(Guest Post)The Tricky Business of Looking for an Office Space: A No-Fuss Guide

When you think of starting a business, one of the first things that will probably come to mind is where your office will be. Since this is where everything will happen, you have to find the most suitable one for your budget, needs and preferences.

However, searching for the perfect office space can be more challenging than you think. Just like looking for a house, you would need to consider several things before making that final purchase. More often than not, that decision is very hard to make.

A sketch of an office building

Choosing office space doesn’t have to be rocket science

 

Would you just settle for the first office space you see? Of course not! Make your search a whole lot easier with these tips:

  • Give yourself some time to look for options

Planning is everything when looking for an office space to rent, especially since you will need to stay in your chosen place for at least a year or more, depending on your contract. To avoid rushing with your decision and to make sure that you have enough time to look for options, start your hunt at least 18 months before your opening day.

  • Create a list of all your business needs

Since your needs can be different from other businesses, it’s best to have a list of your office requirements so it’s easier to narrow down your options to those that are most suitable for your company. Here are some of the things that you need to determine before looking for an office space:

  1. Number of Employees
  2. Office Equipment and Supplies
  3. Storage
  4. Number of Rooms Needed
  • Look for a location that’s nearest your target market

If you want your start-up to succeed, you would need to be accessible to your customers. Your address would also play a huge factor in your company’s image so it’s best to rent an office space in a place that people know about. The good thing about looking for an office these days is that so many companies offer good options in the best addresses in town. One good example of this is Regus Philippines. The company has a huge selection of office spaces to rent in some of the ideal locations in the country including Makati, Manila and Cebu. They also offer other business solutions including day offices, business centres, virtual offices and meeting facilities in over 600 cities and 100 countries around the world.

  • Look at the big picture before making that final decision

After you’ve narrowed down your options to at least two, it’s time to think about the big picture. How do you see your business three years from now? Do you foresee the need to hire more employees after a year or two? Are you planning to expand your company? By asking yourself these questions, you could choose on an office space that could cater to the growing needs of your business. This way, you wouldn’t need to go through the motions of looking for another office and adjusting to a new working environment again.

Once all these steps are done and you’ve finally decided on the best office space to rent, make sure to review the contract first before signing it. This is to make sure that you’ll really be getting everything that you need and require for your business. This is also the best time to choose a reliable office rental company to avoid any problems later on.

After everything is done, you shouldn’t also forget to follow some good practices to keep your office organised and productive as possible. You can teach your team some tips for a more organised work desk in the office so they can maximise their space. You can also follow the seven basic tips on how to become productive at work so you can really make the most out of your time in your office.

Five Ways To Finding Great Restaurants During A Trip

“If you’re 22, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.” –Anthony Bourdain

It is not just the adventure you’ve experienced that makes traveling worth remembering. It is also the food you’ve eaten that leaves a lasting impression. 

How To Find Great Restaurants During A Trip

Finding a great restaurant to dine in can be quite a struggle especially if you’re new in the place. Here is a quick guide to help you overcome that.

1.       Consult a guide book. Most city and tourist destinations have dedicated magazines or special publication issues that contain its “Best Of” list. They either itemize the top places to dine in or enumerate their delicacies that are available either on specialty stores or by the road. Use this to gather ideas on where to head on to whenever you want to fulfill your cravings.

guidebook

2.       Visit their website. Find the online portal of your destination and you’ll most likely see the recommended restaurants to go to, including specific directions on how to drive and get to it. Their contact information is probably posted there as well so you can easily call to inquire about the menu or the cost of a specific meal.

website

3.       Check blogs and online reviews. Online media has never been so powerful since the birth of blogs and reviews. A simple Google search can give numerous results to various recommendations from people who have been to where you are at now. Read their insights, weigh its pros and cons so you will be guided on what to order in case you decide to check the restaurant out.

reviews

4.       Leave your place and ask around. The trick lies in leaving your comfort zone and taking a risk. Supposing you are in a Makati City hotel for a business conference and you’d like to try out the best restaurants in the Philippines around the area. Eating on the same accommodation may result to a five-star treatment, true, but it shouldn’t end there. Get up and move, talk to the local folks and explore your options.

ask around

5.       Follow the trail. The last secret is being observant and checking where the crowd is. If it is full-packed with people, they must have something good to offer.

 follow the trail

Seven Basic Tips On How To Become Productive At Work

Productivity in the workplace can make or break a company. Having highly productive employees often translates to the success in the business while keeping unproductive workers frequently results to minimal output and lower profits. Needless to say, it plays a huge role in maintaining a good and stress-free work environment.

