Music to your ears, well, to your business actually

It’s pretty obvious that retailer and restaurant businesses need great products, food, drinks and service to drive clients through doors.

After all, in the end, this could determine whether a hospitality/retail business may be around for many years or just a few months.

But there’s another critical ingredient that’s a lot harder to pin down: atmosphere. Creating the right vibe/feeling is a must when it comes to making a bar/restaurant/shopping venue that awesome place that everyone is talking about.

Music_Illustrations-v2

Hands up who has never been to a bar/restaurant that was totally silent or one where the music was so loud that even the staff couldn’t hear you. We’ve all been there.

Choosing the right soundtrack along with lighting, furniture, design and staff will go a long way towards creating a unique atmosphere that brings customers back to your business, time and time again.

It’s all about the music

Cherry-picking the perfect music soundtrack for a business can be a nightmare that isn’t necessarily music to the ears of a business owner.

Does your brand and client-base suggest something jazzy? or fast-paced? heavy beat-driven? something energetic and upbeat or maybe a more mellow, casual vibe? perhaps the music profile should change through the day and across the week? and seasonally too?

What about PRS (Performing Rights Society for Music) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) licenses – what do I need and what will be the cost? what if you don’t feel like playing big (and expensive) chart hits in order to create a great environment in your business venues. What if…

With all that in mind and aiming to help retailers and restaurant/bar owners make “sound choices”, in 2011 professional musician Fridrik Karlsson (who was, at the time, having success with a range of PRS/PPL exempt CDs), foresaw the imminent dominance of streaming as the pre-eminent way to consume and deliver music and gave life to Audencis.

Initially, the company traded as MusicStream, offering small business owners an app to run on their own business’ PC or tablet. In 2013, the focus switched to large multiple chains using dedicated hardware and the company has now over 2000 venues under their portfolio of clients, including Bannatyne Spa, Squires’ Garden Centres, Hawes & Curtis Men’s Outfitters.

Spotify, move over

As they have recently moved into our awesome coworking space, we got together with Neil Boote (Audencis’ CEO) & Harriet Cawson (Audencis’ Operations Manager) to figure how they’ve come to be known as the “new kid on the block” that is changing the face of business music.

Cowork Hub: Neil, do tell us how the business works.

Neil Boote: We are an ‘in-store radio’ platform for retail and hospitality businesses. We provide the technology platform and the music playlists – a complete end-to-end solution. Working with a large number of libraries, labels, artist services companies and artists themselves, we provide access to over 500,000 tracks from around 300,000 artists.

Cowork Hub: It’s really cool Neil. It sounds a bit like Spotify, but, for business venues, right?

Neil Boote: Very similar but many of our users want the music managed by us – so it is Audencis or its sales partners who are creating and updating playlists and schedules rather than the store manager or retail head office. We take care of the whole process.

By using our music playlists exclusively our customers (retailers and restaurants mainly) make big savings because they no longer have to pay for PRS or PPL licenses. Our service is designed to generate major cost savings on our client’s license fees. One UK discount chain, for example, is reportedly saving £175,000 annually by using our playlists rather than major label content.

A selective business

Neil, who has spent over 25 years working in different areas of music and entertainment before moving onto the label side, has been involved with the careers of music ‘heavy-weights’ like Oasis, Muse, Kasabian, Take That, Westlife and Il Divo, and can certainly afford to be picky.

“We’re selective and only the very best tracks make it to our playlists. We spend much of our time finding new tracks to add to the catalogue and not every song out there will make it, I am afraid. What makes us different is that we specialise in directly licensed music from independent artists and labels.”

As we browse through the Audencis’ website and listen to a selection of short demo playlists, we can’t help but sympathise with their argument that “unfamiliar but contemporary, credible, well curated and lower cost music is a great option for business.”

The “Out & Out Pop” 07 minutes-long compilation is a cool, contemporary mix of mid-tempo, upbeat pop from indie to urban via electronic dance and a delight to listen to.

