Need for offices to excel
The competitive edge of serviced offices depends on location, hardware, service and price. To stand out, it is necessary to excel in at least one area.
Bridges Executive Centre focuses on providing excellent services to their clients, who are often foreigners unfamiliar with Hong Kong and who need ready business-related information and a friendly community which regularly gets together.
One of the ways Bridges brings people together is through organising small bi-monthly or quarterly seminars on topics including audit, taxation and legal issues.
'We have 18 to 20 people in a seminar - keeping it small helps make it more interactive,' says managing director Fion Sen, who runs the company's two serviced offices in Central and Admiralty. Set up in 2003, Bridges now serves about 1,000 people including virtual office users.
Invitations are sent to the company's active clients and those who have visited the offices and expressed interest in using Bridges' services.
About 20 per cent of seats are reserved for prospective clients. The company's business partners in professional services, such as accounting and company secretaries, usually provide speakers, Sen says, adding that the seminars are informal, providing a chance to share experiences, network and create business opportunities.
Mikko Revonniemi, managing director of LUONTOlife and Nousu, participated in the latest seminar on corporate coaching and strategic planning.
He has been a Bridges client since the beginning of this year, when he set up his two companies selling natural and healthy super foods and industrial protective wear respectively.
He says the seminar offered a handy road map for personal planning from goal setting to proactive behaviour and work-life balance, and also for business planning including vision and goals, mission statement, strategic action plan and priorities.
'It's not about the information itself, as I can google all the information I need in my business,' he says. 'Seminars usually give new points of view and challenge my status quo as I can listen to what different people think about the topics. I got interesting opinions. I can put those ideas into practice.' He says he will consider getting a personal coach.
The next seminar in mid-October will deal with the issue of getting a work visa.
To create more networking opportunities for clients, Bridges runs a wine-tasting event every second Friday from 4pm to 7pm.