ProductiveAtWork

How To Be Productive At Work

Learn some tricks on how to greet and balance your daily work to produce positive and desirable outcomes. Here are seven tips to show you how.

1.       Start early. The secret to getting a lot of things done lies in starting with your tasks ahead of the rest of your workforce. Get up at 5 in the morning. Ignore the summons of getting back to your bed. Stretch those muscles and do a few warm-up exercises to boost brain function. Eat heavy breakfast and go straight to your office. Chances are, the earlier you leave, the lesser the chance you’ll encounter traffic and the higher the possibility that you’ll be the first one to arrive at your workplace. This means no distractions and bigger opportunity to focus more on your to-dos.

2.       Setup your workstation. Organize your area so that it attracts positive vibes and energy. Keep it clean and clutter free so that no time is wasted when you need to pull up a file or two. Get rid of the items that you do not use. Post your goals prominently on your desk for encouragement. Create a to-do list and utilize calendars for easy scheduling.

3.       Prioritize. Browse through your checklist and tackle the most important ones that generate the highest ROI (return of investment). Do remember that setting priorities is a habit that every person should employ.

4.       Deal with emails, phone calls and meetings strategically.

  • Email. Avoid checking your inbox as soon as you arrive at your desk. Do them in the middle of the day when you have completed majority of the urgent tasks. Refrain from viewing your messages every time you hear a notification.
  • Phone. Talking to the phone eats a lot of time therefore you should return calls at the end of the day. Employ a calling habit like standing up while on call so you are more likely to get to the point of the conversation right away.
  • Meeting. Keep them at its minimum and do not schedule them all at the same time. 

5.       Handle distractions smartly. Check Facebook and Twitter only during your breaks. Do not encourage any type of procrastination – visiting websites that require a good amount of reading, answering every question that a colleague asks or assigning a distracting message alert tone on your mobile.

6.       Take a break. Do not allow yourself to be imprisoned by the walls of your office. A short 5-minute walk does wonders to your mind and body. For instance, if you work in Makati City, consider eating out nearby commercial spaces in Makati instead of having your lunch delivered at your desk. Drink water every now and then. Get up. Step away from your tasks and take ten-minute breathers.

7.       Set deadlines. Knowing that you have a deadline helps you focus on the things that are needed to be done. Hence, always make sure that everything you do has a deadline.

Robberies in Malls: What You Should Do

Nowadays, desperation can push people to commit crimes even in public. In fact, recently, reports of mall robberies have gone up in the last few years, and shoppers are now wary with every trip they make to the malls. Luckily though, only a few people (except for the guards on duty) ever get seriously hurt in the crossfire. This is by no means a reason to be reckless though. You should still remain extremely cautious during these incidents.

In fact, if you get caught in any robberies in malls in the Philippines, here’s what you should do.

Walk away quickly

If you are not directly involved in the incident, then just walk away quickly and do not nose around anymore. Regardless of wherever in the mall the robbery is taking place or whether the mall is Ayala Center or somewhere else, just head to the nearest exit as quickly as you can without running. You see, even though you might not be close to where the actual crime is happening, you’ll never know what’s going to happen, once people start shooting.

walk-awayHowever, while making your exit, make sure you do so without running. Running not only catches the attention of the robbers, but it also leads to more confusion and, even worse, more accidents. In fact, there’s a greater chance of getting hurt in the stampede than in the robbery itself, especially if you are not directly involved.

Do not draw any attention to yourself

If you are directly involved in the robbery, then it would be wise to be as inconspicuous as possible. Do not draw any attention to yourself or to any of your companions. Stay down if you’re told to stay down. As much as possible, do not look at the faces of the robbers for this might provoke them into doing something stupid.  If everything goes well, you would only have lost some money or jewelries, but you’d still be alive.

It is also very important not to play the hero, especially if you do not have the proper training to handle such situations. You could end up aggravating the situation instead of resolving it. And this might lead to not just you getting hurt but everyone else getting killed.

