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The Office Providers

Name: Mike Gardener

Location: Manchester, United Kingdom

Type of Business:
Managed office space broker

What does your business do?
Assists individuals, entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs and larger organisations search, compare and acquire; serviced offices, managed offices, co-working space and leasehold offices. Operational in all locations worldwide.

When and why did you start the biz?
July 2009. To be the first flexible office space brokerage that is regulated by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICs).

How Many People are in your Company?

Where's your office?
Our Manchester office is one of the serviced offices from within our portfolio. It is funky but efficient, open plan but with private areas. We have various co-working and touchdown areas for collaboration.

What's the toughest part of running your biz?
Earlier on it was learning how to delegate and not to micromanage once you have delegated. When you do learn to 'let go' it is very freeing.

What's the most fun part?
Most of our enquiries tend to be from individuals or companies that are either starting up or moving on in their business journey. It is very satisfying to provide the office or workspace to help them with that.

Anything you would have done differently?
A little more research into how to build our first office space search engine to be incorporated into the website. Anything web-based and can take quite a while to correct.

What's next on the horizon for your biz?
To increase our portfolio - we already have office space in most towns and cities globally but as flexible office space is becoming more and more popular there are new centres opening everyday. So we are working on listing more of them. We are going to put more focus into coworking and managed office space solutions too.

What advice do you have for others?
Be patient, it is very hard work at first and it's not as glamourous as it looks on Instagram ;) But once you start seeing some success, it is one of the most satisfying feelings. You have created something from nothing and worked out how to make your own tokens that buy you things and experiences in the world we live in. Oh, and look over your shoulder every so often :)

How do you use Idea Cafe to help your biz?
People who start up on their own should be connected to others who are going through it or have already done so. It will be good to be a part of a community that will hopefully be mutually beneficial. It will be nice to recommend people to come and look at the resources and information on the website.

School (where, still in school, degree)?
Liverpool John Moores - MSc Commercial Property Management

Prior jobs or business?
Commercial Property Manager - Savills Senior Surveyor / Office Space Agent - JLL

Favorite Food?
Lebanese or Indian

What are your pets' names?

Do any of these pets help with your biz?

Is there any one person or event in your life that led you to go into business for yourself?
I worked in kitchens from an early age (13) - I was at the bottom of the food chain and quickly picked up a healthy/unhealthy attitude towards working for someone else.

Anyone you publicly want to thank?
Maybe the kitchen staff? :)

Contact Info:
Mike Gardener
Suite 55 Citygate
Manchester, M15 4JT



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