Workspace Blog

Welcome to the Workspace blog which includes a great range of advice and guides for finding office space throughout London. We at Workspace are one of London's leading providers of commercial properties and have one of the largest property portfolio's available in London, we own over 100 estates, comprising over 5.77 million square feet of business space and provide accommodation for more than 4,000 small businesses.

We specialise in providing commercial property to small & medium sized enterprises (SME's) and offer a wide range of property types including office space, serviced offices, industrial units and workshop spaces, all available on flexible and affordable leases throughout London. Contact us today to rent business space in London.
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Wednesday
Sep192012

#NewClub - PreLaunch Pics

Club Workspace number three is less than a week away! Monday 24th September sees the doors of Club Workspace @ Kennington Park swing open. The KP Club will be our third venue, and its opening will mark the beginning of an exciting period of growth for Club Workspace. Prick up your ears startups & entrepreneurs: before Christmas there will be five Club Workspaces in London. As well as the Club Workspaces at The Clerkenwell Workshops, The Leathermarket and at Kennington Park, there will be new coworking locations at Enterprise House and The Barley Mow

If you’d like to keep in touch with the developments here at Club, keep checking Twitter, Facebook and the Blog for the #NewClub hashtag. Everything to do with our new venues will be united by the tag! Until then, feast your eyes on these exclusive pre-launch pics of the new Kennington Park Club Workspace. 

Excuse the lack of chairs - they will be in place before next week’s launch! But check out our lights - I, personally, am a big fan. I don't know if I did this beautiful space justice with my iPhotography, if you'd like to come down and see the space for yourself, please email me.

 

 

Picture the scene: you’re at the new Club Workspace. Your back is towards the chic glass frontage, there’s natural light flooding in, what do you see? The picture above will give you a good idea. Just add a few more people & laptops... 

 

 

The groove in the desk above is lined with plug sockets. There’s loads of table-space available & there’ll be more than enough elbow room too. The new space has been designed to make coworking and collaboration as easy as possible.


 

Above is the view for the far corner of the new Club Workspace. You can’t see it all, and that’s because our new location is bigger than our current two Clubs. 

Another thing that's worth sharing, if you’re in the Kennington or Oval area in October, get your phone out, and have a look for Club Workspace in the FourSquare Specials...


Friday
Sep142012

#MemberShowcase: Startups & Entrepreneurs at Club Workspace Doing It Their Way  

Once every couple of months, Club Workspace hosts a rather unique members night. We invite all of our members to one of our Club locations for a drink and a chat, and to share their latest news. The last bit is what puts the ‘showcase’ into #MemberShowcase. Members are invited to take to the stage and to chat about their business. Members share their latest forays in the worlds of tech, entrepreneurship, development, and starting up, for example.

Last night two Club members seized the opportunity to rock the mic. First up were Digital Binx - a social media agency who specialise in making the arts & culture sectors go social. Following them was Folissimo, an incredible online service that could revolutionise how those with a visual portfolio - photographers, designers etc. - store their work online. 

Digital Binx 

Club members Hassan Mirza and Gemma Phelan are the two social masterminds behind Digital Binx. After introducing themselves, the dream team presented a case-study about one of their social campaigns. The campaign in question was for the Art School Awards, or should we say: the #ArtSchoolAwards! 

The establishment behind the Art School Awards were having trouble creating and stimulating online interest in the project, so they consulted Digital Binx. Hassan and Gemma shared a few of the things that they did to help the Art School Awards over-achieve all expectations!

A particular success was the social-voting system. As the format of the Art School Awards was a competition, the team at Digital Binx realised that a quick and engaging way to encourage the online community to interact with the Awards was by implementing social voting. Not only did Digital Binx make online-voting possible, but the process they used was particularly clever and rewarding for the brand. Each time a social vote was cast, a branded tweet was sent by the voter. In the end, 4123 branded tweets were sent during the duration of the campaign. Each of these tweets contained a positive message about the #ArtSchoolAwards, used the hashtag, increased brand visibility and, of course, encouraged more tweeters to vote. 

As well as the voting system, Digital Binx also created blogs, videos and other engaging content which enabled interested parties online to keep up to date with the awards. This storified content was not only informative and attractive, but also stimulated further online conversation about the awards.

Folissimo

After Digital Binx’s duo had soaked up a justified round of applause, Club member Campbell Morgan took his position. Campbell came to Club with the intention of having a membership for ‘about a month.’ In a couple of weeks he could add the finishing touches to his idea. That was seven months ago... 

Folissimo, Campbell’s excellent online service, offers professionals who have a visual portfolio an attractive, personal space on which to store their portfolio online. Campbell admitted that, of course, there are other online platforms out there that allow photographers, video creators, graphic designers and the like to store their work in the Cloud, but his is better. 

