Business

Six UK-Based Offices with Innovative Design

Regardless of whether you’re looking to further your career within an office environment that plays around with conformity, or you’re in charge of a business looking for inspiration from some of the big players in the tech industry, there are plenty of office spaces that could have you looking at your current setup and implementing some changes.

Today’s office space is much different to that of the baby boomers. Gone are the grey environment and sterile environment, and introduced are colourful furnishings and bespoke working areas that look to ignite creativity, but which companies do it best?

You wouldn’t be far wrong in assuming that some of Silicon Valley’s finest have the best offices, and this can be the case when it comes to online giants such as Facebook and Google, but the United Kingdom has also taken notice of current trends, and is able to showcase some impressive office space.

Auto Trader

Auto Trader is a publication that has pioneered the art of selling used cars. Based in Manchester in its steel frame buildings, the layout of the office is a car enthusiast’s dream. As well as allowing employees access to car-themed meeting rooms, there is also a series of real cars situated in the office.

Employees that work at Auto Trader are very complimentary about the business and its office layout. Among the testimonials given are that the company gives employees the confidence to flesh out their ideas, as well as giving them a real sense of empowerment that helps them make some innovative discoveries to help propel the business forward.

Innocent Drinks 

Founded in 1998, the smoothie company is now mostly owned by drinks giant Coca-Cola. The smoothies come in a range of flavours and have really gained traction among the health conscious in the United Kingdom.

While many offices are more infused with technological influence, the Innocent offices are a little more organic. Paying tribute to a traditional English fair, the office space provides lots of space, as well as a friendly and relaxing atmosphere that really allows employees to flourish.

As well as being staffed by some truly brilliant minds, there is also a lot of focus on progression within the company, proving just how much the staff mean to the business.

Smarkets

Smarkets is an online betting exchange that was founded in 2008 and has offices in London, Malta and Los Angeles. While you would be right that many betting exchanges are plentiful, Smarkets stands out to its advanced trading platform that looks to face off against some of the bigger industry leaders.

With such bold goals, you would assume that Smarkets would be enforcing tiring schedule, but nothing could be further from the truth. The office premises not only make for an amazing view of the docks in London, but there are also a series of treats laid out for employees. These perks include catered meals, free snacks and as much table football as you can handle.

The company appears to have its focus on creating a real community as opposed to a workforce, and this is evident in the open plan offices and absorbing décor that helps members of staff really flesh out their ideas.

Google

There’s no denying how much impact Google has in relation to its office design, but its London premises show it’s not scared to absorb the local culture to make employees feel more at home. The open plan structure and innovative furnishings are still part of the office layout, but introduced are plenty of couch space, bunting, retro furniture and a series of picnic tables. As well as ensuring the Google brand is infused with the design, the company has also ensured it has included some creature comforts to get the best from their employees.

Those who work for Google only ever report good things, in that the company encourages employees to think outside of the box and look to break conformity. Google is all about breaking new ground in the world of technology, so it should come as no surprise that it tries to obtain the same from their team members,

Splunk

Splunk is an American technology company that produces software for analysing big data via a web browser. Its offices based in London are open plan, and introduce a quirky design that also feels homely. While it can be assumed that graffiti doesn’t belong in an office, there’s something about the cheeky addition to Splunk’s décor that really showcases where it stands as an employer.

Splunk is evidently doing something right, because those who work at the London office are quick to point out how motivational staff are, with it feeling more like an extended family as opposed to workmates.

Red Bull

The Red Bull brand probably doesn’t need any introduction, but to those who aren’t familiar with the Austrian company, the produce an energy drink that has the highest market share within the industry. The brand has become so popular that it has even launched a series of sporting events carrying the Red Bull logo.

The office space is open and inviting, encouraging more co-working, which in turn, allows for some inventive brainstorming. There is also a mixture of business and pleasure. While there is no shortage of working areas, there’s also a big slide that can transport you from level to the other. As well as ensuring the brand colours are represented, the curvature of the can the drink is served in is also present in the décor.

This is only a snapshot of some of the original and evoking office space situated in the UK, and shows that just like Silicon Valley, working environments in the UK are becoming more evolved and welcoming.

Streamline Your Business Communications

Even though the way we communicate may have changed, communication remains an integral part of any business. Whether we’re dealing with in-house communication, or looking to give customers information such as who are the best MLM companies currently https://mlmcompanies.org/best/, having the right tools to hand ensures that we are conveying information in the right way.

