Tag archives: solaris mont kiara

Smart Office Solutions – Whitespace International

This is my latest article on Whitespace International, a smart office solutions provider, published on www.liveandinspire.com.

A lot of people have asked me how to start your own business. In this case the Nike adage “Just do it” is probably the best advice. One of the first questions is on getting a business premise or office.

One of my friends was looking at getting a business address in Solaris Mont Kiara. Since my office was there, he came by to have a look. I was immediately impressed by the way this place looked. It was clean and uncluttered. What also impressed me was the way my call was handled. The business administrators were polite, spoke good English and referred me to the Director very quickly.

Whitespace international was founded on smart business sense. As a virtual office, it has the basics you would expect such as nice office space, meeting rooms for rental, fax, email and receptionist services. However, it’s more than just a virtual office.

Their tagline is “Business Space Redefined”. It starts off at RM99/month moving up to RM299/month. What I liked about the packages is that you are not tied down for any particular period and you upgrade/downgrade as required without penalty. The Business Administrators are friendly and intelligent and able to help with referrals for accounting/audit firms, legal firms and company secretaries. They can also courier documents, order food etc. Should you need a room, you can book the meeting rooms by the hour.

What lessons could we learn from Whitespaceinternational?

1. Process excellence – their processes are impeccable with constant training and a detailed operations manual to ensure that processes don’t fail.

2. Get the right people. The process of hiring the business administrators is not easy. They have a 10% hire rate (after screening people) as they need to hire the right staff. Enable them and allow them run with their own initiatives.

3. Establish your niche vs. the competition and communicate this. They don’t just sell virtual office space – what they do is that they offer a smart business solution with well-trained Business Administrators. They also offer training sessions for entrepreneurs to increase their value add proposition.

4. Focus on the customer and have customer friendly policies such as variable packages and no minimum sign up period.

Their business is expanding and they are looking at a nationwide presence in Malaysia for starters. If you are interested in starting a business, this is one way to keep your costs down. On a personal note, I have been so impressed by this business I am now exploring ways to work with them.

Our new creative/brainstorming/conference room is available for rental

Red carpet entrance

juarezlowe red carpet entrance

It’s really been fun and also stressful moving into our new office. Instead of emailing everyone pictures and jamming inboxes, I decided to post some pictures.

The entrance to our office. There’s a red carpet to welcome participants to our public programs. The training/meeting/brainstorming meeting room was designed for :-

1. Training sessions with different configurations both internal and external

2. Internal brainstorming sessions so people could scribble on walls and get out of the office but not need to go to a regular hotel.

3. Internal meetings for companies that don’t have big enough meeting room or don’t have a meeting room.

Entrance to training room

The red curtain parts

Cubby holes for manbags

Handbag/Briefcase storage in class

These are the storage cubby holes in the training room. A lot of women like a place to put their handbags where they can see them so our interior designer came up with this.

Writing on the walls is something that I wanted to do as a kid but didn’t dare. So with glass walls everyone can write. It’s also more environmentally friendly than killing trees with a flip chart. It also helps creativity and has a much greater area to write on than a flip chart. Marker pens are provided as well as mentos and hacks.

The room seats up to 25 comfortably or at a stretch 30. Seating configurations include cluster, classroom, U shaped, boardroom table.

When training in hotels, I found that the projector charges were often quite substantial. The room rental charges include a 3500 ANSI lumens projector. In layman terms, it means that the projector is really, really bright so you don’t need to close the curtains to see the screen.

Our cappuccino maker. It grinds the beans and does a mean cappuccino/espresso/latte. We also have green tea and regular tea available and water. We don’t provide bottles of water (as it’s really not good for the environment). We have glasses and a water cooler so people can take their drink.

For lunch, we recommend popping down to  Solaris SOHO. Food ranges in price from around RM15/head for lunch to RM50/head. Restaurants we like include Asian Terrace (3 course set lunches from RM18nett/head) and  Garden Recipe(surprisingly great tasting healthy food with set lunches from RM8.90/head), Leaf Southern Indian food (decent banana leaf) and Little Collins Bakery with set lunches from RM8.90/head. Dubrovnik has great set lunches (off the set lunch is the Beef Cevapi – really good). Other restaurants (we haven’t tried) include Dish Deli, Killeney Kopitiam, Michealangelo’s (pastas – set lunches from RM25/head) and Dr. Cafe (for sandwiches).