Why is it better? Several Reasons. As Campbell’s video explains - please see the video! - Folissimo is quick and easy to use. Before Folissimo came along and smashed all the boundaries, if you wanted a personalisable, attractive, unique online space upon which to both store and display your work, you would need to pay a webdesigner, or you’d need a proficient knowledge of coding. 

Folissimo takes the most simple elements of personal computing - drag and drop, file-creation, uploading etc. - and allows you to populate your Folissimo page using these basic functions. Not only that, you can chose and customise the theme of your page, so your Folissimo page can be (almost!) as attractive as your work. 

One last thing: If you want your Folissimo page to be your bona-fide website, then you can transplant your ‘Folissimo’ url your own URL - as long as you own it, of course!

Thank You

Thank you to Digital Binx and Folissimo for presenting, and a massive thank you to everyone who came along. So many members were getting involved on Twitter, too. Fellow members @Aniboxx, @PrintMyPixel & @zest_tech were in the thick of the hashtag action, alongside the two presenters and our good selves!

Friday
Sep142012

Mobile Creatives: How To Transfer Data via Sound & Mobile Game Buildling Tips!

On Wednesday 12th of September, the good people of Ubinow brought their ‘Mobile Creatives’ event into our Clerkenwell Club Workspace venue. Ubinow, a mobile tech company local to our part of London, were confirmed as one of the UK’s Top 50 Mobile Innovators, by Mobile Entertainment 2012. Their intriguing and informative event lived up to this impressive accolade.

The format was simple: two expert speakers gain the stage, and chat about what they’re doing with mobile tech. 

Patrick Bergel - Chirp

Patrick Bergel, a self-confessed sound-geek and cofounder of Animal Systems, told the gathered audience about taking inspiration from nature, about his ‘anti-future’ philosophy, and about Chirp

Patrick claimed that people who work in technology and app-development are too hasty to pose their creations as ‘magic’ or ‘futuristic’. Patrick thinks that this approach is bad form, as it alienates the userships of an app or device. Tech that poses as ‘magic’ deliberately evades understanding on behalf of its users, therefore it isn’t terribly inclusive. The tech therefore stands atop an unscalable mountain, with only a coterie of geniuses privy to its secrets. 

Patrick wants to kick over the statues, so far as this tech-idolatry is concerned. He wants users to understand the device they’re using. He wants them to be able to have a more literal, perhaps-physical understand of the data that their mobile phone, for example, is transferring to another like device. 

To kick off this philosophy, he reminded everyone that ‘data is physical’. Whether it be semaphore, smoke signals, morse code or a text message, Patrick explained that data can be understood as a commodity. Patrick also drew on Jakob von Uexkull’s ‘Umwelt’ philosophy, which theorises that animals live inside data-systems, too. Ergo, JvU’s theory of biosemantics argues that data-systems aren’t a purely human phenomenon. 

Why was all of this important? As we need to understand and use these data-systems that preexist mobile technology by, perhaps, thousands of years. Chrip, an amazingly clever app, embodies this approach. 

Patrick explained that different types of data-transfer systems are measured in distance. For example, they can operate over ‘the last three feet’ - transferring images, messages, links and the like to your friends who’s sitting with you; or over ‘the last ten feet’, usually this distance implies that your mobile device is acting like a game-controller and is interacting with a larger screen, such as a television. 

Chirp is a ‘last three feet’ P2P data-transfer app that enables users to send stuff to eachother using the medium of sound. Sound! Information is encoded in short bursts of sound - Chirps. When you ‘chirp’ your friend, the chirp is decoded their side and they are left with a lovely picture of your face.

We wholeheartedly recommend that you download that app and give it a go. You know when an app is going to be good, when it forced you to re-understand an ornithological verb. See: ‘to tweet’. 

Dimitris Doukous - Unit 9 

Dimitris came to ‘Mobile Creatives’ to tell us about what Unit 9 have been getting up to. Unit 9 create mobile gaming solutions for brands. 

Dimitris explained that brands take mobile-gaming extremely seriously. Games are a great way to hold customers’ attention, and to prolong their engagement with your brand. Moreover, games can tempt users to go in-store, or to travel to certain places. If a mobile-game utilises foursquare and incentivises gamers to check-in to unlock bonus content or a prize, then any improvement in footfall could be attributed to the success of a branded game. 

These location-based & branded games can also include a social element. A branded Pirate Game created for Captain Morgan urged users to create crews of shipmates. Additing a social and, perhaps, competitive element to a game can serve to increase engagement on behalf of consumers with a brand, and, ultimately, a good game can increase brand advocacy. 

Another game that Dimitris shared with us was the Pizza Hero iPad game that Unit 9 created for Dominos Pizza. Check it out. 

It was so good they Dominos ended up recruiting top-gamers as pizza chefs!

Thank You

Thank you from everyone at Club Workspace to Patrick and Dimitris for sharing such interesting information, to everyone who came along to Club for this first time, and, of course, to Ubinow for organising such a terrific event.