Just because running a business can involve a lot of communication doesn’t mean that they way we work has to be complicated. While answering phone calls will still occur, there are ways you can look to improve how you communicate with others, while ensuring its implemented in the most effective way.

Carry Out Projects in the Cloud

While we may have access to professionals, getting them all in the same place at the same time can be problematic at times. This can mean that projects take longer to complete, simply because all parties have not had a chance to look over the project. Working in the cloud offers a more streamlined and proactive solution.

Dealing with a project in-house or via email can work, but it can eat into valuable time. Working from the cloud means that everyone can view real-time updates about the project, regardless of where they are. So, if you have an urgent change or query, then you can normally have a resolution in place sooner rather than later, with everyone reading from the same page.

Look at Other Communication Methods for Customers

There are many customers who swear by speaking to someone over the phone, and there’s not much you can do to convince them otherwise. However, this doesn’t mean you should assume that the same applies to all your customers.

There are those who can’t bear with waiting on the phone, and would rather use the Internet to contact the company. This allows a company to lay out many different channels of communication to help answer queries and resolve complaints,

Some may choose to have a chat feature installed on the main website. This will allow customers to speak to you via chat as opposed to a telephone. While this can be more beneficial for both parties, you need to ensure that there are no issues with your website. It can also be a good idea to ensure your current hosting plan allows for such updates. If you do plan on running chat on your website then I would always recommend that you look at these 12 best hosting providers, who will all be able to provide you with scaleable hosting plan for your business.

Another method can be the use of social networking. Even something as simple as a business page on Facebook can allow a business to communicate with customers in a more effective and timely manner,

Update Your Email Procedures

The use of email has been popular for some time, and in some instances, it can be the most effective way of communicating with others. However, the quality of the information contained within an email can vary, and the communication process can be halted as the recipient has to ask questions about the information sent to them.

This can be avoided if you employ a template that everyone must follow. For example, if you’re referencing a phone call, it can be more useful to include the time and date, as opposed to the day the phone call was made.

Ensuring there is as much information contained within the email in the first instanced ensures that there is less time spent on questioning the email, and more time spent on the resolution. Of course, you will always get some questions, but having a routine and ensuring specifics are included means this happens less frequently.

Consider Call Routing

Although more and more people are choosing the Internet as their preferred portal of communication, there are those who will still choose to contact a business via telephone. If only have a basic telephone system, then finding the right person for the employee to speak to can be problematic.

Call routing is easy to instil, and allows you to route calls to the correct department or employee. You simply give the customer a list of options when they call, and then ensure that all options are routed to the correct department. This mean a more streamlined operation for the business, and a better experience for the customer.

Send Updates Via SMS

One of the reasons why businesses can become inundated with queries is due to customers looking for an update in relation to the purchase. It could be that the information was sent via email, but the customer doesn’t have access, whereas others will just call to ensure that their order is being dealt with. This is where automated SMS updates can come in handy.

Evidently, you will need to obtain the customer’s mobile number to send updates, but they can be a great and cost-effective way of updating the customer, while looking to reduce the number of incoming queries.

Review Your Voicemail Regularly

Even the most streamlined of businesses can miss out on some calls during the busier periods, so it’s often the case that some customers will leave a message. It’s important that voicemail is checked frequently and time is set aside to communicate with the customers.

Every business is different, but it can be advisable to check your business voicemail at least once a day. Overlooking the task could mean that the customer is calling back again and again, which means that your communication can come to a standstill.

Review How Customers Contact You

Some customer may contact you via telephone, whereas others may send queries using an online form. While offering several channels of communication to the customer can be beneficial to them, it’s important for a business to establish where the queries are originating from.

If the majority of queries come into your social network accounts, then it makes sense to ensure that someone is logged in to quickly offer a resolution. Similarly, if you’re regularly receiving phone calls, it can be worthwhile ensuring that somebody is able to man the phones during the busier periods.

Streamling your business communications not only ensure that you have more satisfied customers, but it also allows you to shift your focus onto other projects within the business.

3 Tips on How Startups Can Get Investors For Their Business

While only a number of startups are lucky enough to fund their business on their own it is often clients who have helped them along the way. However, for most businesses, having investors are vital to keeping them off the ground and grow towards expansion. In this guide, we will discuss useful tips to build your strategy can find quality investors.