“We are challenging the old paradigm where retailers and restaurants assume they have to play (and pay for), big chart hits in order to create a great ambience in their business venues”, stresses Harriet.

Harriet, a music fanatic herself with several years of experience in digital marketing, developing websites and marketing campaigns, and in sales and customer service for a major business to business audio service provider, has certainly made herself at home and mingles with ease at Cowork Hub.

“We love it here: Cowork Hub is easy to get to, a calm but business-like environment with good facilities and some of the friendliest people you could wish to meet. Before joining, we had our own office in a business campus in Shepherds Bush but we wanted something more social and with better facilities. We moved here a couple of months ago and haven’t looked back.

Getting to know each other

As coworking is very much about sharing and collaborating, Neil and Harriet have told us that their door (if they had one!!) is always open and they are very much looking forward to getting to know (and work with) their fellow entrepreneurs.

And to “break the ice”, we have asked them both to share with us a couple of things about themselves that you might not necessarily notice when first meeting them.

If you’re curious about which one has a BSc degree in Marine Zoology (who knew, right?) and owns a guitar stand (a gift from Green Day’s bass player) and whoever has 11 tattoos (and counting!!) and enjoys snowboarding, then, stop by their desks (opposite WePop and next to Central meeting room) and say hello.

From the newsroom

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Cowork Hub hosts Ealing Raspberry Jam

If you like programming, coding and wanna learn more about technology, then, head off to Cowork Hub this Saturday.

Bring your computers, consoles, flaming swords, magic potions and great ideas and let’s “hack it, make it, learn it and play it” from 11am onwards.

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Ealing Raspberry Jam is an initiative between Cowork Hub (the largest coworking space in West London) and Digilab.

A digital hub for hardware enthusiasts, coders, makers and game developers, Digilab is a place of attraction to try new technology, offering services to the community through a membership package, including coding classes, robotics and 3D printing workshops, PC building, video capture and editing, blogging, social media content creation, gaming tournament and sessions, virtual reality gaming and computer gesture control.

The sky is the limit
Initially established in Barking in March 2016 by Brighter Steppings Ltd in partnership with the Barking Learning Centre, Digilab in Barking has fast grown to become a strong enabler of the creative and inventive spirit of both young and old residents of the Barking community and its new centre in Tooting aims to deliver just about the same.

On April 21, Digilab Tooting was launched and aims to deliver just about the same. Run by Business Launchpad, who provides a full business start‑up program for young entrepreneurs aged 16–30, Digilab Tooting aims to provide young kids with invaluable skills so that they can then use this knowledge to solve local issues and transform the lives of residents within the area.

Teaming up with Business Launchpad and Digilab will help us strengthen our roots in West London and provide local young people with a place where they can learn about coding, programming, 3D Design and so on. Cowork Hub will be the space they can call “home”, do all these things while meeting cool people and having awesome conversations — Alex MolokwuCowork’s Hub founder.

To register for this great (and free) event, click here.

Music to your ears, well, to your business actually

It’s pretty obvious that retailer and restaurant businesses need great products, food, drinks and service to drive clients through doors.

After all, in the end, this could determine whether a hospitality/retail business may be around for many years or just a few months.

But there’s another critical ingredient that’s a lot harder to pin down: atmosphere. Creating the right vibe/feeling is a must when it comes to making a bar/restaurant/shopping venue that awesome place that everyone is talking about.

Music_Illustrations-v2

Hands up who has never been to a bar/restaurant that was totally silent or one where the music was so loud that even the staff couldn’t hear you. We’ve all been there.

Choosing the right soundtrack along with lighting, furniture, design and staff will go a long way towards creating a unique atmosphere that brings customers back to your business, time and time again.

It’s all about the music

Cherry-picking the perfect music soundtrack for a business can be a nightmare that isn’t necessarily music to the ears of a business owner.