Be calm

This is definitely easier said than done, but being calm should be one of your priorities. This enables you to think clearly and assess the situation reasonably. With a clear head, it is easier to make logical decisions and react appropriately, so find something to keep you calm.

calm-down-intro

Four (4) Things To Consider In Choosing A Location For Your Restaurant Business

Choosing the right location is critical to the success of all businesses. Where you situate the center of your products or services can make a huge impact on your overall sales and profits. After all, your aim is to get as much customers as you can. Restaurants are no exception.

four things toWhat To Consider In Choosing A Location For Your Restaurant Business

Learn the factors that comprise a perfect venue for your business. Here are four (4) items to think about if you’re a restaurateur.

1.       Identify the demographics of the area. Suppose the audience you’re trying to tap on is career-oriented individuals who are too busy to prepare meals on their own. You have a place in mind already – say a commercial space in Makati, perhaps near the Makati Business District. Determine everything you can about the area – what’s the age range of the workers around the office buildings? Are most of them yuppies? How big is the crowd you will provide your services to? Is the competition level high enough or is it too low? What is the income level of your future patrons? Do you think they can afford to buy and eat your food? Identifying these elements will help you decide if the site is suitable for your resto.

2.       Consider its visibility and ease of access. It’s all about being seen and visited. With numerous restaurants in the Philippines, the goal then is to make yours as visible as possible. Have it positioned in a corner that is easy-to-spot and easy-to-go to. Take the land size for consideration. Can you put a big signage on the lot? How easy or difficult is it to reach especially during peak hours?

3.       Weigh in the traffic. Are there many people frequenting nearby establishments? If yes, this can mean higher chance of people passing by to grab a bite or two. What about car traffic? Surely, you wouldn’t want to pick a venue where the public is required to brave congested roads just to arrive at your place, would you? Therefore, evaluate both foot and car traffics.

4.       Check the parking availability of the vicinity. Do remember that your service isn’t limited to providing nutritious and delicious food alone. You have to think about the convenience of your potential customers as well – can they easily park their vehicles? If there is limited space, can they do so in a public lot next to you? Do you have a valet who can offer alternative service?

5 Tips For A More Organized Work Desk In the Office

Having a clean and organized work desk is essential in being able to work productively and efficiently. Some people are unaware that their work environment has a great influence in their mindsets and their work behavior. A disorganized workplace can make you feel more stressed and frantic and will definitely affect the how you work and the kind of work that you do.

work deskWhether you are working in an office space in the Philippines such as in Makati City, in a quaint cubicle in small rural building, or a desk in your own home, it is important to know how to keep it clean and organized. Below are some tips to help you.

  • Get rid of the clutter. Busy work desks do not need to be filled with clutter. Contrary to what some people may think, it is possible to have a clutter-free work area even if you are very busy. Set a day when you will de-clutter, empty, shred, and basically just get rid of everything that you will not need or want anymore. Keep a garbage bag ready for all the stuff you will throw out.
  • Give away stuff. For things that you cannot bear throwing away but needs to be removed from your work area, consider giving them away. If you have a co-worker in the next cubicle that might need your extra set of pen organizer, go ahead and be generous. Not only do you get to remove your extra stuff, someone else benefits from them too.
  • Label. Labeling things is not just for the obsessive-compulsive ones. You will find out that this can actually make things more organized and will likewise make it easier for you to put away things and find them when you need them.
  • Clean your computer desktop too. De-cluttering goes beyond your physical workspace. If your desk is filled with papers, pens, folders, and a bunch of other clutter, your computer desktop or workspace is probably in the same shape. This also affects your mindset when working. Put away all of those icons in your desktop by copying the files to their appropriate directories and then deleting them from the desktop.
  • Straighten up daily. After you have successfully de-cluttered your work desk, make it last by remembering to straighten up daily. Do not just leave your things on your table. Instead, maintain the clean and clutter-free condition of your workspace by putting away any stuff immediately after use.

Philippine Tourism: Three (3) Things The Philippines Is Known For Globally

The Philippines is an archipelago composed of 7, 107 islands. Located in south-eastern border of Asia, it is surrounded by the Luzon Strait on the north, the South China Sea on the west, the Celebes Sea on the south and the Philippine Sea on the east.

