For the last year, I have been mentoring Portuguese company, whose head office is at Canary Wharf in London, I imagined they must have been a big company, their head office was at Canary Wharf!
That was until I went and visited them, their offices are at One Canada Square it was a visually striking office building stretching 774 feet into the air, and was fully-equipped with everything, yes, even a gym and a café. I was impressed, I really believed that I was at the heart of the commercial world.
However, as we went up the lifts to his office, it wasn’t what I expected. My client had a white table surrounded by chairs in a vast open plan office, with lots of other companies. He explained he had the use of all the facilities, could even book a board room when he needed it, and as he was from Portugal and therefore was only there a few times a month, he was hardly paying anything for it!
He asked me why he needed anything greater, he used self-employed software people, who were cheaper the back home in Portugal and all he needed for an office was a base where he could register the company and have somewhere to put his computer. My multinational client was in reality a one person outfit!
He asked me the question, which I ask every start-up, why did he need an office?
He explained that an office is a waste of money as all it does is:
His computer does that!
He explained that as he had to register his business somewhere and his office is a fixed cost, he chose Canary Wharf with all its facilities, including the use of a board room should he require it, at a cost that was less than I pay for my office in Kenilworth!
That’s exactly why I use coffee shops, in fact I recently learnt that one of America’s biggest management consultants uses Starbucks for all their meetings and have even closed down their Californian office!
Therefore, I ask again, why do you need an office, or like my Portuguese client can you take a desk in somewhere like Canary Wharf.
Now that’s Think Cash!