24 Stories in 24 Hours: Jamie’s Charity Challenge

This weekend Kingsford Business Club were delighted to host Jamie Graham, a copywriter at Editions Financial, as he took on the challenge of writing 24 short stories in 24 hours (non-stop!).

Jamie has always had a keen interest in writing and won a BBC Radio Scotland competition as a kid which was acted out on national radio. Since then he has written children’s stories and a novella, as well as competing the 24 hour challenge once before by writing 24 kids stories to raise funds for Bloodwise.

To make the challenge more difficult this time around, Jamie started on Saturday without any ideas and his colleagues supplied prompts pulled out of a hat as the challenge unfolded. Jamie has so far raised over £600 for Worldwide Cancer Research, to find out more take a look at his fundraising page here.

Jamie will also be producing an ebook with all the stories he wrote during his challenge at the Business Club. It will be free for people who’ve donated but will also be sold to the public with all proceeds going to the Worldwide Cancer Research – watch this space!

How to Get the Most Out of Your Coworking Membership

If you are considering coworking and don’t know whether it’s for you, here are a few tips to find the right membership for you and to make the most of it.

1. Choose your Coworking Space Carefully

There are a huge variety of coworking spaces out there. Some are artistic and creative; attracting freelance journalists, writers, and artists. Others are more corporate and executive; attracting professionals such as lawyers, PR agents, and accountants who need a boutique space to make a good impression with clients. There ‘incubator’ coworking spaces to explore, which tend to be geared towards start-ups and young online businesses and are designed to accelerate and push companies towards success.

If you want to make the most out of your coworking experience, it’s important to choose a space that suits your personality and fits your business needs. Clearly, a twenty-something year old entrepreneur with a promising tech start-up would probably benefit more from the energy and enthusiasm of an incubator than the relaxed corporatism of a boutique office space, and the opposite is true of an established accountant or lawyer.

As well as making sure the atmosphere and focus of the coworking space is in line with your business needs, it’s also important to make sure that the services, benefits, and extras they offer are beneficial for you too. When you tour a coworking space, have a list of questions ready to ask. Think about the price, location, accessibility, facilities, community, etc. By carefully choosing your coworking space based on your needs and personality, you are ensuring that you will get the most for your money. Most coworking spaces will have open-days or day/week passes that you should take advantage of to make sure the space is right for you before you commit to a full membership

2. Chat to People

Although there are some incredible coworking spaces to choose from, one of the main reasons to get a coworking membership is for the community. Mixing with interesting people from different industries can inspire you, spark your creativity, and give you a new perspective on your business or life. Coworking spaces are increasing in popularity, attracting a wide range of professionals and creatives every day. It may seem like an obvious thing to say, but take advantage of the talented people you have around you in a coworking space and chat to them!

Now, let’s be clear, there are right ways and wrong ways to go about this. It’s probably not advisable to start up long conversations with people when they have their head down, headphones in, and are working hard, but a simple smile and ‘good morning’ when you enter the office could be the start of a great relationship. Why not offer to make someone a cup of coffee, strike up a conversation when you’re both taking a break, or ask someone if they want to grab a bite to eat. Taking a genuine interest in someone is the best way to build up your connections. You could end up making a new friend, colleague, or even customer.

Once you are chatting to people, it is important that you are not afraid to offer, or ask for, help. Helping each other is an integral part of coworking culture. Sharing your knowledge will help you build relationships with your coworkers. If you can provide value to them by sharing your expertise, then the chances are they will be inclined to help you in return. Coworking, then, is a great way to expand your professional network. Whether it be getting a second opinion on a piece of work, getting legal advice, or translating a document, if a fellow coworker can’t help you, they may well know someone that can.

Coworking space in Edinburgh city centre

3. Get to Know the Manager

As well as getting to know your fellow coworkers, it’s probably a good idea to get to know the manager of your coworking space. First of all, the manager will have a good knowledge of the people within the space; he/she will be able to introduce you to people who can help you professionally. Equally, he/she can help refer coworkers who could benefit from your service.

