing legal consequences due to negligence. 

Corporate Culture Adjustments 

Workplace culture greatly transcends in your office. Corporate culture is highly reflected by the office layout and structure because collaboration, open communication, and promoting productivity are readily seen through open plans. However, there must be some adjustments following the pandemic, which means less worker density, fewer meetings, and less social get-togethers.  

When renting a new office space, you may need to also make some adjustments to your previously planned corporate culture. Here are the challenges you might face when adjusting to corporate culture when renting office space following the pandemic crisis: 

  • Recruitment: It will be a challenge to attract new talents, but the virtual world can decrease the burden of hiring new employees. Final face-to-face interviews are still possible in office buildings following the health protocols, such as installing hard, transparent plastic dividers between the interviewers and the job applicants. 
  • Office Design: Designing and modifying existing workspaces can be difficult. Supporting the established culture and following the new health and safety protocols poses a challenge to everyone. For this reason, your architect and interior designer should work together to come up with the best solution designed for your business needs. 
  • Co-Working: While co-working has been a trend and major contributory factor to the office market recovery, the new health protocols that accompany COVID-19 may have an adverse effect on co-working businesses. Co-working companies may diminish following the pandemic, so venturing into this work setting is not advised. 

Conclusion 

Renting office spaces nowadays can be more challenging than ever. All future tenants must comply with existing health protocols, like ensuring social distancing and wearing of personal protective equipment, like face masks. Business owners would likely need to rent additional office spaces and make the necessary corporate culture adjustments to be productive and realize business goals. Let us know if we can help you find new office space. Contact us today!

How To Find Offices To Rent In Your Area

How To Find Offices To Rent In Your AreaDeciding on offices to rent is an important part of running a business because the legitimacy and professionalism of the brand can depend on the appearance and functionality of the office. It’ll be challenging for businesses to haul in clients and employees if their offices look unkempt or don’t have any amenities.

If you’re having a hard time finding offices to rent and can’t get the help of a tenant rep in out of the way locations like office space Oxford and need to do it yourself, this article can help. As long as you know what factors to consider, you should be able to find offices to rent that suit your budget and helps your business succeed.

Here’s how you can find offices to rent in your area:

1. Know How Much Space You Need

Contrary to popular belief, appearance shouldn’t be one of your first considerations when finding an office. For you to be fruitful in your search, you need to start by determining how much space you need.

One good rule of thumb to follow is to ensure that you have about 150 square feet for every employee. This space is sufficient for your employees to move around and utilize several pieces of equipment at work. Use our office space calculator to help determine how much space you need.

2. Determine Your Budget

Finding the perfect office for your business doesn’t mean you’ll need to spend your entire business budget on it. If you want your business to thrive for years, it’s essential that you determine and stick to a budget when finding an office to rent. 

Make sure to consider the following when determining your budget:

  • Determine the average price per square foot
  • Add common area maintenance fees
  • Don’t forget to include utilities
  • Any NNN charges such as taxes, inusrance and maintenance

3. Consider The Location Of Your Employees

Your employees play a vital role in the success of your business. Without them, it’ll be challenging for you to oversee different areas of your business and ensure that your business continues to thrive in the long run. 

When finding offices to rent in your area, don’t forget to consider the location of your employees. Ideally, you should rent an office that is convenient for your employees to travel to or is located near their residences. Doing so allows your business to retain and maximize the best talents. 

4. Ask Recommendations From Trusted Sources About Agents

You can always work with agents, aka tenant reps, to help you find offices to rent in your area. There are many agents offering their services today. Do you know whom to choose? Fortunately, asking for recommendations from friends who have done this and relying on trusted resources, like OfficeFinder, can help. 

Hiring agents will make it easier for you to find offices to rent in your area as these individuals have years of experience in the local real estate market, which means that they can suggest properties you never knew existed. They can also recommend the best locations convenient for your employees and customers. 

5. Pay Attention To The Landlord

The landlord you choose to work with can significantly affect your life as an entrepreneur and the productivity of your employees in the long run. You’ll likely experience stress when your landlord requires you to pay hundreds of dollars just to fix one broken light bulb in your office. 

The attitude of the landlord can influence the value you can get from your rent, which is why you should exert time and effort to know more about the landlord you’re eyeing to work with. You can do this by talking to some tenants of the building. The information you can get from these individuals will help you assess whether the landlord is professional and fair to their tenants or not. 

