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Weekly Business News Roundup

News Roundup for SME Businesses & Startups

5 Benefits of a Serviced Office for Your Startup

Among the challenges startups face is finding an affordable, flexible office space in a prime location. With a traditional commercial office rental, this translates into high overhead, infrastructure and operational costs. An alternative is a serviced office, which offers five explicit cost-saving benefits:

  1. Location: A well-located serviced office in a business center offers an office address in the local central business district and nearby amenities, as well as convenient access for both employees and clients.
  2. Flexibility: With no long-term fixed rental contracts, serviced offices allow for flexibility with pay-as-you-go usage and short-term leases, as well as options to up- or downsize your office space according to your business needs.
  3. Networking: Besides the opportunity to interact with like-minded entrepreneurs and professionals, startups can also hold industry talks and networking events in the business center.
  4. Budget: Startups dealing with an unpredictable or limited budget have the flexibility of monthly serviced office costs, and the option to vacate the space without break clauses or deposits when times get tough.
  5. Facilities: In additional to finding commercial office rental space, startups need to source supporting staff, furnishings, equipment, etc. Serviced offices provide for all of these at no additional cost, plus necessary utilities such as internet and phone connectivity, conferencing functionality, IT support and meeting rooms.

With the serviced office option, startup companies can operate in a prime location without breaking the bank, while enjoying flexible terms.

5 Hard-Earned Cash Management Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Using the example of Utah-based unicorn Domo’s IPO fail due to its revenue-to-debt ratio, the author addresses the immense pressure of balancing funding and spending before there’s a steady stream of revenue for all companies, no matter how big or small. Citing his own “battle scars,” he details five keys to cash-flow management for entrepreneurs, from lining up credit immediately to not playing the blame game with your startup co-founder(s) when there’s not enough cash to pay the bills, which may well result in your company imploding altogether.

3 Challenges Every Startup Runs Into While Scaling, and How to Overcome Them

The co-founder and co-CEO of a successful startup discusses the unique set of challenges with scaling from an early-stage startup to a structured company. She states that the strategies that made her company successful in the beginning haven’t necessarily helped with scaling: “To survive, every startup has to streamline procedures and become more efficient – without losing the scrappy, innovative spirit that got you there.”

The three challenges to prepare for are: moving from a multi-functional team of generalists to specific departments; developing a process without letting it slow you down, with streamlined procedures to maximize communication and efficiency; and becoming too large to adapt, in which case she recommends using a lightweight version of big-company practices to accomplish a goal without slowing your team down.

The Biggest Question When Raising Money: ‘Who?’

Startups are raising more money than ever, and the author believes, more than they need to. He writes that to navigate the current venture capital landscape, start with the end in mind and figure out exactly how much funding you need and why. “After that, consider who you will be doing business with. The VC-startup relationship is kind of like a marriage. You don’t want to get into a bad one.” Here he breaks down the process into “The Why,” “The When,” “And most importantly, the Who” in discussing how to go about seeking funding, and further explains governance, structure and price as the key points of contention in funding arrangements.

How Managers Can Prevent Their Teams from Burning Out

While stress is inevitable in the workplace, it doesn’t need to be pervasive. A recent Deloitte survey revealed that among even the most “highly engaged” full-time employees (those respondents who said they “have passion for their job”), 64% reported being frequently stressed, while 69% said their employer “does not do enough to minimize burnout,” and 21% that they “don’t believe their employer offers any stress-related programs.”

In light of these revelations, the article’s author (the National Managing Director for Well-being at Deloitte in the U.S.) details “a few potentially powerful interventions” for employee burnout: encourage real weekends and holidays; expand wellness programs and benefits; and create a culture of recognition.

The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Software Developer

“Finding exceptional software engineers can be extremely difficult since you have to explore a candidate’s creative thinking skills, as well as [their] ability to innovate…” With that preface, the author of this post shares four tips to apply in the hiring process: involve other developers when recruiting; don’t rely on headhunters, as increasing the visibility and reputation of your business is a better way to attract talent; invest in personal networking such as conferences, as personal referrals are known to be the single best source of successful placements; and finally, look for open source developers, which may require perusing through open source projects on sites such as SourceForge and GitHub. He closes with the counsel that since most gifted software developers actually never went to college, vetting candidates with pre-screening software is not recommended.

The business challenge of our time is creating meaningful work

According to Gallup, 85% of workers globally are not engaged in their work, reflecting a “chronic disconnect between people and their employers” that parallels findings of the U.S. 2018 World Value Index. This disconnect comes at a real cost to businesses, as various studies have found that decreased employee engagement leads to higher errors, accidents, defects, and absenteeism, as well as lower productivity, profitability, job growth and share price over time. Here, the author discusses the challenges of a disengaged workforce and how to turn the scenario around, giving examples of organizations that have managed to do so.

Stop Fooling Yourself. Productivity Tools Like Slack Are Secret Enemies of Collaboration

An interesting take on productivity tools, like Slack:

“I’ve come to realize that headphones, Slack and the other productivity tools that are supposed to help us focus are actually a threat to our future workplaces. Genuine collaboration comes from human interaction.” So begins the author’s prescription to “unplug and save the future of work,” detailed with the following four rules (for lack of a better term): no cliques allowed, as any workplace that is focused on innovation needs to bring team members from different departments and divisions together; no brainstorming, but rather use approaches that allow all voices to be heard in small groups so the loudest voice in the room doesn’t drown out the genius ideas of quieter ones; change the venue from the conference room to an unorthodox space that encourages people to interact in new ways; and lastly, motivate and celebrate, which the author summed with “if you continue to collaborate and destroy silos, motivating participants along the way, you will unearth new ideas that resonate and a group eager to build on them, because everyone will be invested.”

How to Train Your New Employees with Microlearning

You’ve likely heard this stat before: more than 40% of employees quit within the first six months of starting a new job. Although a big part of the reason behind this is the disconnect between employees’ expectations and their realities, the study also cites employee disengagement, finding that “at least four out of ten employees felt actively disengaged at work.” Employee retention, engagement and contribution to your company’s ROI can be substantially increased with a microlearning – or bite-sized learning — training technique. Here, the author details how to build a microlearning module to onboard new employees.

Alternative Office Space: A Better Way to Conduct Your Business

While working from the comfort of your home may be an idyllic scenario for those who are self-employed, or for online entrepreneurs running a small business with only a handful of remote employees, it’s also true that working from home has its drawbacks — and many more than you might expect, if not already experienced.

Here, we (at Telsec) discuss why you should move your office from your home to an alternative office space, such as a shared, traditional (private or semi-private), or coworking space — or at the very least, consider renting a virtual office.

 

About Laura Crest

With an educational background in journalism, Laura began her career as a professional writer and editor 35 years ago with an internship for a magazine while an undergraduate at Michigan State University. After the advent of the internet, Laura transferred her skills from print to digital with a small online consulting business specializing in SEO and content strategy. Since, she has also served as the blog writer, managing editor, and content curator for several small online businesses before joining Telsec Business Centres, where she continues to apply her expertise in content discovery and curation for small businesses.

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