The office manager will also be in charge of the space and are keen to make their service as good as possible so do ask questions, give feedback, and share your ideas – they will not be ignored.

4. Attend Networking Events

Most coworking spaces will organise networking events such as social gatherings, guest speakers, or workshops as part of the membership. These can be hosted by the company, external organisations, or even by coworking members. Not only are events another great opportunity to meet other likeminded individuals, but you might learn a few new skills too.

If you’re feeling really ambitious, why not host your own event? Ask the community manager whether you can run a workshop on your area of expertise, organise a pub crawl, or host a table-tennis tournament. You can use your new friendship with the manager to get it organised, and your new connections with your fellow coworkers to make sure people turn up!

Networking startups Edinburgh

Overall, there are plenty of ways to make the most out of your coworking membership. If you’re on the fence or unconvinced, try out these tips and see whether your experience isn’t immediately made more rewarding. Like most things in life, the more you put into coworking, the more you get out of it. If you are prepared to embrace coworking culture, the rewards are fantastic.

For information about coworking at Kingsford Business Club and all the perks that go with it (free breakfast, Friday open bar, networking and much more) just get in touch!

10 Person Office Available at Albany Street

We are delighted to offer a spacious 10 person office at 4 Albany Street from August onwards. This office is quiet and private, with large windows so it remains a light bright space even on grey Edinburgh days.


 

 

The office will be fully furnished with high quality desks and comfortable chairs, as well as wall mounted storage. You have access to the two members kitchens on site, which are kept regularly topped up with a selection of gourmet teas and Nespresso coffees, soft drinks and cereals.

Your office also includes a membership to Kingsford Business Club at 26 Dublin Street which comes with a wealth of benefits including a members discount card, discounted boardroom hire across all of our office sites and networking events every Friday night (with a free bar!).

For more information about this 10 person office or other opportunities we have available, just get in touch with the button below or call us on 0131 557 7751.


 

Coworking Abroad – The Perfect Solution for the Entrepreneurial Adventurer.

In the digital age, the traditional 9 til 5 office job is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. The rise of remote working, freelancing, global coworking and self-employment over the past decade has led to the creation of a new breed of worker – the digital nomad. Needing only an internet connection to get by, the digital nomad can work from anywhere in the world. Laptop in one hand, passport in the other, he/she not bound by any location and has complete freedom.

Sounds nice doesn’t it? Unfortunately, like most things, whilst the idea of remote working is romantic, the reality is often less than convenient. Firstly, there’s the price; unless you are prepared to carry a tent around with you, the price of short-term accommodation will soon add up, not to mention travelling and living costs. Secondly, there’s the hassle; instead of focussing on your job, you will soon spend much of your time planning your route, booking hotels and travel, and searching for a quiet place to work. Thirdly, there’s the temptation; it’s hard to stay motivated when your on a beach in the South of France and everyone around you is having a drink and swimming in the sea. How do you stay focused on your work?

Fortunately, coworking might have found the answer to these problems. Over the past few years a whole host of companies have begun to cater to the needs of the adventurous remote worker by providing affordable coworking and co-living space in all corners of the globe. Here are a few examples of what’s on offer.

Coworking Retreats

Although it seems like a contradiction in terms, coworking holidays have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Thousands of people every year fly off to exotic locations to relax and work. If you fancy a break, but don’t want to put your work on hold, there are plenty of options for you. Resorts such as Livit Spaces in Bali, Surf Office in Spain, and SunDesk in Morocco offer coworking space and accommodation where people can work remotely whilst soaking up the sun, exploring a different part of the world, and networking with other likeminded adventurers.

 

word hard, play hard #ToptalLisbon16 #remotework #remoteworking #digitalnomad #officelife #officefun #office

A photo posted by Surf Office (@surfoffice) on

Coworking Holidays

Similar to the retreats, coworking holiday companies such as US-based Hacker Paradise organise trips all over the world for people who want to travel and work at the same time. These companies will take care of your accommodation, workspace, and community, so that you can focus on being productive and enjoying yourself. Trips can last as long as three months, but you can stay for as little as two weeks. This year, the company has trips organised to Bali in Indonesia, Chiang Mai in Thailand, and Porto in Portugal. Coworking holidays are a great way to meet people and network. As one Hacker Paradise customer put it, ‘it’s like a school trip, but all your classmates are cool entrepreneurs, and there’s Wi-Fi.’

