co-working Collaborate community cowork coworking Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network flexoffice Hot Desk hub incubators Uncategorized

    The growth of coworking.

    A friend shared this video with me today and so here it is, thanks Marius of Freelance Cape Town.  The growth of coworking in Cape Town has been staggering over the past two years which only proves that more people are waking up to the benefits of working from a coworking space.

    Coworking is no longer an idea or concept or even a thing of the future, Coworking is now.

    Video via Turnstone.

    November 04, 2015
    Africa Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Collaborate cowork coworking Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network networking SouthAfrica Start-up Uncategorized

    CTO Member Spotlight: October

    AfricanDreams

    African Dreams

    So I’ve decided to dedicate one post per month to a member’s business here at Cape Town Office and so ladies and gentleman may I introduce you to African Dreams.

    African Dreams is the brainchild of Danielle who arrived at Cape Town Office a few months ago after more than 10 years of living and working in Hong Kong. In that time she built up an incredible network of businesses in China through her company, Guanxi Connections, providing Event management | Design | Marketing services, just take a look at what some of her clients had to say, www.guanxi-connections.com/testimonials.html

    But, like any entrepreneur, she quickly saw that there’s an opportunity for her here in South Africa to bring China a  little closer to Africa and indeed bring Africa closer to China through African Dreams. She has carefully selected a diverse range of African products such as Organic food supplements, Specialty teas to Eco-furniture available via the website.

    So spread the news far and wide folks and help this entrepreneur get this business off the ground in style!

    To contact Danielle and chat about importing/exporting goods to China, you’ll find her here.

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/BuyDanielle

    Email:  info@guanxi-connections.com

    WEB: http://www.africandreams.co/

     

    October 15, 2015
    Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Collaborate community cowork coworking Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network networking Shared Office SME Uncategorized

    Being social is good for business.

    capetownoffice

    Is being social good for business?

    More and more companies are looking at coworking spaces as a fast and effective way of expanding their business operations. Instead of worrying about signing a lengthy lease, kitting it out with furniture and negotiating the best internet package, all you need to worry about is getting here. That’s the obvious bit, but there’s more to it than that.

    Tapping into the existing social network of a coworking space can play a big part in making sure that your new employees don’t feel isolated while you’re off building the base in the new city.

    Coworking is not just for start-ups

    A good recent example of this is a company from Gauteng that currently employ more than 250 people and looking to expand with an office in Cape Town. When I asked them why they’re looking at coworking the answer was simply, it’s a lot more social and in the short term will help the guys feel good about coming to work! So it got me thinking. Is it good to be social at work?

    For me, absobloodylutely YES. If I’m having a bad day, struggling with a tricky work related issue by simply stepping out of my work zone into the common area, I’m bound to bump into someone there and a quick chat immediately makes me feel better, especially when its random and off topic . Right now at CTO we have a great mix of cultures which also adds to the flavour. Just yesterday in fact a couple of American guys told me they were off to The Spur for the Monday night special and quite looking forward to trying the burgers to compare it to back home. Since I was practically raised in The Spur, like most kids in SA, I was delighted to hear that they had a great experience 😉

    Community

    Of course there are lots of other benefits to coworking, but I don’t think enough is said about the social benefits. A few months ago we had an expat return to South Africa join us after more than 10 years of living in Hong Kong! She’s not from Cape Town either, so you can imagine there was no social circle to jump into, she was starting from scratch. After just a few weeks here she joined up with a few CTO members to go for Sunday walks up the mountain, every Sunday. It’s definitely helped her settle back much faster than had she opted for the work-from-home option.

    We are after all social creatures who enjoy hearing one another’s stories and experiences. Very few of us are designed to sit in a room alone for up to 9 hours a day working, so why do it? I hear it quite a lot that the only reason people would choose to work from home is to save money, but how do you put a price on being happier? Maybe some clever person can design a happiness measuring tool so we can see the results. Wouldn’t that be cool!!!

    So, still unsure about sharing space with other people? All I’d say to you is that once you’ve tried it, you won’t look back. Five years and counting for me and I’ve loved every day of it. So, if your company is looking to set up an office in Cape Town, give us a shout, you won’t regret it.

    October 14, 2015
    Cape Town co-working Collaborate community cowork coworking Design Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network flexoffice hub Internet networking Shared Office SME SouthAfrica Start-up workcation

    Five reasons to join a coworking space.

     

    photo-1433650552684-d4004a945d6c (1)

    So this is something I get asked quite a lot and I hasten to add that it’s usually from people who have never worked in a coworking space or people that haven’t heard of coworking before *gasp*, but yes…it’s true, there are people out there who haven’t heard of coworking.