6. Do Your Best To Negotiate

Money is important in every business, especially when you’re still starting. It’ll be challenging for the business to thrive and succeed if you eventually ran out of finances after a few years of operating. 

For you to find offices to rent in your area, make sure to consider the price and do your best to negotiate. If you’ve seen an ad about an office lease that costs $4,000 a month, don’t immediately sign the contract. Set an appointment with the landlord and negotiate the rent down at least 5% below the listed price. You’ll be surprised how many landlords are willing to negotiate and accept lesser fees for their spaces. Especially now with the pandemic slowing business down.

Start Now 

There are countless offices available worldwide. Regardless of the nature of your business and the audience you want to engage in, you’ll be able to choose from several options. Find out more about the leasing process.

But for you to find the best office for your business, it’s best if you start your search early and use the services of a tenant rep, like the ones at OfficeFinder, if you can. Contact us today if you would like some assistance. There is no cost to our service or the services of our tenant reps.

Even Though Much of The World is Working Remotely, Here’s Why You Should Still Consider An Office

Remote Work PlaceIt is estimated that approximately 56% of the jobs in the US are compatible with remote work. Global Workplace Analytics project that 25-30% of the workforce will be working remotely, most of the week, by the end of 2021. The pandemic has created some new norms for working that are expected to last. The question is, will working remotely work for you and your company even after the panedmic subsides? There are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account in making the decsion on whether or not to maintain an office. What things should you consider?

Is your home environment suitable for working remotely?

While it’s great to save that extra travel time to and from work, is your home working environment conducive to productivity? Who is at home during the day? Where in your home do you work? We all love spending time with our family (well, maybe not all the time) but how much are you going to be interrupted at home?  As we know, it’s impossible to plan for all interruptions from Wi-Fi to plumbing issues to your elderly neighbor needing to borrow an egg for the cake they are baking. What you need to consider is, are you going to be more productive in an office, even if it is more convenient working from home. The pandemic has put an extra burden on working parents, especially those with more than one child. Many schools have reopened and yet most children have continued their learning online or virtually. This means that many parents have now had to balance their workload with playing teacher (creating a renewed respect for teachers that they rightfully deserve). Being physically in an office means that there are fewer opportunities for you to be interrupted, and, if you can increase your productivity, then you may be able to clock off early and better manage your responsibilities at home.

Are you starting a business?

The majority of businesses have been adversely affected by Covid-19, many closing down, but some new businesses have been innovative and thrived. If you are hoping to be one of those, then working from home may not be the best option. Are you going to be happy with people coming into your home, is it even going to be possible? Renting a new space is going to be less expensive than usual, given the oversupply of space. Most new businesses involve a lot of meetings, hiring staff, receiving goods from suppliers, and pitching to investors or clients. Consider a co-working space or renting office space monthly to cater to some of the dynamics that may come with starting a new business.

It can be quick and painless to register your new gig with many companies now providing this service. The pros at Fatstacksblog have screened the best companies for this, check out their review. Most new businesses involve a lot of meetings, hiring staff, receiving goods from suppliers, and pitching to investors or clients. Consider a co-working space or renting office space monthly to cater to some of the dynamics that may come with starting a new business.

Being social is important for physical and mental health

Much higher rates of anxiety and depression have been reported this year and many clinical psychologists have attributed this to isolation and the lack of human-to-human interaction not just in working remotely, but in our lives in general. Other negative effects of isolation have been lethargy and the so-called “zoom- fatigue” from too many online meetings. When you are considering working from home, it’s important to think about how much less you are going to socialize with others because of this. It is amazing what comes from water cooler conversations. Then think about all the meetings, coffee breaks, and small talk you have when you are in the office. All of these tiny interactions and adverse health effects add up. Taking this into consideration, healthier and happier workers are going to be more effective, confident, and creative in their job. It may be worth working in an office and being a better working version of yourself.

How Much Office Space?

If you decide to return to the office, working remotely is still an option. There is nothing that says this is an all or nothing decision. The big question is how much office space will you need and where do you need it? There are a number of options. Understanting the Agile Workplace concept is important. The concept is activity-based working space and making the work space flexible. It is an office hoteling reservation technique or set up in a workplace. It is a way of utilizing a work area more efficiently, utilizing non-assigned seating arrangement and desk-sharing to maximize and creating collaborative spaces. There are many companies that have taken this to heart even before the pandemic.

