Whether the break from your ordinary 9-to-5 over Christmas and the New Year got you thinking about how to go about starting your own start up, or you’ve found the gap in the market and have been mulling over your own business idea for a while now but just aren’t sure when is the best time to set up your own business, we know it can be hard to take the leap. Maybe even, you see other people doing the things that you love and has you thinking, I could do that!
If this sounds like you, we wanted to share with you a story of productivity and positivity to help inspire your own journey: ours.
The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd has just turned 10 and we had no idea back in 2007 that we would turn into the mature and developed business that we are today. To help set the scene and tell the story, we sat down with James Mason, The Business Centre Manager, away for a sweet treat down in Mel’s cafe to talk about how far The Business Centre has come and his plans for the future.
Where did the idea for The Business Centre Cardiff (Ltd) come from?
In 2005, Gordon Mason was heading up the Space Centre Self Storage, which was a company within the Masons Group and was asked by a company storing their stock with the Space Centre Ltd if there was any office space on site available for rent. As they didn’t at the time, the company left to find office and storage space together somewhere else. At that point, Gordon began to research the availability of offices within the Vale of Glamorgan and surrounding areas. It became apparent that there was lack of office space available in the local area.
Why did you believe the idea would work?
There were several local businesses in the area that didn’t have an option of fully serviced office space and office rental options. From Gordon’s research, we discovered there was no relevant serviced office space locally. It was clear that there was a business opening for office rentals for the future.
How did the original building differ from what we have today? What did you have to do to convert?
The original building was a national parcel distribution site and was unoccupied for two years. To convert the disused warehouse into a fully serviced office facility, the refurbishment involved creating a second floor mezzanine, the fit out of 50 office suites of various sizes including installation of high speed broadband and telecoms infrastructure along with a state of the art reception area, gym facilities and conference rooms.
All in all, the refurb took eighteen months, including the conversion and then a car park with 120 spaces. The external works were made possible with some funding through the match funding improvement grant from the Welsh Assembly Government
So here we are in 2017 and 10 years on, did you think The Business Centre would be so successful?
The Directors of The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd are really proud of what the centre and our team have achieved over the past 10 years, we have become a mature business centre with occupancy levels averaging 96% and have been fully occupied on a number of occasions.
Plans for the future?
At The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd, we’re always striving to continue to provide our customers with a 5* star service within our flexible, professional and highly supportive business model. Our passion is to help and support local businesses at an extremely competitive cost. So really, we just want the next ten years to be as successful and supportive as the past ten years have been!
What does it mean to you to see the business doing so well compared to the idea 10 years ago?
We always knew that the concept of a fully serviced office facility in the Vale of Glamorgan was needed for businesses and that the business model offered an alternative way of renting versus the structured, non flexible leased facility. As a business we have provided support to over 200 companies and are extremely proud to have supported their growth along with supporting the local economy and businesses in the Vale of Glamorgan and surrounding areas.
What improvements have been made to the building since opening 10 years ago?
Over the past five years, we have made various improvements to the centre, we have installed air conditioning facilities to 95% of the building, solar panels and LED lighting has been installed, new cafe facilities which is run by Mel, plus our free (for clients) on-site gym facilities.
Finally, do you have any advice for anyone who has a business idea in mind but isn’t sure whether or not to make the jump?
Do it! 10 years ago we weren’t to know that The Business Centre would mature and develop the way it has, but we’re so glad that we took the risk! If you think that you have a gap in the market, or have an idea that would change the world, or even just one person’s world, go for it.
There’s no perfect age, or perfect time to start your own business, there’s always going to be a slight risk but you won’t know until you take your idea into your own hands and make it a reality. There’s never been a better time to start your own business and become your own boss, hopefully our story of success will help inspire your own!