Posts

With the advent of laptops and increasingly accessible and fast internet connections, working at home is a huge success. Many digital nomads take advantage of their freedom to change offices regularly. Some of these entrepreneurs choose coworking, the benefits of which are more numerous than one might think. This article will elaborate on coworking and office sharing experiences and their advantages.

Coworking saves money

Sharing offices often happens for economic reasons. Office rent can cost a lot of money per square metre, especially in big cities. Adding a few more workstations to the premises will allow you to optimize the work space, thus reducing the cost.

Similarly, there are many ways to diminish other fixed and variable costs associated with business management. These include the consumables related to the basic management of the company (coffee, electricity, internet, printer, maintenance expenses, etc.).

A group meeting room, with a reservation system, also allows you to fully exploit the space that you are renting.

Why not also consider sharing software licences? Creating an additional account is better than subscribing to a new full subscription.

If your businesses are successful and the coworking goes well, you can consider renting bigger spaces for your growing companies. It will enable you to increase the standard of your office without costing too much.

 

Say goodbye to loneliness

One of the main problems of entrepreneurship is loneliness. Therefore, another main advantage of coworking is the possibility to meet people.

By “crashing” into offices that are not your own, you can meet other people and no longer work alone. These meetings can often also generate additional business for you or your host. Coworking with people in a field of activity close to or complementary to your practice is a smart move. You can respond together to requests from customers or simply seek help from those around you.

 

Shoot for your business’ growth

If you trust and get along with your coworkers, try to organise regular meetings. For example, you can have breakfast together on Friday mornings and talk about what happened during the week. These meetings would allow you to discuss problems and think up solutions, like a team. This is a great way to come up with fresh ideas that you maybe would have never thought of alone.

Incubators are particularly suited to this practice and are the ideal place to find coworkers.

 

Prerequisites for problem-free coworking

For coworking to work, you have to get along with the other parties. This is why a lot of people choose to cowork with friends. However, strangers can also make for perfect coworking partners.

For instance, open spaces are places where everyone can work together as long as they follow the rules. The aim is to create an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding. These rules should include noise restrictions and security measures. You can also create a contract to make sure that everyone abides by the rules you define.

If you can find the right coworkers and working environment, your business will evolve in a dynamic space. This is less socially taxing and more beneficial in terms of money and growth than working at home. Ultimately, the key is to follow the rules and get along with each other for a smooth coworking experience.

Behind every successful enterprise lies a controlled communication strategy. It is essential to integrate this type of strategy into most of your processes. This applies when exchanging with current customers, potential customers, service providers or your employees. Why such a focus on communication? That is because without consistent communication, you will not be able to build the trust of your audience. It will then be difficult to drive commitment and make your business profitable.

How to effectively communicate with the parties involved in your activity? This article provides answers to this question.

Communicating with potential customers

You must be particularly careful when exchanging with potential parties. Below are some rules to build their trust and turn them into clients:

  • Consumers want solutions. No matter what product you launch, highlight its ability to solve a problem or meet a specific need.
  • Focus most of your content on the value that your product or service can bring to consumers.
  • Be creative in your communication. Think about entertaining or inspiring your audience while conveying your idea. Clients will easily remember this type of message and will automatically think of your product when there is a need. Consider using online tools to create excellent visuals or videos. If necessary, you can also employ a graphic designer.
  • Experiment by interacting with the public through questionnaires, surveys and an active presence on social networks.

Communication with customers

Acquiring new clients is much more difficult than keeping the ones you already have. To sustain your business, take care of consumers who already trust you. Here are some tips to help you communicate with them and strengthen their loyalty:

  • Always thank a customer who buys your products by sending a personalized message. You can easily automate this practice if you sell your products or services online.
  • Ask customers to return after using your products and services. Also, consider getting their feedback regarding customer experience. Example of questions are: How did they choose your service? Did they find it easy or complicated to order on your site or to contact you?
  • Set up an irreproachable customer service. Returns, reimbursements and transactions must be smooth and quick.
  • Add a live chat on your website to facilitate communication with customers.
  • Recruit and train customer relationship agents with care; they represent your brand.
  • Ask your customers to produce content (testimonials or recommendations in video or image or text format) on your various platforms. They find enjoyment in doing so and you can easily share high quality content!

 

Communicating with your team

Be it your in-house staff or your service providers, you must always motivate your team. If the people who work with you are satisfied with their objectives, they will become your best ambassadors.