Many companies are now choosing to take advantage of using executive suites or coworking space as a means of providing flexible workspace for their employees. They do not all have to be located in the same place, but can be spread around for the conveniece of employees.

The whole world has had to embrace working remotely. It was a no-brainer, no-choice decision. Technology allows us to work from wherever we are. Once the pandemic subsides, it may not always the best option for everyone. For many, it may be their personal circumstances, such as being a parent, the number of children they may have, and if they are starting a new business. there are many considerations in deciding the level of working remotely that you choose. As we mentioned, there can be some negative mental health consequences from working remotely, too, For people considering working from home or thinking about going back to the office, assess your home environment to conclude if it is condusive to productivity and if it is going to allow you to be the healthiest and most productive version of yourself.

If you need help finding office space,, whether conventional or flexible space, we can help. Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion on how we can help.

 

5 Tips to Market your Service Business

Businesses are always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to market a product or a service to a wider audience. However, marketing service can be tough especially when there are a plethora of tools out there. Plus, it is different from advertising a distinguished product. When it comes to marketing a product, you design a campaign around it, highlight the benefits of the product and it gets the sales done.

On the other hand, when it comes to promoting a service, you have to market your ability and your team’s capabilities to achieve the given tasks. There is always a need for good service providers in businesses and the competition for who’s the best is cut-throat. Here, we look at five ways you can market your service-based business better.

  1. Make your business message stand out

One of the first things in your marketing strategy should include is a clear cut message that you want to convey to your audiences. Your words must focus on your service delivering on the critical fronts and calming the pain points. The message should capture the imagination of any prospective leads in one go. You need to identify your unique selling proposition. What can you do that your competitors can’t? In turn, making them into regular customers. Differentiate from your rivals by offering a unique selling message to the clients.

  1. Increase value for your customers

At times where competitors engage in price wars, it becomes evident that even though the offered price may be low but the contract will go to the one that gives the best value to the client. One of the ways businesses hone their value generation is through bundling mechanisms. It is like offering a full meal instead of just an Ala carte item in a fast food restaurant while still maintaining the profits. What does your service plan entail? Does it offer more than what the rival company is offering at the same price? Most service operators combine two or more functions as part of the deal and consider customers as actual people and offer plans that suit their needs. Personalizing a deal increases creativity which helps build brand value. Other ways you can achieve this is by offering faster delivery speeds, offering expert opinion, analysis and enhancing the customer care support for the clients.

  1.   Make the best of online

While making the jump to take your business online, you must look for a good web host provider where you can park your webpage and build on it. Talking of web hosting solutions providers, Stable Host is not bad and comes with options for a rookie first-timer and even a full-fledged professional portal. A good web host, with good 24×7 customer support and the latest data security procedures in place, goes a long way into determining how well your website will function.  

  1.   Expand your visibility

It is time to move from the Yellow Pages, if you even remember them, and local directories to appearing on online paid search engines. Attach your advertising links to a trusted website that reflects your brand and give out information about your company and how it meets targeted goals. Tap into the whole gamut of social network marketing methods and connect with your target audience via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and professional networks like LinkedIn. These are ways in which you can connect with the community and build a rapport with potential customers. Getting in the news for good reasons always helps generate good feedback.

  1.   Build your existing client relationships

Give incentives and better offers to the existing customer base. Many companies offer premium services to subscribers and some of those features remain exclusive. If the customer is loyal enough to spend money and time on your service, give them something extra so that they are retained. From the existing client base, start winning contracts via referral schemes. Create marketing tools that can reach your current clients and through them reach new audiences and markets.

And if you are looking for a place to call your business home, we can help. Contact us today to find out more.

 

10 Security Tips to Protect Your Company’s Data

Hackers and online criminals are working day and night to access our data. They look for vulnerabilities in our software, and also in us. People have had their identities stolen and sensitive information accessed. Even the US government is vulnerable as demonstrated with the most recent series of attacks on sensitive servers. When this happens to a company it can be disastrous on a larger scale. Many small companies end up closing due to the financial implications of what has happened.