 

Coworking Networks

A relatively new phenomenon, these are international networks of coworking spaces that with one membership you can have complete access to. There are a couple of examples of fantastic coworking networks available. The first is Roam, this is a company that owns coworking and communal living space in Bali, Miami, and Madrid, with spaces soon to be opened in Buenos Aires and London. Boasting ‘battle tested wifi, coworking space, chef’s kitchen, and a diverse community’, the company invites you to ‘join interesting people in interesting places – for a week or a lifetime’. Another option is companies like Coworking Visa or Copass with whom membership provides you access to hundreds of independent coworking spaces across the globe. The benefits of coworking networks are freedom, especially with global Coworking Visa and Copass, you can just about travel to anywhere on earth and have a place to work, and people to meet.

 

Mondays…

A photo posted by Roam (@roamcoliving) on

 

So… if you’re the adventurous type, or just want a change of scene without putting your work on hold, why not try global coworking? It could be the best decision you ever make.

Meeting Room Hire in Central Edinburgh from just £18

Kingsford Office has 3 beautiful Edinburgh meeting rooms available for hire, located at Dublin Street and Albany Street (just a few minutes walk from Waverley Train Station) and our West End location at Walker Street, just moments away from Haymarket Station.

The first of our meeting rooms is located within Kingsford Business Club on Dublin Street:

 

Meeting Room Edinburgh

Or if you prefer a West End location, Walker Street is ideal for you:

 

Our Edinburgh meeting rooms are priced at £30 + VAT / hour, £110 + VAT for half a day or £180 + VAT for a full day. If you are a member of Kingsford Office, you receive a discounted member rate of £18 + VAT/hour, £60 + VAT for a half day or £110 + VAT for a full day.

Meeting room hire includes free tea, coffee and soft drinks, use of whiteboards and TV screens which can be connected via HDMI to your laptop.

For availability, booking, or any questions you may have just get in touch via 0131 322 0909 or email us at info@kingsfordestates.co.uk . We look forward to welcoming you to our meeting rooms soon!

 

The Beach Office: 6 Person Office Available in Edinburgh City Centre

This office has now been taken. Please get in touch for information on other offices and coworking opportunities!

 

We are delighted to offer this great 6 person office at 26 Dublin Street. Located towards the back of the building, this office is quiet and private. With a classic townhouse window and dreamy beach mural, this office remains a light bright space even on grey Edinburgh days!

The office is fully furnished with high quality desks and comfortable chairs, as well as wall mounted storage. You have access to the two members kitchens on site, which are kept regularly topped up with a selection of gourmet teas and Nespresso coffees, soft drinks, cereals and fresh fruit.

Your office also includes a membership to Kingsford Business Club which comes with a wealth of benefits including a members discount card, discounted boardroom hire across all of our office sites and networking events every Friday night (with a free bar!).

For more information about this 6 person office or other offices we have available, just get in touch with the button below or call us on 0131 557 7751.

Get in Touch

Start-up Tips: Keep Your Costs Down with a Virtual Office

In this digital technology age, it really is possible to work from anywhere in the world – smart phones, laptops, tablets and a vast number of spaces offering free WiFi have enabled companies to grow from pretty much any location. That being said, there is still value to be added by establishing a professional base. Virtual offices can offer start-ups a brilliant platform to build on, without costing the earth. A virtual office bridges the gap between working from your home, coffee shops, the garden shed or your friend’s living room to having a professional premises and address.

City Centre Locations, without the City Centre Price Tag

A virtual office comes with all the benefits and prestige of having a city centre mailing address, without the costs of city centre office rent, or investing in furniture and other equipment. Staying ahead of the competition as a start-up means more than just offering a good product or service – having a strong brand and image associated with a prestigious business address could really set your start-up apart, attracting customers and investors alike.