  • Your team needs to know your short and long-term goals. It is important for them to know where you’re going and what you want from them.
  • Get reports from your team members on a daily basis. This can be done either through face-to-face meetings or via video conference. Always ask what you can do to facilitate their job.
  • Develop personal relationships with your team through your communication. Share your life outside of work and encourage them to share theirs. Such a relationship encourages your staff to take initiatives and dedicate themselves to the company.
  • Involve your team when problems arise or decisions need to be made. Ask for their comments and ideas, even if you don’t use them in the end.
  • Openly congratulate and reward team members. Praising a team member in front of his peers is the best way to boost him for the future.

Take care of your communication with all the parties in your company. From customers to suppliers, colleagues and potential customers, all require special attention.

With the myriad of existing means of communication, you can make your business thrive and grow.

Many freelancers and start-up launchers do not want to spend money on an office, though they do not want to work from home either. Enter coworking: a practical and cheap solution to this problem. Apart from being an inexpensive area, these offices can also develop your socialisation and networking skills. This might, in turn, become very beneficial to your business.

However, shared offices do not always equal to peaceful harmony. They might sometimes also be a bit restrictive. Indeed, various rules have be respected in order to integrate easily and to get along well with fellow co-workers.

 

Here are some tips and good practices for maintaining a pleasant and productive environment at a coworking space:

Check for volume and noise restrictions

One of the first things to consider before joining a coworking space is the level of noise tolerance. This is especially the case if your activity requires you to be on your phone and have Skype conversations all day. You should make sure that your co-workers are not bothered by the noise. Otherwise, you can check to see if there is a designated area where you can talk freely.

While shared offices are not libraries that require complete silence, it is good to take the entourage in mind. You should therefore make a decision according to your needs and habits.

Get to know your co-workers

While this may seem obvious, it remains nonetheless a crucial step in enhancing your coworking experience.

Do not limit yourself to courteous greetings. Go ahead and mingle with your co-workers. Try to know more about their job and their experience. You will undoubtedly learn a lot from these interactions!

Be friendly and lend a helping hand whenever possible

A coworking space is a friendly place which brings together entrepreneurs, freelancers or teleworkers from various fields. Do not miss the opportunity to interact with as many people as you can. Get interested in others and if you can, try to give them a little push in the right direction.

It does not have to be something big. You can, for example, just share the Facebook page of the young entrepreneur sitting across from you. In time, that same person will no doubt return the favour. Small things build friendship and trust and will no doubt contribute to the growth of your business.

Respect the shared equipment

Be it the coffee machine, the microwave or the couches, a coworking space requires you to be extra careful with the equipment. After all, everyone is and/or will be using these facilities. It would be best for them to remain clean and in good condition.

Also, if you have a habit of monopolising the printer or the photocopier, you should stop immediately. Coworking is all about sharing, so not maintaining this spirit will probably result in you having an unpleasant experience.

Participate in joint events

Some coworking spaces organise events on a regular basis. These include workshops, in which each co-worker can share their expertise with others, conferences as well as informal food events.

These are an opportunity to get closer to your neighbours. You will then be contributing to increasing the harmony and pleasant atmosphere in the shared office. You can also use these events to build your network.

Keep the schedule in mind

Shared offices most of the time function according to specific schedules. It is important to adhere to them so as not to spark conflicts with the owner. In addition, many coworking spaces allow you to book a meeting room. The allotted time can be anything between a whole day and half an hour. Out of respect for the other members who booked the room after you, you should not exceed the given time.

By following the above tips, you will easily be able to join and thrive in a coworking space.

Every last Thursday and Friday of the month, we offer free Co-working passes!

These passes are for those who wish to experience what it is like to co-work in an open space environment.

Our co-workers are entrepreneurs, innovators and various professionals (Architects, Accountants, digital marketer, developers…and many more),  who form a strong community of like minded people helping each other out.

One free pass can last a full day, 08h30 to 17h00, at our open space.

The next free co-working open days are as follows:

– January 24th and 25th
– February 21st and 22nd
– March 28th and 29th

**Not to forget** The offer also implies Free Coffee and other amenities (kitchen, WIFI and games) !!!

Sign up now! 