    I think there are many really great reasons, but as we’re all busy people I’d like to distill it down to just five great things and I guess you could say reasons why it’s great to be in a coworking space.

    1. You’re not alone.

    Now even though this sounds pretty obvious, I think it’s really important to remember that humans are naturally quite social beings. We like to meet new people. We like to share our experiences and most of all I think we like to be reminded that we’re not alone.  So being part of a coworking community like Cape Town Office is a great way to not spend what is a large chunk of your day/s alone.

    2. You get all the trimmings, without the price tag.

    This is a pretty great reason all on it’s own to join a coworking space. With the collective buying power a coworking space has, you get enterprise class internet (or you should) without the hefty price tag, for example. Installing a fibre optic internet line, if you’re lucky enough to be in an area where it’s possible, can cost thousands. Then there’s the monthly premium which again can cost you thousands per month so as a freelancer or a small business that’s a really tough expense to swallow every month.

    3. Resources.

    Here at Cape Town Office we have loads of really talented people. Graphic designers, Illustrators, Website developers and even a guy who sells aluminium components to the building industry. Now, granted the last one isn’t exactly something you can make use of daily, but being a couple of desks away from someone who can help create your new brand identity, a cute logo or even your new website can be a very handy thing!

    4. Productivity.

    I know we all like to think of ourselves as self-starters, energy bunnies who jump out of bed in the morning with a big smile on our face ready to face the day, but let’s be honest. There are many days where the mere idea of getting out of bed can be a challenge. Here’s where having “somewhere to go” can be a life saver. You get in, grab a coffee and get to it! Head down for a few hours and before you know it you’ve conquered most of your To-Do list and suddenly the world is a sunnier place.

    5. It’s fun.

    In a coworking space like ours, there are loads of cool and quirky things you can do when you need to get up from your desk and take a break. Games, yes proper arcade games with Pac-Man, Space Invaders and even Moonpatrol on tap…suddenly it’s all about setting that high score. We’ve also got an old school vinyl record player with heaps of tunes and if you’re still feeling a little bored you can always grab a deck of cards and have a few games with someone.

    So there you have it. Five really great reasons to get out of your pajamas and book a desk here at Cape Town Office or any of the coworking spaces in Cape Town for that matter. It’s important that you find your tribe and settle in to a great working experience, so give me a shout if you want to check out CTO.

    Lizelle

    Your host at Cape Town Office

    August 10, 2015
    Business Cape Town co-working Collaborate community cowork coworking Design Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network hub networking Shared Office Social media Start-up

    Keeping on track.

    04-05-15

    It’s that time of year. We’re nearly half way through 2015, wow…can you believe that, so I thought it might be good to touch base and share how I’m doing on the old “things to do” list.

    Looking at my list at the start of this year there were a few familiar ones.

    1. Loose a few kilos
    2. Be more productive
    3. Find more creative things to do in my spare time

    Like I said all too familiar and alas … not quite as ahead of the game as I’d like. Although I have to give myself a bit of credit on a few things on that list that are some what better than the year before and isn’t that worth celebrating? I say YES – celebrate the little victories along the way, you don’t climb a mountain in one big leap after all, it’s one step at a time.

    As most women, the first item on my list is generally the one that causes a lot of angst and complimentary guilt. My vice is not the sweet stuff, but the delicious combination of barley, hops and wheat best served cold with a bit of a fizz. I am of course talking about beer, any beer but especially craft beer. Cape Town is such a haven for all things craft beer, from The Beer House on Long Street to our Cape Town Office local, Lefties – it’s just so hard to resist.  But, as I said it’s about keeping on track and celebrating those small victories and to that end I’m rather chuffed with myself by only visiting these fine establishments once a week now. It all helps.

    When it comes to productivity, I like most of you, suffer from syndrome known as “loss of time” directly attributed to scrolling aimlessly down the timeline of my social media fix, Facebook. Why is it that we care so much about what others are doing, seeing, drinking or even thinking? This is not a post that will attempt answering the question of our time, but rather how the hell do we cut the umbilical cord and shed that fear of missing out? #FOMO Here’s what I did and it works! I simply deleted the Facebook application from my phone. No, really it’s as simple as that. At first it was hard, really hard filling in time whilst sitting at Vida drinking coffee or standing in the lobby waiting on the lift when I’d usually just stare at my phone and scroll through the posts. The difference is in so small way, A M A Z I N G people. I highly recommend you do it today.