Outside 2 Walker Street Serviced Offices

Flexibility

In the early stages of your business, flexibility is so important and finding an ‘office’ which can be flexible to suit your needs not only now but in the future too is a must. Find a virtual office which enables you to upgrade to a co-working or serviced office set up as your company expands. This way your company can grow, without ever having to change address.

Time Efficient

With virtual offices you don’t need to wait in to receive a parcel or to sign for a letter, so it doesn’t matter if you have a meeting scheduled for the same time – it’s all taken care of for you. Dedicated phone lines can also be used as part of a virtual office package, with call answerphone services to make sure you never miss that important message from a new customer, supplier or investor.

Additional Services and Benefits

Along with the benefits of a business address and mail handling, many packages offer additional services and benefits, at discounted rates. For example, as a member of Kingsford Business Club virtual offices you have access to discounted meeting rooms, events, workshops and access to networks that help you grow your business. Members also get an exclusive card which offers discounts at shops, restaurants and businesses throughout the city.

There are so many potential benefits to having a virtual office in the early days of your start-up, as a virtual office member at the Kingsford Business Club we can provide the support and flexibility for your company to grow and thrive.

Other flexible working options:

Co-working: 1, 5, 10 day and unlimited monthly passes

Meeting Rooms

Serviced Offices

Events Space

5 Valentine’s Gift Ideas for the Entrepreneur in Your Life

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve put together some gift ideas for the entrepreneur in your life. From note taking technology to co-working inspiration, here are some great tips to boost productivity and save time (meaning more of their time can be spent with you!).

1. Bamboo Folio

Help your entrepreneur to work smarter with the Bamboo Folio. You just write notes and ideas naturally with a pen on any paper, then with the push of a button, Bamboo Folio converts handwriting into “living” digital files. Because sometimes there’s no substitute for a good hand-written note!

Bamboo Folio

2. Nespresso

Most entrepreneurs run on coffee, so why not give the basic instant options a miss in exchange for something that is actually enjoyable to drink? Nespresso has a range of different flavour pods to suit every taste for your Valentine – Ristretto and Espresso Forte are our members’ favourites!

Nespresso coffee machine

3. Breakfast

A good breakfast can set you up for a productive day, so treat your entrepreneur to a luxury breakfast. Edinburgh offers a whole range of delicious breakfast spots; how about french toast at Mimi’s Bakehouse? Or a bakery basket for elevenses at the Balmoral? Or for something completely different, try a bun maska dipped in spicy chai, or a bombay omelette accompanied by a Bloody Mary from new St Andrews Square restaurant Dishoom.

Dishoom Breakfast Edinburgh St Andrews Square

4. Gym Membership

Regular exercise is proven to improve sleep, increase creative energy and reduce stress, making a gym membership a thoughtful gift to improve your Valentine’s energy and productivity. Kingsford Business Club members also get discounted membership and no joining fee at The Gym by Waverly station.

Blurred background of gym.

5. Co-Working Membership

Does your entrepreneur work from home or coffee shops? Give them the gift of a productivity with a space they can really enjoy working in. Kingsford Office runs a luxury co-working space at 26 Dublin Street, with passes starting from just £35 + VAT. The co-working space offers unlimited tea, coffee and soft drinks, fresh fruit, superfast internet, printing, stationary, and of course the opportunity to network and collaborate with other inspiring entrepreneurs. Get in touch for more information!

Kingsford Business Club co-working in Edinburgh city centre

Sustaining Financial Security Whilst Pursuing Entrepreneurship

At Kingsford we are encouraged to be business minded and innovative. We believe that the key to success in entrepreneurship is sustaining financial security before pursuing your business ideas. The romanticised vision of entrepreneurship promises a quick path to success and total devotion to your business from day one. Yet, the reality is somewhat different.

Being an entrepreneur can be risky but entrepreneurs who are in full-time employment reduce their risk of failure. They wait until they have built their business before they sever ties with a job that pays their bills.

If the excitement of becoming a full time entrepreneur is pulling you out of your workplace remember that you have grocery bills, rent, car payments and family expenses.