Turbine is mainly known for its start-up incubation and entrepreneurial activities. In the view to promote entrepreneurship in Mauritius, it is essential to provide a flexible place of work for talented individuals and professionals that foster a culture of innovation. For that purpose, we created Turbine’s Coworking space.
Shubhda Gujadhur is our newly appointed Community Associate. She is a young, creative and dynamic person who is all about promoting innovation and a healthy community in and around Turbine. She is in charge of Turbine’s Coworking space and shares her experience with us.

Coworking, a new culture of work

There are many things to be said about coworking but none of them will make any sense if one does not understand what coworking is. A quick online search will yield the following result:

“…the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge…”

And while that pretty much hits the nail on the head, this definition brings many implications with it.

Think about what you need to be able to work? Your laptop, a plug point for your laptop, a desk, a chair and most importantly a decent internet connection. A space that would offer you all of those is called an office; where you rent your space for a fixed price every month, where you go to work every day to meet the same people and where you sit at your same spot to finish your work.

What if I told you that you could go to work, have flexible rental packages, meet new/ different interesting people every day and sit at a different spot whenever you would like to?  That is the first implication of the co-working definition. Oh, did I mention the free locally roasted coffee that you get?

Coworking vs Traditional work office

The second implication is that there is a particular culture that comes with co-working, one that transcends job titles, years of experience and rigid aspects of blue collar jobs: It is a culture of community; people sharing ideas, consulting one another in their respective fields of expertise, and at times, even collaborating with one another. At Turbine, this is done by fostering trust, diversity and innovation. Co-working brings diversity with it and collaborations between diverse groups of people make the best recipes for innovation.

Another issue that traditional offices have to face is the need to summon external professionals to solve your problems. Say your laptop has a bug: You would need to call a professional in order to fix it. However, it is highly likely that you will find a developer/ IT person in a co-working space that will probably be willing to help a friend out. The same goes for professional advice: Often times when you need specific advice on in specific areas, chances are that you could find someone to give you their expert opinion on it and vice versa.

The final (and favourite) implication of the definition is that you actively and passively participate in building a community of individuals who might have otherwise never met but that still support one another.

Want to try spend a day at Turbine’s Coworking space? See our offers here or email us on hello@turbine.mu

Turbine proudly hosted the Digital for change summit which was organized by the Digital Marketing Mauritius. This event had for purpose to share knowledge on digital transformation, promote the creation of a network of digital marketers and encourage entrepreneurs and individuals as well to make the best use of digitalization.

Digital Marketing Mauritius

The Digital Marketing Mauritius was launched in 2017 by Jason Bholanauth and joined later by Madevi Subramanian, Dylen Citta, Jemilla Greedharry, and Pahlavi Tilloo. This group of dynamic digital marketers started with the vision to provide a platform of knowledge sharing and learning about Digital Marketing since this field is still new and vast, constantly changing and interesting.

Digital for change Summit

The event was well received by the audience, there were a total of 184 registrations. We were honored to have 3 inspiring speakers who shared with us their experiences.

 

Natacha Emilien, Red Dot, Turbine, Business Incubator, Coworking

Natacha Emilien, the Co-founder and Managing Director of Red Dot, shared with us how in her quest of satisfaction and self fulfillment. She changed her career path from engineering to accounting. After 13 years as an employee, she is now an entrepreneur who is much more happy, with the feeling of being free and having a bigger purpose. She encouraged the audience to go forward and try things, the first choice may not be the right one though the experience is worth it.

 

Turbine, Quantum, Business Incubator, Digital Transformation

Chen Hindi, General Manager and Head of digital at Quantum, explained how the various tools of digital marketing can be exploited for more concrete information and thus better strategic decisions. She also believes that despite the lesser response rate, email marketing retains people who are genuinely interested and give their undivided attention to the mail while they read. Chen gave some foolproof examples of companies who are successful through digital marketing.

 

Sean Fourmacou, Digital Transformation, Turbine Business Incubator, Coworking

Sean Fourmacou, Founder of YouthSceal, brought another aspect of digital marketing: a platform to sensitize people and address social issues. He explained that social media allowed him to reach the mass population whereby his messages were heard, seen through videos and people could connect and engage. Sean learnt how to make use of digital marketing to meet his purpose. He showed the various actions that have been done by YouthSceal which were very impressive. Sean also encouraged the audience to make best use of digital marketing so as to connect people and get things done for a better society.