Does your brand and client-base suggest something jazzy? or fast-paced? heavy beat-driven? something energetic and upbeat or maybe a more mellow, casual vibe? perhaps the music profile should change through the day and across the week? and seasonally too?

What about PRS (Performing Rights Society for Music) and PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) licenses – what do I need and what will be the cost? what if you don’t feel like playing big (and expensive) chart hits in order to create a great environment in your business venues. What if…

With all that in mind and aiming to help retailers and restaurant/bar owners make “sound choices”, in 2011 professional musician Fridrik Karlsson (who was, at the time, having success with a range of PRS/PPL exempt CDs), foresaw the imminent dominance of streaming as the pre-eminent way to consume and deliver music and gave life to Audencis.

Initially, the company traded as MusicStream, offering small business owners an app to run on their own business’ PC or tablet. In 2013, the focus switched to large multiple chains using dedicated hardware and the company has now over 2000 venues under their portfolio of clients, including Bannatyne Spa, Squires’ Garden Centres, Hawes & Curtis Men’s Outfitters.

Spotify, move over

As they have recently moved into our awesome coworking space, we got together with Neil Boote (Audencis’ CEO) & Harriet Cawson (Audencis’ Operations Manager) to figure how they’ve come to be known as the “new kid on the block” that is changing the face of business music.

audencis1

Cowork Hub: Neil, do tell us how the business works.

Neil Boote: We are an ‘in-store radio’ platform for retail and hospitality businesses. We provide the technology platform and the music playlists – a complete end-to-end solution. Working with a large number of libraries, labels, artist services companies and artists themselves, we provide access to over 500,000 tracks from around 300,000 artists.

Cowork Hub: It’s really cool Neil. It sounds a bit like Spotify, but, for business venues, right?

Very similar but many of our users want the music managed by us – so it is Audencis or it’s sales partners who are creating and updating playlists and schedules rather than the store manager or retail head office. We take care of the whole process.

By using our music playlists exclusively our customers (retailers and restaurants mainly) make big savings because they no longer have to pay for PRS or PPL licenses. Our service is designed to generate major cost savings on our client’s license fees. One UK discount chain, for example, is reportedly saving £175,000 annually by using our playlists rather than major label content.

A selective business

Neil, who has spent over 25 years working in different areas of music and entertainment before moving onto the label side, has been involved with the careers of music ‘heavy-weights’ like Oasis, Muse, Kasabian, Take That, Westlife and Il Divo, and can certainly afford to be picky.

We’re selective and only the very best tracks make it to our playlists. We spend much of our time finding new tracks to add to the catalogue and not every song out there will make it, I am afraid. What makes us different is that we specialise in directly licensed music from independent artists and labels.

As we browse through the Audencis’ website and listen to a selection of short demo playlists, we can’t help but sympathise with their argument that “unfamiliar but contemporary, credible, well curated and lower cost music is a great option for business.”

The “Out & Out Pop” 07 minutes-long compilation is a cool, contemporary mix of mid-tempo, upbeat pop from indie to urban via electronic dance and a delight to listen to.

We are challenging the old paradigm where retailers and restaurants assume they have to play (and pay for), big chart hits in order to create a great ambience in their business venues – Harriet.

Harriet, a music fanatic herself with several years of experience in digital marketing, developing websites and marketing campaigns, and in sales and customer service for a major business to business audio service provider, has certainly made herself at home and mingles with ease at Cowork Hub.

We love it here: Cowork Hub is easy to get to, a calm but business-like environment with good facilities and some of the friendliest people you could wish to meet. Before joining, we had our own office in a business campus in Shepherds Bush but we wanted something more social and with better facilities. We moved here a couple of months ago and haven’t looked back.

Getting to know each other

As coworking is very much about sharing and collaborating, Neil and Harriet have told us that their door (if they had one!!) is always open and they are very much looking forward to getting to know (and work with) their fellow entrepreneurs.