Tourism contributes largely to the economy of the country. Considered as one of the megadiverse countries in the globe, PH is rich with tropical rainforests, mountains, beaches, and coral reefs to name a few. As the years progress, the number of foreign tourists arriving here gradually increases from a 2.8 million figure in 2006 to 4.2 million in 2012. Needless to say, the countless attractions from the white sand beach in Boracay to the renowned Makati City Hotels play a huge role in boosting the tourist arrivals.

Below are some of the reasons why foreigners love it here. See how the Philippines is emerging as a tourism magnet to the people from across the globe.

  • Beaches and Resorts. From the fine powdery sands to the clear and cool blue waters, the country provides fantastic numerous destinations to those who want to bask in the tropical sun. Some of the top locations include Boracay in Aklan which is touted as the “finest beach in the world”, Pagudpud in Ilocos Norte, Camiguin which is commonly referred to as the country’s “Garden of Eden” for its majestic waterfalls both in hot and cold springs, El Nido Palawan which has also been called the island of gods (heaven on earth) and Siargo in Surigao del Norte.

el nido

  • Diving Spots. Did you know that the country is the Asia’s dive capital? It has the highest density of coral species in the world. Famous diving spots could be found at Anilao, Puerto Galera, and of course, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tubbataha Reef. Others worth noting include Coron in Palawan, Verde Island in Mindoro Oriental, Apo Reef National Park in Mindoro Occidental and Malapascua and Moalboal/Pescador Islands in Cebu.

tubbataha-coral-reef

  • World-class hotels. Cited as one of the Top 20 in Southeast Asia by Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice (USA) in 2010-2012, Top 25 under Business Category by SmartTravelAsia in 2008-2012 and having been given a certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor in 2013, Makati Shangri-La, Manila is just one of the hotels in Makati City that received multiple awards by several international award-giving bodies. InterContinental Manila in Makati is 2012 TTG Travel’s Best City Hotel. On the other hand, Pan Pacific in Manila in Malate won as PH’s leading business hotel in 2013 by World Travel Awards.

hotels in makati city

 

 

Shopping Tips: How To Be A Smart Shopper

No man could acquire money and not spend it to buy a thing or two. He would have to experience purchasing something at least once in his life. Whether it is food, clothing or shelter, the need to purchase is inevitable as these are necessities in life. The main argument then only lies between covering the basics or ending up with pieces that are not really as important but would make living easier.

smart shopperRegardless if you are scheduled to go to the groceries this weekend or have a Friday hangout with friends in one of the shopping malls in the Philippines, these tips would help you acquire the skills to shop smartly which later on could give you the balanced life you deserve.

  • You do not have the responsibility to buy all the time. You are the master of your own decisions so you always have a choice. To cite an example, it’s rainy days once again. Natural instinct would encourage us to have extra raincoats or umbrellas in hand. Hold on for a second. This is actually an opportunity for you to sit back and think things over. Is there a way that you could get this umbrella for free? Most stores offer them as an added bonus these days if you reach certain accumulated receipts from them. You do not really need it right away in the first place so the urgency is not there. Here’s another illustration. Say, you just bought a couple of new desktop computers. Although you have a wi-Fi system installed, the area where you’d situate both PCs are in two separate far away rooms. Hence, it is practical to setup a LAN connection instead. You would need a crimper for the Ethernet cables to connect them all together. Would you head over to an electronics store just to get that piece of tool which you’d probably use only once? Wouldn’t it be wise to ask a technician friend first before you make any rash decisions? Perhaps he can lend his to you.
  • Wait patiently for the right time and opportunity. It’s all about proper timing and not giving in to impulsive buying. All you need to do is plan ahead and you could quickly save big bucks. For instance, we are in a world of high technology nowadays. Everybody has the latest gadgets – smartphones, tablets, laptops. Suppose what you have is an old model. Would you give in to the latest craze and visit the nearest PH malls as soon as you get your paycheck? Have you ever considered that in two-three-months-time, a newer and better brand would be released with the same price that is up in the market now?
  • Learn the art of substitution. Sometimes, finding cheaper alternatives works best. Case in point, your brother is celebrating his birthday next week. You have quite a limited budget so you couldn’t afford to give him his much requested iPad gadget. However, he’s been wooing you for ages for your album CD signed by his favorite band. Pair that with a personalized T-shirt bearing the artists’ signatures and there’s your gift. Not only did it cost you less but you also made him extremely happy.