The feedback that this event received was very positive. each person who attended this event learnt at least 3 new things. The dynamic interaction that followed between the speakers and the audience after each presentation showed the intensity and success of the event.

What is next?

Follow Digital Marketing Mauritius on Facebook and stay tuned for their next event.

Turbine incubator is making sure that our incubated start-ups have all the up to date information and tools needed to better prepare them. In that view, our 5th workshop for our incubated start-ups has been Cash flow and Budgeting.

The Guest Speaker

Jean Roland Béchard, Director at KPI Chartered Accountant and Associates Ltd and Financial Director at Early Birds Consulting Services Ltd. JRB is an expert in reinventing finance and accounting to promote innovation. He helps companies on their annual report and advises on their business platform and financial strategies.

The workshop

From the various types of budgeting to the items we need to consider, JR Béchard explained the whole concept of budgeting.  He emphasized on its importance and benefits which are to better attract investors, have clear sales goals, better decision making, tax preparation, liquidity and line of credit.

JR Béchard also explained cash flow and used case studies to make it simpler. He showed our start-ups tools to use, such as the “youngentrepreneursltdfinancials.xlsx” doc he prepared which makes it easier to record and process the cash flow. He explained that there are however many cash flow problems; poor business management, poor inventory, decline Sales, no KPI, poor credit and debtor management. 

He mentioned “Business Reengineering and Rescue”which can reiterate a business cash flow issues. This includes to identify and analyse  potential problems or current ones and tackle them. Although, the business reengineering and rescue depends mainly on the management and normally they may take too long to identify, analyse and implement the changes needed to save a business in distress.

Accounting is no easy task but remains essential. All entrepreneurs, even if you may employ an accountant or get help, it is a must to understand the concept of accounting. Here is an article JRB recommends reading.

Turbine is happy to see women taking the lead in businesses. We have with us Valerie Imbert, a woman entrepreneur who proves that entrepreneurship is genderless. Valerie is an ROI marketing strategies expert with the skills of deriving and fully implement budgeted marketing and communication action plans. She is also the managing director of Europestone Management, a company offering creative brand strategy, targeted public relation and marketing structure.

Valerie shares with Turbine her experiences as an entrepreneur, a woman and a mother.

A woman entrepreneur’s journey

Hello Valerie. 

  1.  Tell us why you have chosen to become an entrepreneur.

I am a person who is very project-base. I like to do things differently, be challenged and meet new individuals. I chose to be an entrepreneur 2 years ago because the previous business model of being a manager or director in an organisation was no more convenient to me. I have 3 years cycle in different companies and then i was always bored by my job. I decided to change business model – big jump for someone like me who was quite afraid of various insecurities and who was a very corporate person. To be honest, I am very happy of this move!!!

  1. Describe one day of your entrepreneurial life. 

My morning routine is as follows; I wake up at 6 am, drop my son to school at 8 am, go to the gym up to 9 am. At 9:30 – 10 am, I start working. I have a lot of meetings with clients, spend a lot of time on the phone negotiating and juggling between clients of completely different fields, and/or do marketing/administrative work on my laptop. I usually either have a rapid lunch or a business networking lunch. I finish working around 4:30-5pm so as to be home for my 8 years old son homework. 6 pm is the start of play time with my 2 years old daughter up to 8 pm when both of them go to bed. Sometimes, I need to work 2 or 3h more after dinner but most of the time, i spend my evening with my husband, chilling out.  

  1. Is it convenient to be both an entrepreneur and a mother? 

200% convenient. All mothers should be entrepreneur ! lol. Even if you need to have this state of mind but being an entrepreneur allows me to have flexible time and when you are a mother, you need to be able to master your time. Being an entrepreneur allows me to go and fetch my son after school and have an ice cream with him or a half day fun, and then work after dinner to catch up. I can handle all the tasks of the house, do the shopping, have personal time for my sport or wellness. i would never be able to do all this if I was an executive working 7 am-8 pm. I feel that every single hour of my day is optimized and I can fully benefit from both my work and family.  

  1. Will you encourage other women to start their business? 

A big YES for all the above reasons. and also because i think that women are very organised and skilled to be entrepreneurs. Many women lack confidence in themselves unfortunately. Mauritius is still a very ‘macho’ society where we need to stuggle. I now have the choice to work with whom i want: that’s a real freedom.     