And to “break the ice”, we have asked them both to share with us a couple of things about themselves that you might not necessarily notice when first meeting them.

If you’re curious about which one has a BSc degree in Marine Zoology (who knew, right?) and owns a guitar stand (a gift from Green Day’s bass player) and whoever has 11 tattoos (and counting!!) and enjoys snowboarding, then, stop by their desks (opposite WePop and next to Central meeting room) and say hello.

Audencis

From the newsroom

Understanding finances is crucial to succeed

On Wednesday (July 5), Cowork Hub opened its doors to welcome participants to the Financial Planning Workshop.

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Delivered by John Clarke from Nwes (one of the largest not-for-profit enterprise agencies in the UK offering total business support, boosting self-employment and encouraging enterprise), the event provided a comprehensive understanding of how to plan and present financial forecasts.

Work on your business projections

Attendees left the morning session prepared to present their forecasts in a professional way, giving them, and any third parties such as banks, or investors, a clear understanding of their projections.

I liked the content, the pace and the way it was presented. It was great to learn from an expert like John Clarke, in a professional and quiet conference room provided by Cowork Hub. The knowledge John shared with us was really well structured and the quantity was perfectly suitable and relevant. As I am a self-employed businesswoman in the making, all the information shared was really useful and some were even a revelation to me” – Joanna Dudzinska – EFL/ESL Teacher and Tour Guide

It was really helpful, engaging and dynamic for a financial planning course – Katy Widarto – My Pop-Up Kitchen

Plan, Plan, Plan

According to John, understanding your finance is crucial to making the right decisions.

At the end of the day, it’s about knowing how much money you are making… Know your numbers, understand your finances from inside out – John Clarke – Nwes

Delivered by  Nwes on behalf of the London Growth Hub, the workshop is part of the “Start, Scale, Grow“, a programme designed to give start-ups and SMEs owners the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence they need to scale and grow their businesses.

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As part of the initiative, entrepreneurs have access to free workshops, mentors and expert facilitators, who share practical tools and interactive learning, giving aspiring and existing entrepreneurs that set of skills needed to take their business off the ground.

From the newsroom

Refer us and get rewarded for it

Would you even consider going to a barber shop or a hairdresser without any recommendation from a relative or a friend? How about getting someone to look at (and take care of) your accounts?

According to a Nielsen’s Harris Poll Online, over 80% percent of Americans reported to seek recommendations when making any kind of purchase. From hairdressers, accountants, contractors and so on, referrals (word-of-mouth) do go a long way these days.

And it wouldn’t be different here at Cowork Hub. With our referral programme, coworkers get £ 100 (cash-in-hand pay) when a dedicated desk member join us on their recommendation.

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Also, coworkers get 10% discount* on their membership (or cash-in-hand pay) when a meeting room is booked or a virtual office client joins us under their recommendation.

So, how does it work? It’s simple actually. Refer our lovely shared office space to a friend/relative and when they sign up, be sure they tell us who did refer us to them. There are no limits to how many times you can refer us! Actually “the more, the better” would certainly work for us.

*Conditions apply. Contact us for details and start earning straight away: help@coworkhub.co.

 

From the newsroom

You’ll never, again, work alone

betahaus_coworking_DSCF4527

If you are reading this blog right now, chances are that you have, at some point over the past 10 years, crossed paths with the concept of coworking (shared office space).

And if that’s the case, you would also have heard of  Betahaus, a coworking space born in Berlin that has now moved to several cities across Europe.

Work, engage, collaborate 

When it comes down to how flexible, entrepreneurial and collaborative work actually work, very few places worldwide thoroughly get it.

Betahaus is definitely one of them. Launched in 2009 in the heart of the creative hub of the German’s capital, it has now branched out into Hamburg, Barcelona and Sofia (Bulgary).