Wednesday
Sep122012

Free Lunch At Club: Hosted by Seed EIS Platform  

What are you doing for lunch next Thursday? At about 12:30? Fancy a sandwich? The good people from Seed EIS Platform are coming to Club on Thursday 20th September with a platter of sandwiches and a message for tech startups & investors. 

Sees EIS Platform connects startups and investors. The Platform prides itself on being ‘the meeting place for startups and investors’ who are ‘looking to participate in the Seed EIS Scheme’. 

In other words, if you’re a techy and you think that you’ll be ready for investment in future - or perhaps you’re going on your investment rounds now! - it’s well worth hooking up with the people from Seed EIS Platform. They have all of the advice that you’ll need and a whole bunch of contacts. So please drop into Club Workspace for a sandwich on Thursday 20th, at around 12:30. 

SEIS enables investors to benefit from tax-savings if they invest in startups. Consequently, if investors are benefitting from investing in startups, then the startups benefit too as investors will be more likely to part with their money. I won’t go into the finer details of the SEIS Scheme now, but please check out this vintage blog of ours which was all about the launch of SEIS.

If you’d like to come on the 20th and are new to Club Workspace, not a problem! All are welcome. If you’d like to learn a little more about Club, please find me (Ben!), and I’ll give you the guided tour. Until then, please see this map so you can find your way to our Clerkenwell Club. We’re downstairs!

Tuesday
Sep112012

Andrew Humphries brings his Creative Pioneers to Club Workspace to talk Business Planning

On the evening of Tuesday 4th September, Andrew Humphries brought the Creative Pioneers into Club Workspace. The Pioneers came in force to our Clerkenwell location for a Business Planning workshop. The session was led by Mr. Humphries himself, who was ably assisted by Nick Berry.

The Creative Pioneers Challenge is a competition jointly run by Tech City, The Metro, The IPA and Creative SkillSet. The job of The Challenge is to discover the next generation of creative entrepreneurs. Their website unashamedly states that the purpose of the competition is to find young people who are full of ideas, who are tech-savvy, and who don’t mind getting up bright and early in the morning with a belly full of fuel. Or, in their own words, they want people who ‘can do, can code, and can start’.

Going on what we witnessed at Club Workspace on Tuesday night, the competition has had fulfilled its goals. There were just over 20 young people in-situ, and they were all brimming with ideas and energy. 

The purpose of Tuesday’s session was to undergird the Creative Pioneers’ bright ideas with a sound understanding of business planning. Although some of the creative entrepreneurs had experience in business, others were treading on virgin fields when it came to the finer details of business preparation.

Andrew didn’t go into the minutia of business planning - for a detailed runthrough, please see this vintage blog of ours - instead he set out the foundations for a solid business plan, and helped the collected audience get their heads around the purpose of a business plan.

Do You Understand Your Business? 

An interesting point that Andrew made was that before you write your business plan, you need to know your business. This sounds like a silly point to make - of course you know your own business, it’s yours isn’t it? To counter this point, Andrew asked everyone in the room to describe their business succinctly: it was an eye-opener for many! 

Ask yourself these questions to shape your own impression of your business: what does you business do? What ‘need’ does it fulfill? How big is this need? Who are your customers? If you sell food - your customers aren’t just everyone, they’re people within a certain area, and are they vegetarian?! 

Also, how big is your market? A good way to think of this question is by thinking in terms of distance: how far can your product travel? Who are your competition? Who’s doing what you’re doing? What makes your business different to theirs? What is your USP? Is it you?!

More questions! How much money will your idea make? Over how long? What needs to happen next to put the wheels in motion? Who is going to execute the idea? You or a team? Why are you great, and right for the project? Why is your team great, and right for the project? What do you want to happen in the end? Who do you want to sell to? As the old adage goes, don’t start a business unless you know who’s going to buy it! In other words, consider your acquisition targets long before your startup. 

Sections

After you have finely-tuned your understanding of your business using the questions above, you can then tackle your business plan. Before we relay the ‘sections’ that Andrew suggested that you include in your BP, we shall pass on this advice from Mr. H: your business plan is not inflexible, it is a document that can change and adapt. Don’t be afraid to revise your plan, in fact, actively redress your plan every couple of months. 

The suggested sections for your Business Plan are as follows: Executive Summary - everything that you are about to say, in miniature; The Opportunity - the problem that you’re solving; Business Solution - the solution to said problem; Market Overview - how many people can you sell to, and who are they?; Competitive Analysis - who else is doing what you do? Why are you better? Marketing and Sales - any marketing campaigns that you have planned; Three Year Financial Projections - profit and loss, potentially a cash burn prediction too; Details of Team - who are your guys and why are they the best guys? Expected End Result - what happens when you are a success! 

Thank You

Thank you to Andrew Humphries for bringing his Creative Pioneers into Club Workspace - it was a pleasure to meet them and to host such an interesting and informative event. From everyone at Club Workspace: the very best of luck to all of the Pioneers!