  1. What does Turbine’s co-working bring to you and your business?

Turbine has been very interesting for me. At first I was working from home and this was not so convenient with the kids. Turbine has allowed me to really separate my private life from the professional one. When i host my clients at Turbine, it is more serious and convenient than at home.

The nature of my activities allows me to be able to work in an open space – we don’t need archives, we do not have confidential documents, everything is dematerialized. Having a staff also, i wanted her to have a social life and colleagues in a good atmosphere. I chose Turbine also initially because it was 2-5 mins from my home – school – gym and supermarket. This village-lifestyle created by ENL is fabulous in moka.  

Also, Turbine co-working has allowed me to have 2 new clients!

  1. How did you and your employees feel working from Turbine?

Turbine has a very nice atmosphere. We are leaving because my family is moving to the north of the island but I do not think that I will find a better place – which is also very good value of money. I would highly recommend Turbine, i currently recommend and will continue to do so. 

Thank you Valerie! We wish you all the very best in your endeavors and keep inspiring others in your journey!

Turbine has the pleasure to receive 20 years old Matina Razafimahefa, CEO and founder of award winning best social enterprise of Madagascar, SAYNA. The competition was organized by “l’Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie” in March 2018 and a Madagascar incubator, Incubons.

Matina is spending one week at Turbine as part of her prize, the aim being for her to know better the entrepreneurial ecosystem, meet key people and make partnerships.

We bring you her exclusive interview with Turbine!

1. Hey Matina, tell us about you and what best describes you.

I am a young Malagasy woman, student in sciences politics at Sorbonne and a social entrepreneur! If I have to choose 3 words to describe me, I would say : fearless, crazy and adventurous ! I love having new challenges, being out of my comfort zone and I am not afraid of the unknown.  I am passionate about meeting new people and knowing their story so that i can help them or learn from them.

2. Tell us about your start-up, SAYNA.

SAYNA means intelligence. I launched SAYNA in November 2017. However, SAYNA has been on my mind since 2013  when I discovered the educational system of France, which compared to Madagascar, is free and of great quality. Back then, I thought that being a woman and that too so young, I cannot do this project. I changed my mind last year when i met Emma Rosman who built the Welcome app which helps immigrants to find jobs, friends and family in Sweden, who also happens to be young and a woman. Inspired, I decided to go for my dreams and launch SAYNA. I am so happy I did. Sometimes, just a single step and a little encouragement lead you to dare and break barriers.

SAYNA help young people rise out of poverty by training them to be a web developer. We have 12 students finishing their 4 months intense training this week. They will each be joining a company, notably Acces Bank, La Star, Axian, P4H among others.  We have 12 more trainees joining us as from Monday 18th June, pre-selected by the companies who will be recruiting them. The company pays for their training,  which is 800 Euro per student, the most affordable code training in Madagascar.
SAYNA has educational partners such as the Hacking Project and hopefully very soon Simplon, who train the students at our premises in Madagascar.

SAYNA exists because I want be part of that generation that will make this world a better place and provide better quality education.

3. Tell us about the competition you won.

I am here in Mauritius and  at Turbine because SAYNA won the competition of the best social company of Madagascar 2018 awarded by the « International organization of Francophonie» and « Incubons » a local incubator in Madagascar. Out of 30 projects, only 10 reached the final destination; the pitch. SAYNA came out as a star project. Check out the sneak peak of the award night here.

4. What brings you to Mauritius?

The prize was a business trip in Mauritius with Turbine so that I will be able to meet new clients, build new partnership and help create a good atmosphere of collaboration in our beautiful region, the Indian Ocean!

The things that I want to achieve here is simple : have new clients and partners  & give the opportunity to the Mauritian firms to have a huge social impact beyond their borders by working with our students !

How is your journey in Mauritius so far?

It is totally crazy. I am meeting interesting people, potential big clients and partners. Turbine is really an incubator with a vast network. They planned all my visits, gave me contacts, invited me to their events and even gave me a Mauritian welcome lunch!

Turbine is really such a beautiful place, the atmosphere is so fun yet productive. People here are so helpful, constructive and amazing.  One week here is too little. I am coming back for sure!

What is your vision of SAYNA?

I want to see SAYNA grow and have 10,000 digital workers all around the world in the next 6 years.

A tip?

Yes! Imagine what you would do if you get an unlimited credit card? And when you know what you would do, set your goals, plan, find the ways to achieve your goals and just go for it!