“In my opinion, the most important thing for a start-up is to believe in what they are going for. Understand what value you will be adding, as in why people will want to support your business, and how you will make it profitable.”
2. A lot of people have ideas, but never really execute them. Do you have any advice for these aspirer’s and their ideas?
“The best thing to do is just go for it. There is no time to waste if you believe you have a winning concept. Do calculate your risks as far as possible and once you start seeing success, put your head down and accelerate. How often do you say ‘That was my idea!’ or “I thought of that first”? An idea is only an idea until someone acts on it and makes it happen.”
3. Why did you choose the WEX (The Woodstock Exchange) for your business?
“Having creatively curated the WEX for the owners, I had a great understanding of the environment and realised it would be perfect for shared work habitats. The team involved in the building project has managed to create a space that draws creative, like-minded entrepreneurs together and encourages collaboration. It’s a natural fit for someone to offer affordable workspace to start-ups in this building.”
4. What is The Bureaux?
“The Bureaux is a collection of shared work habitats. There are 11 Bureaux ‘office spaces’ at The Woodstock Exchange currently.We are in the process of finalising our first ‘Bureaux in the ‘burbs’ near to Newlands stadium as well as locations in Cape Town CBD. The Bureaux offers two sizes of allocated desk spaces on a month-to-month basis, private office suites on a 3month lease basis and a limited amount of ‘hot-desk’ space. Whatever your needs are space-wise, we can help you out.”
5. What was your inspiration behind starting The Bureaux?
“The Bureaux is one of those ideas that wakes you up in the middle of the night. It was 2am and I literally woke up with the concept of a shared office for photographers. I wrote down all my thoughts and theories there and then and that has remained the foundation of this business, nearly 2 years on. The real inspiration behind the development of this idea was to incentivize sharing. Sharing of ideas, business and existing networks.”
6. What was the process behind getting The Bureaux going?
“Over the last two years, the demand for shared office space has increased rapidly and I have managed to find the right spaces at the right price at the right time to service the demand. There are a few key factors in selecting the right location for a shared office space business and I find myself learning new things each and every day.”
7. What is the benefit of one utilising The Bureaux opposed to working from ones home?
“Based on the feedback I receive from members of The Bureaux, there are many benefits. The most prevalent benefit must be a massive increase in productivity. Home is generally filled with distractions, and blurred lines of when to work and when to chill or when to fulfil those domestic chores that tend to build-up. Another benefit is not working on your own. Members come in to find other people in a similar position, plugging away at their desks and I guess they feel that they can relate. Sure you can stay in your pyjamas all day but part of your attitude towards work is how you choose to dress yourself. Have a shower, put on your productive gear and get on over to The Bureaux.It also helps that we have Cape Town’s finest coffee roaster downstairs as well as a great range of eateries, eliminating the need to mission around for food, wasting productive time.”
8. What and where did you study?
“I completed one year BComm and then completed a Nat. Dip. in Retail Business Management at Wits Technikon business school, because my best friend was doing that course. The key thing about studying is that I found my first job through studying and started my course of real learning, on the ground working with products and people.”
9. What have your previous work environments been like?
“I have had a rather varied history of work environments. Chapters include Marketing and Advertising Director at Men’s Health magazine, Sales manager at Land Rover, Dealer Principal at Bentley, partner in a Ferretti yacht agency, a fruit delivery company I started with a mate, an events company I had with another mate. I have written two published books on motorcycle adventures, take photographs for international clients and am a partner in a very exciting new art tool product called ArtGrip.”
10. What cool new ideas do you have in the pipeline?
“The expansion of The Bureaux is rolling out rather well. ArtGrip is already proving popular and we have to keep on top of fulfilling orders globally and the photography business is doing well. There are other cool ideas including a ‘grocer-store’ based on a shared shop space model offering small businesses an affordable solution to sell their goods in premium locations.”
Photographs: Cindy Taylor
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