    I still pop in from time to time via my desktop to see what’s been happening, event invitations and wishing people far away Happy Birthday so it’s not like I went cold turkey, but it’s a start!

    The 3rd item on my list is an ongoing project. I’m very excited to be joining a weekly Life drawing class with good friend, Viky Petermann Rueda right here in the building at Artsauce Life drawing studio. It’s been a long, far too long, time since I’ve let the creative juices flow and I’m really looking forward to getting back into that rhythm. There are still spaces available, so if you’re keen on flexing that creative muscle, why not come along. Beginners (and trust me that’s where I’m at) are very welcome. https://www.facebook.com/events/863154777085807/

    We all get so busy with our daily routines, especially when you’re self employed / an entrepreneur that stopping every now and then to nurture that inner Picasso, Leonardo or Monet just moves further and further away.

    Academic researchers have begun to converge on the opinion that:

    “Considerable evidence now suggests that employee creativity can make a substantial contribution to an organization’s growth and competitiveness” (Baer & Oldham, 2006).

    Further in an article in The Economist it was suggested that the biggest challenge facing organizations is identifying and developing individuals with “brainpower (both natural and trained) and especially the ability to think creatively” (Frymire, 2006).

    (Creativitypost.com)

    So what do you to be more creative?

    In the world, this wonderful world of coworking I’m fortunate and blessed to be surrounded by some of the most creative thinkers and do’ers from all disciplines and walks of life. I love how a quick chat in the kitchen over a coffee can lead to a collaboration which may initially only be a small project, but has the potential to be the next big start up. Coworking is such a great way for all of us to be motivated in the morning, especially a Monday, to get out of bed and get to your desk. I wouldn’t change it for the world!

    Here’s to the start of a new month and in keeping with #StarwarsDay … May the 4th be with you!

    Cheers,

    Lizelle

     

    May 04, 2015
    Africa Cape Town co-working Collaborate community conference cowork coworking flexoffice Hot Desk hub incubators networking SouthAfrica techhubs unconference workcation

    Coworking Africa – Cape Town – 23 & 24 July 2015

    Announcing the 1st Coworking Africa conference!

    More than 5.500 coworking spaces operate worldwide. Now, the Coworking wave has hit Africa. For the first time, the African coworking community is invited to gather in Cape Town, on July 23th and 24th 2015.

    Day 01: Insightful keynotes and panel discussions on the latest trends and inspiring stories from the Coworking community from Africa and beyond.

    Networking cocktail at The Design Bank coworking space.

    Day 02: Unconference – A whole day of barcamp which attendees choose and facilitate participatory workshops to celebrate collaboration and to share best practices. We will make sure there will be even more collaboration, interactions and meaningful encounters this year.

    Cape Town Coworking Tour

    At the end of the Barcamp/Unconference, on the second day, groups will leave for a guided tour of the Cape Town Coworking scene, across the city. The tour will end at the cocktail/party venue.

    Closing party at Cape Town Garage coworking space.

    Get a discount on the regular price !

    Two days left for booking your Coworking Africa conference Early Bird ticket. It will be available only until April 15th. Register now ! (http://coworkingafrica.com/book-now/)

    Feel free to call me or mail me if you have any questions!

    Lizelle – lizelle@capetownoffice.com / +2771 7620960

     

    Not sure what to expect? Check out highlights of the 2014 Coworking Europe Conference.

    Banner Big CWA 2015

    April 13, 2015
    APP development Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Content Creator Design Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Investment Not for Profit Outdoor gear Pitch Shared Office SME Social media Start-up Student Uncategorized

    These major coworking events will take place in 2015

    Coworking-Africa-Conference-2015-970X180

    Almost 300,000 people have worked in nearly 6000 coworking spaces worldwide by the end of this year. The coworking movement acquires maturity, expanding with bigger spaces and more locations, an higher diversity of business models, and exploring more niches. This development will be also reflected in more coworking events next year. Asia’s first coworking unconference will be held in Bali.

    The Global Coworking Unconference Conference is going to California. However, it won’t take place only once, but three times, by popping up in Australia and Canada as well. And Africa will get its first dedicated conference on coworking, in Cape Town. It’s time to mark your fresh calendar with the upcoming major events on coworking in 2015!

    Click on the link to get the full list –> http://www.deskmag.com/en/these-major-coworking-conferences-events-barcamps-will-take-place-in-2015

    Via http://www.deskmag.com/

    deskmag

    March 09, 2015
    Business Business Plan Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Investment Pitch SME Start-up

    Why you need a mentor.