Here are 3 tips on how startups can get investors for their business.

Find the Right Investors


The first move is to take a closer look at your contacts. Who do you know and how would they be able to help turn your business idea into reality? Consider a new type of networking known as “spider webbing.” This is where you can pitch business ideas to other entrepreneurs, investors, and other connections. You have to pitch to as many people as possible and prepare to deal with rejection during the early stage.

Consider Potential Investor as Part of the Team


Think of your investor as someone you would like to include in your team. Consider their knowledge, insights, and experience to help include them in your strategic plan. Listen to your investors to help avoid any pitfalls that may damage the business.

Ideally, you will want a mix of investors that can boost you’re your confidence and provide support while still able to challenge you to push further. Look for investors of different ages, genders, and races. This will encourage a diverse target market and allow your investors to reflect on the audience of the company.

Determine Factors


There are 3 factors that go into choosing your investor. Consider the connection – can you talk openly and deal with a crisis? Function – does the investor have the proper background to help guide you? Focus – is the investor ready to make the investment to oversee how the company is progressing? Don’t be afraid to see what your investor can bring to the table.

Conclusion

Gain advice from people you trust and have the proper knowledge in negotiating your investment terms. Whether it is a lawyer, entrepreneur and other professional, allow your business to be flexible.

Top 4 Legal Mistakes Startups Make

Launching your own business is a brave decision that may change your life. However, the odds may be against you if you do not have the right foundation on how to help your business grow. In fact, generating revenue is a priority that is often a rare commodity. In this guide, we will discuss some of the most common mistakes business make and how to prevent your brand from making them.

Here are the top 4 legal mistakes start-ups make.

Being Incentive

Most entrepreneurs want to be able to handle their business all on their own. However, it is extremely rare to capitalize on a business idea without the aid of other influencers. Building core team members are considered as a major investment as they are just as motivated as their founder. As the business continues to grow, founders who exclude their shares of the profit will ultimately force core team members to leave and use their knowledge to compete against you.

Intellectual Property

Most common IP rights are trademarks, copyright, patents, and basically everything that comes from the owner. It is these rights that will work for owners to protect their business name. By misunderstanding IP, the value of your business will fail. That is one of the most dangerous things you can do for your business.

Patents

Having a patent means you must claim a legal right to territory. Most businesses choose to keep their formula and launch in market share. Consider the information you disclose and with whom. This is especially important during the early stage as the idea is to disclose the idea without giving away its value.

NDA

With a product idea or business model, you might take extra precautions. It is important to limit the number of patients you discuss your business with as Non-Disclosure Agreements will take effect is the confidentiality is breached. Be sure cautious with potential partners

Have you or someone you know undergone some of these legal mistakes? What advice can you offer? Comment below and let us know!

5 lessons Self-Funded Startups Can Teach Businesses

Self-funded businesses have the power to grow beyond the idea of selling the company. With many successful companies, it is important to stay prepared for the long run rather than investing on short-term. In this guide, we will discuss useful lessons that many self-funded start-ups used for success and what other businesses can learn from them.

Here are 5 lessons self-funded startups can teach businesses.

Constrain Finances

While businesses often feel the need to spend their finances, spending more than you should often lead you with no financial statement to fall back on. Self-funded start-ups and business must focus on delivering value to the custom, drive revenue, and create growth before expecting to make a profit of their own. This means businesses must expect time for product testing hours on R&B and collaborate with partners on new platforms.

Take Advantage of Creative Resources

Businesses are driven by necessity. That is why it is important to spend on necessary items that will shape innovation when it comes to the core functions of the business such as recruitment and marketing. Instead of spending money on recruiters, invest time and money in sponsoring events, community projects, and panels. This is a strong way to build employer brand both authentically and organically.

Build a New Business Model

It is important to find a point of difference in how you build the best team with the right source of people. To gain the most affordable team with the best expertise, consider hiring through outsources. Clients will need engineers to deliver quality, but don’t be afraid to work with a team that is located all over the world. Not only will you benefit from outside talent, you can gain help in a competitive market.

Embrace Technology

As a fast growing industry, this leaves the business with hours of manual entry, paperwork, and energy. Take advantage of today’s workflow technology using tools to help improve the quality of the company and interactions with customers.

Conclusion

With focus consistency and investment, businesses can improve their brand through trust, leadership, and reputation and take their business to the next level of growth.

Infographic by: online.nec.edu