The idea of a ‘shared’ office space is not new, but it is becoming popular worldwide with its cost saving benefits, motivated by the simple rule that every ringgit you save is a ringgit you make. With this in mind, White Space opened its first outlet at No. 1-3, Jalan Solaris 2, Solaris Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur more than a year ago, offering an all-in-one office space solution to new business owners and entrepreneurs alike.
With the tagline: “Business Space Redefined”, the idea is simple – with a dedicated business address, you can have a solid business base at all times.
Besides that, it also offers value added services to match like mail and call handling services, meeting rooms and conference rooms, virtual office services, all at a fraction of the cost owning and maintaining your own office.
Executive Director of White Space Sdn. Bhd. Jason Chow said currently they have 200 happy customers using White Space’s office solutions. Among the positive feedback they receive are: business owners pay very little but achieve great results.
In creating White Space, we did intensive market studies on similar business models, benchmarking on certain minimum standards and updating market performance quarterly. Its also about building a reliable and talented team.
“Besides being a one stop office provider, White Space is also a great platform to network. Now you can stay connected around the clock with mail and call handling services and always be in touch with your associates, suppliers and clients whether you are at home or at work.
“What sets us apart are also our business administrators. They are reliable, hospitable and detailed in handling customers’ needs,” added Chow.
With the success of the first outlet, White Space is now expanding its business to Puchong, and will open its second outlet at IOI Boulevard Puchong in November, and another two branches by 2011.
“At our new boutique business centre at IOI Boulevard, we plan to provide a quality business space with additional lockers, rental rooms, and extended times”, said Chow.
In this Q&A, we find out the benefits of having an office space and how to leverage White Space’s services to build one’s brand and business.
Q. In terms of branding, what are the benefits of having an “office space” in an upmarket location?
A. Most business centers would locate themselves at prestigious addresses. Some prestigious locations can create more hassle and do not create value to targeted customers. We think differently, as White Space is an office representation and adds infrastructure to administer’s workflow. Selecting strategic locations is important to the branding of White Space. Branding it in a vibrant neighborhood, and being surrounded by the middle income group prompted us to locate it in the first premise in Solaris Mont Kiara.
Q. How cost effective is using White Space compared to opening your own office?
A. Starting an office requires sunk cost such as renovation, furniture and equipment that cannot be recovered. In addition, the fixed overhead can burden one’s balance sheet. At White Space, the average estimate of customer spending is RM350-RM450 per month. With our subscription and pay per use model, the highest customer spending reaches RM3,500-R5,000 vs their conventional own offices spending of RM20,000 to RM25,000 per month prior to White Space subscriptions. Using White Space is no different from outsourcing the above costs. With our prudent pricing, the White Space pay per use concept allows most businesses to implement lean financial enhancing competitiveness and helps entrepreneurs to focus.
Q. Why is this concept practical in this day and age with the advent of mobile communication?
A. The pay per use concept is extremely practical and prudent especially in light of today’s mobile communications. Business strategists have changed their view of work by sitting in a cubical or executive room to draft proposals, read memos or articles, sign cheques and prepare budgets. Now all they need are digital devices with internet/broadband to stay connected. Entrepreneurs can work anywhere and anytime, knowing that their phone will be answered, mail forwarded via email as well as faxes.
Q. Who are your target customers?
A. Generally, our target customers are service oriented, ranging from local and foreign businesses that consist of accountants, lawyers, architects, engineers, event planners, forex traders, real estate agents, training companies, and the list goes on. Some manufacturers and distributors have also leveraged on White Space’s services as their sales branches. For those who do not have an existing business, they may use White Space as a representation in doing freelance jobs or as a starting point to run their works to separate their home addresses from business related dealings.
Q. What services do you provide and what can one get for RM99?
A. At White Space we work consistently to keep our customers satisfied. Our partner package begins at RM99 per month, where customers have virtual office services like a business address, dedicated phone line, fax services, sms alerts, document services, dispatch and courier standby, access to our online business lounge and support from business administrators.
Q. How is this concept practical in this day and age with the advent of mobile communication?
A. We have created products like the Professional and Premier package starting from RM199 and RM299 per month, which gives customers access to various sizes of meeting and training rooms. For White Space branches, we created Premier Plus, priced at RM399 per month, where customers have the option of using file lockers. White Space will also provide executive rooms starting from RM988 per month to house their work force. Creating smart business sense is crucial to us, hence we do not tie down customers on usage commitment, which is why White Space uses the pay per use concept.
Q. What is your passion in encouraging people to set up their own business and have an entrepreneurial mindset?
A. Developing passion has been a struggle to me, but I believe courage and wisdom are the key elements to become a good entrepreneur. Taking the entrepreneurial path entails walking into a deep forest in the dark. For example, starting White Space required real passion to resonate enthusiasm and energy. My passion has always been creating value for entrepreneurs and business owners, and being intuitive about my passion helped me start White Space. We hope White Space will help more entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams. If Michael Dell could start his business in a garage, the possibilities are endless with the support structure that White Space provides.
Q. What is your vision to expand White Space?
A. We have plans to expand organically, building more and more branches in the near future. My vision for White Space is trend setting, which creates an ideal platform to administer ones’ businesses and network. White Space selection criteria will be a vibrant neighborhood and middle income group.
Q. How can one find out more about White Space and the services available?
A. Go to our website at www.whitespaceinternational.com which showcases all our products and services. White Space runs in a transparent manner, making sure there are no hidden costs to our customer. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org