The term ‘paperless office’ has meant that more and more business information is being moved online. That increases the pickings for cybercriminals. When hackers are getting more and more clever, what can be done to protect company data? Let’s find out right now with these 10 security tips.

Consider Third-Party Hosting

When this option is chosen, the responsibility for data storage, updating software, and maintaining security is moved to the host company. If someone chose to use QuickBooks cloud hosting their data would be stored on a dedicated server. The advantage can be that a business is not sharing the host site with another company. With shared servers, both companies need to maintain their IT security. If one is hacked, the other company will also be hacked.

Other benefits of such hosting are that passwords and usernames are kept private, and there is automatically encrypted data backup.

Draft An IT Security Policy

One of the biggest security vulnerabilities that companies have is their staff. Employees should be advised not to leave their computer screens unlocked when unattended. USB sticks and hard drives should be securely locked away.

Businesses should incorporate their IT policy into staff employment documentation. This should include an outline of the responsibilities, accountability, and consequences of security breaches. Training sessions should be conducted as part of the staff induction process, and also on a rolling basis.

Training should also be given on creating and maintaining effective passwords, identifying phishing emails, and not downloading files for personal use. Staff should also be warned about using public wifi or reading private company information in public places.

Use A Virtual Private Network (VPN)

VPN software puts an encrypted (coded) layer around the person’s online activities. End to end encryption is where a message sent by one person is encoded, and it can only be unencrypted by the valid recipient. Website access and data exchange become secure as a result.

Without a VPN, staff may be vulnerable when working remotely. The wifi hotspots found in coffee houses, airports, or hotels frequently connect to insecure networks. This means it’s easier for hackers to access the data.

Install A Firewall

Companies have these as external hardware devices or internal software. They are built into Apple and Windows. Firewalls act as security guards day and night, observing all incoming and outgoing activities. They instantly report issues and block them.

There are a host of unwelcome visitors that firewalls are designed to stop, ranging from spyware, adware, viruses, and worms.

Use Antivirus Software

This is designed to supplement the effectiveness of the firewall. Defender software is installed within Windows 8 and 10. This can do the job effectively in most cases, but there is always the risk that such things as ransomware may be able to bypass it.

Warnings can also be provided by antivirus software that sites are insecure or have known risks.

Have A Strong Password System

A study found that from January to March 2019, 74% of security breaches related to passwords getting into the hands of the public.

Employees should never keep written passwords on their desks or share them with others; neither should they use the same one for different applications. Obvious passwords should be avoided too, including passwords, 12345 or previously used ones. They should be at least eight characters long and include letters, numbers, and special characters such as $£*&.

Password management software is well worth considering as it creates the passwords for you, stores them all in one place, and even logs in to programs for you.

Securely Dispose Of Data

If a computer, memory stick, external drive or laptop are thrown in the rubbish there is the chance that someone could take it. Even deleted files or reformatted drives are unable to stop criminals from gaining access to the data.

Fortunately, there are external companies that can securely dispose of computer equipment. When one looks at the financial risks involved, this could be well worth the money.

Perform Updates And Allow Patches

It may not be hard to imagine that a small item of software may have security vulnerabilities that need regularly addressing. More alarmingly, there are similar issues with big players such as Windows, Adobe PDF readers, Microsoft Office, Google Chrome, or Firefox.

Cybercriminals are constantly searching for blind spots and loopholes, so when they have discovered it’s necessary for an update or patch to be installed to keep them out.

Set Up Two Factor Authentication

This can be created for use when people log in to such applications as Facebook, Gmail, or Evernote. It can also be utilized when making online payments.

It acts as a ‘prove who you are’ question. Someone may receive a code by text that they need to enter into the computer before they can proceed. Alternatively, they will receive a phone call requiring a secure code.

Create Data Backups

USB sticks and external drives can be stolen or lost. Computers can break and websites can be hacked. When data is stored online there is an extra layer of protection.

Companies frequently create disaster recovery plans. They should include what to do when IT equipment is destroyed or a cyber attack has been effective. It’s no good waiting until it happens before such things are considered.

There are a host of actions and policies that can be put in place to protect a company’s data. When it is all adopted, a secure wall can be created to keep the villains out. Whilst many of these suggestions will cost money, the alternative can be unthinkable.