These five steps will teach you how to stay in your job and become what you’ve always wanted:
To become a successful entrepreneur.


Step 1 – Embrace Technology

Technology has advanced so far that you can systemise also every aspect of your business. Whilst working full-time your goal should be to free up as much time as possible so that your ingenious business ideas are not neglected.

Look first to outsource and reduce your personal involvement in tasks like filing for a business entity, dealing with accounting, taxes, designing business cards and obsessing over your logo. Try services like Hopscratch or Legalzoom to assist you with early Financial, Legal and Marketing hurdles.


Step 2 – Start creating content for your target audience

Reach out to potential customers by writing and discussing ways in which your business will provide a solution to their problems. The best way to start is by writing a blog whilst encouraging interaction with customers and influencers. A few weeks of active blogging could build you a mailing list of engaged email subscribers who eventually want to buy your products.

 

Step 3 – Embrace calculated risks

Risk behaviour is common ground for all kinds of entrepreneurs. However, choosing to embrace a calculated risk is a must for aspiring entrepreneurs who find themselves in a day job. Tony Robinson (best selling author) is quoted as saying that business is 80% psychology and 20% mechanics. The biggest barrier for entrepreneurs is that few are natural risk takers and they are not emotionally ready for the challenges of building a business.


Step 4 – Tell your boss and family about your business

If you are starting your business in the same industry that you are currently working you should inform your boss. Check with your Lawyer if there are any non-compete clauses in your employment contract which could shatter your business dreams. Although clauses can be negotiable, if you don’t address them with your Lawyer it could result in an expensive court case.

Be sure to set aside time to work on your ideas when it does not interfere with your family and work commitments. You may find yourself waking up at 4:30am to work when others are asleep. At first this may sound grim but the enthusiasm for owning your own business will energise your sleepy mind.

 

Step 5 – Validate your concept

It is common for people to have a sound business idea and it never gets put into practice. Legitimate excuses could range from being in a full-time position, not having enough equity and having to care for family.

One of the main reasons that stops us from validation is that we over complicate the process of starting a business when we could keep it simple. The key is to produce the simplest form of your product which meets the demands of the customer. It is that simple. Focus on landing your first client and promote your product through their networks.

Four key tips to help entrepreneurs boost their creativity

As an entrepreneur it is imperative to not find yourself in a creative rut. This can hinder your ability to lead effectively. Many of us find ourselves in an unresponsive routine leading to the question of how we can regain inspiration.

At Kingsford we engage with inspirational entrepreneurs on a day-to-day basis.

Presented are four useful tips from our resident entrepreneurs:

 

1) Change your routine:

Many successful athletes and businessmen speak about the need for a consistent routine. However, perhaps your mind and body is sick of performing the same tasks over and over again. The solution? Cancel your first meeting tomorrow and give your body that extra hour of sleep it needs.

Do you always watch the same morning show? Or read the same newspaper to start your day? Instead watch something different and read something new.

Keeping a fresh routine will guarantee an increase in creativity.
2)  Shut up:

As the boss you are likely to be bombarded for your opinion. That may be flattering and proves that others value your competency and professionalism. However, delegating tasks to others can lead to a creative drain. Your decisions may become predictable.

Instead, from time to time, understand that the best way to learn is to listen and watch. Allow your thoughts to ruminate.
3) Force yourself to come up with 100s of ideas:

An effective tool to get the creative juices moving in your brain is to write down 100 ideas. These ideas could be new business ideas or ways to improve your current businesses. Many of the thoughts you write down won’t be new but there will be some unfamiliar ideas inked into your paper.

On completion, take the time to consider the potential impact of your new ideas.
4) Travel:

What often puts us in a rut is too much repetition. Everyday we meet the same people, do the same tasks and go to the same places. Travelling allows us to leave our comfort zone.

Exposing ourselves to new cultures, people, sights and even languages allows our minds to expand and adapt, tapping into new mental resources. If you are unable to take a week or two away then why not try a weekend getaway? Even a couple of hundred miles from where you are could be enough to spark some fresh ideas.