    LaraMorgan

     

    By Lara Morgan

    Lara is Chairman of Company Shortcuts and a member of The Supper Club

    Launching a new business requires such a broad range of skills that it can be extremely daunting for a novice entrepreneur to face alone. Asking for help isn’t always the easiest thing to do in business, but could tapping into the expertise of someone who has already been there and done it be a shortcut to success?

    I was fortunate to be able to call upon numerous mentors over the 17 year period that I ran my first business, and each of them offered different areas of expertise that helped me to navigate the challenges of managing a business going through fast growth.

    Learning to deal with people was one of the first pieces of the management puzzle I identified, so I set about finding a mentor who was an expert in recruitment. Happily, the gentleman I found not only offered me great advice on dealing with people, but he was also a lawyer, the owner of a larger company, a major supplier of mine, and most importantly someone who I liked, respected and could trust.

    I started the company aged just 23, so to be honest I knew very little about some of the more technical aspects of business. I asked my accountancy firm to mentor me through learning accounting, and I would have lunches and buy dinners for individuals that had professional expertise I could tap into, perhaps in social media, branding, digital marketing or almost any other area of business learning. The key is really not being afraid or too proud to ask other people for their help and advice – you will usually find they are flattered you have asked them.

    A mentor can be an invaluable resource for you and your business, and here are the five things I believe a mentor can give you that you will struggle to get anywhere else:

    1. Help identifying and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses

    2. A network of contacts that would take years to build for yourself

    3. An alternative perspective on problems and challenges

    4. Honest, constructive criticism – it is not a mentor’s job to just agree with whatever you do

    5. Coaching to help you develop the skills that you are lacking

    When it comes to mentoring, I have found that my time and skills are much better suited to public speaking. This has allowed me to share enterprise stories around my successes in export, the experiences I have in both failed and successful business exit and my opinion on the other areas of company development that I have a strong passion about, with a much wider audience. In a public speech I can reach a number of people in a short period, and get an understanding of the challenges the whole audience may be facing.

    With that in mind, it doesn’t mean that I am not delighted to be asked for advice by entrepreneurs. I feel humbled to think people may want my one-to-one advice, but I hope that by sharing my story and the lessons I have learned on a larger scale will help more entrepreneurs all over Britain take the right shortcuts to success.

    Lara Morgan is Chairman of Company Shortcuts – a consultancy dedicated to excellence in sales and leadership. Lara combines her own fast-growth experience with a passion for unlocking the growth potential of established businesses to help organisations whose ambition has stalled. 

    Lara Morgan is on Twitter @IamLaraMorgan

     

    January 13, 2015
    Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Content Creator Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Investment Shared Office SME Social media Start-up

    Thank you!

    Well here we are team, the nearly nearly end of 2014 and pheweeee what a ride it’s been! I wanted to take a minute and thank all of you who helped make this year a very special one in the life of CTO. Too many to mention by name, and I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not running off a list of names like the shiny people do at the Oscar’s.

    So, please accept this token of thanks for me for your contribution, love and support.

    A quick recap of 2014

    We started the year in our old 3rd floor offices with a full compliment of monkeys all beavering away in a very hot and rather stuffy office. It was challenging to say the least, with no airconditioning to help us cope in the heat of Cape Town summer. But we soldiered on with fans, ice buckets and spritzer bottles galore along with the endless supply of ice cold Cafe Gelado’s from Vida downstairs.

    Then came the news… we’d found an investor and we were E X P A N D I N G. Exciting and scary all at the same time it was clear that we needed to make this move as we’d outgrown our space and demand was growing by the day. We then went about scouting for a new home and found the ideal spot, same building, just one floor down – twice the size with windows and views. What more could we want. The rest of the story moved pretty fast with the appointment of LEVR creations as our design team, the work began.

    Work took about 3 months from start to finish, which is pretty good considering most of the hard stuff  had to happen after hours due to the noise restriction in the building. It’s one of those things you don’t realise when  you’re not in the “trade” I guess, but a pretty big consideration no less. The LEVR team were impeccable in their management of the project and the delivery and I couldn’t be happier in the space we’re in today.

    On swealtering days, 29C + we’re cool as cucumbers inside because of their very clever design. I’ve waxed lyrical about their work in previous blogs so won’t go on too much here. Check out the pics here –> http://www.capetownoffice.com/gallery/

    September we had 16 people working from Cape Town Office and I’m proud as punch to say that we’ve more than doubled that already. There are of course still a handful of places left from January, but it’s filling up…fast!

    Looking at 2015

    #CTO3: Very exciting year ahead for CTO with the development of our 3rd space underway already that will have bigger workstations and optional private offices for 2-4 people. We can’t wait to get cracking on this when the builders return from their holidays. For now everyone has downed tools and gone on holiday, a well deserved holiday to say the least.

    #CoWorkingAfrica:  I’ve spent the past few months colluding with Global Enterprise, organizers of the annual CoWorking Europe conference. 2014 saw the 5th successful European #coworking conference take place in Lisbon attended by 320 delegates from 40 different countries. The growth and continued interest in the phenomenon we call #coworking has, as we all know, spilled over into Africa. We felt that the time had come for Africa to celebrate the community of #coworking spaces and what better African city to host this event than Cape Town?!!

    After many skype calls to Belgium we finally arrived at the date of July 23-24 2015 and proud to say that the conference will be held right here in our building at East City Studios. The website for the conference is still under construction, so I will keep you updated via Twitter @capetownoffice on that and other goings on.

    I’m looking forward to the next six months and hope to see you all sooner rather than later!

    Happy Holidays - CTO

    December 19, 2014
    APP development Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Content Creator Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Internet Shared Office SME Social media Start-up Uncategorized

    So who CoWorks in a space like CTO?

    DSC_0467 (2)

    I often get asked “what other businesses are in the space”, so thought it was time for an update. What’s lovely is the variety of “trades” we have here at Cape Town Office which really creates opportunity for everyone to naturally network. Also, some of you might be interested to learn that not all our members are Entrepreneurs either. We have three companies that use CTO as a base for their employees, two in the UK and one in the USA. We also had our very first UNISA undergraduate join the CTO this month as he simply needed a quiet, focused space to do his studying from away from home.

    Sometimes its not about anything more than breaking the dreaded isolation curse that so many people face when working from home. Socially a space like this can be very uplifting and naturally help someone who might be stuck in a rut change tact in their business to gain better results. Sometimes its just a bit of human interaction that’s required to lift the spirits after a tough day in the office and comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. Many other Entrepreneurs have been in your position and there is a way out!

    We have Graphic designers, Content creators, Financial analyst, Aluminum Composite Panels suppliers, Architects, Software developers specializing in interactive digital display installations, Knitwear, Not for profit, Videographer and even Tour operators and more…

    Here’s a quick list…

    Shane / Ridhu / Richard, Digital genii of RenderHeads

    Ronelle, Founder of TREK outdoor survival gear  and Graphic Designer, GraficTrafic

    Rethabile, Founder of  Thope Foundation

    Michael, Website guru of Solutions Web

    David, Entrepreneur and Founder of NitroCreamy & Missing Piece Films 

    Thorsten, Social Media Consultations and Website Design / www.thorsteneggert.com

    Julian, Chief of Head Stream Water Solutions

    Naomi, Operations behind Khuluma Education

    Anthony, Sales engine of DrinC

    Pete, Illustrator and Founder of LightSpeedDesign

    Annie, Inbound Product and Operations Manager for Jacada Travel

    Tobias & Ann-Marie, Founders and Creative monkeys behind LEVR Creations. (Architects / Interior Design / Furniture)

    Kevin, Sales & Marketing engine of Chocolate & Love

    Amy, Designer for Top Left Design UK

    Dylan & Meagan, Support operators for Order Talk US

    Andrew, Freelance online marketing  & content creator for www.capetownbig6.co.za www.capepoint.co.za www.civair.co.za

    Roberto, Energy Trading Analyst for Trailstone

    Sean, Sales Genius for Alcobond 

    Lizelle (that’s me), Founder of LVR – Business to Business lead generation / marketing

    John & Sonja of Big Blue Sky Tours – Independent Tour Operators

    Brigitta, who with her mom run a small family business supplying quality Knitwear to South African high street retailers

    Denise, in the throws of writing a book & doing her Post PHD

    Guiseppe, doing his Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing via Unisa

    Roelf, Founder of Extra Mile Cabs (Pty) Ltd

    Johann, our resident IT guru – MyIT FIX (website coming soon)

    So, that’s the current list of CTO members and more joining us every week now which is just brilliant. Keep in touch via Twitter @capetownoffice or Facebook /capetownoffice for all the goings on at CTO. If this sounds like it could be a solution for you, don’t wait – pop in & see what you’re missing out on!

    #cowork #network #collaborate

    Best,

    Lizelle

     

    October 17, 2014