As one of our Communications & Pr team members happens to be in Hamburg this week as Betahaus Hamburg gets ready for its 7th anniversary, we paid a visit to its coworking space and looked a little deeper into the venue that is home to 450 members every month.

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When cool meet the creative 

On arrival, we were greeted by the friendly Community Manager Teelke Meyer, a young and coworking enthusiast herself.

With 3 floors in the super cool area of Sternschanze,  Betahaus Hamburg is one of the very first coworking in town and has grown considerably since opening its doors.

Offering dedicated desks, hot-desking, private offices (they’re currently fully booked) and events space for hire, the venue has made a name for itself for fostering a strong sense of community/belonging among its members, rarely seen anywhere else in the coworking scene.

With a very diverse (and extensive) mix of coworkers, getting everyone engaged clearly seems challenging, right?

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“We have several community-related events where members can get to know each other, exchange ideas and collaborate. We tend to get very “personal” with our coworkers.  

 We ask their opinion on a lot of things, we encourage them to approach us with ideas/feedbacks and above all, we take their views on board. We empower coworkers to get involved, to look after their shared office space as their own because, in the end, that’s exactly what it is” Teelke tells us. 

Recipe for success? 

Clearly, every coworking space across the globe has its own “vibe”. One thing that we have learned in this visit is that, at the end of the day, coworking should really be about sharing.

Whether coworkers share projects, ideas, inspiration or simply, a conversation over coffee (they have their own in-house coffee shop, btw), this exercise instigates creativity and productivity, key factors in taking the business forward.

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 “We are a space that creates energy and enthusiasm while inspiring creativity and ambition. Betahaus is for people who want to work on their own projects while exchanging knowledge, ideas, and inspiration with others. We are here to open doors and to expand possibilities.  

“We believe that in order to take work or project to the next level, entrepreneurs, startups, freelancers, independent workers need to spend time with people, work together. However you collaborate; it will help you accomplish goals and develop business opportunities” – Anne Christin Dröge, Strategic Partnerships & Communications.

Way more than just desk space and facilities  

We can’t help it but feel very inspired by Betahaus’ trajectory so far. Above all, we’re proud to be following a similar path, after being in business for less than 2 years. Our goal is to provide affordable and quality office space on flexible terms, simplifying business needs.

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Cowork Hub is proud to gather all sorts of industries, businesses and professional backgrounds together in one place. At Cowork Hub, we enable valuable connections as well as enduring and mutually beneficial relationships between our members.

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It’s all about community 

We’re sure you’ve heard the motto “it’s all about the people”, but for us here, we really mean it. We believe that a coworking atmosphere should be created and shaped by the people at its heart. Our community is made up by visionary, creative entrepreneurs who see the potential in their ideas and have the belief and talent to build successful businesses.

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We like to get to know our new joiners before they officially get on board. Therefore, we can figure out where you’d fit in, how we could help you take your business to the next level and who you’d like to collaborate with. Book a viewing with us today and come and see for yourself!

From the newsroom

 

The digital future is right here, right now

Eventbrite_pageOkay, let’s be upfront here: you can’t deny it: everybody seems to be online these days and the world is rapidly moving towards the digital era. Do you copy?

More and more, there is an increased appetite for digital content – be it on mobile phones, laptops, desktop computers at work, at home, anywhere really – and businesses that have not yet acknowledged this trend is way behind already.

Why is everybody talking about digital marketing?
As well as being a growing force in the current marketing playing field, it seems likely that digital media will, very soon, replace more traditional forms of marketing.

Nicely put, but where do I start?
In an attempt to get some insights into how to draft an effective digital marketing strategy/campaign, on June 5, our coworkers joined the “Digital Marketing” workshop, hosted here at Cowork Hub as part of the initiative “Start, Scale, Grow“.

Hosted by Sophie Paton-McDermott, a qualified marketer at Make Happy (a creative marketing consultancy in London) the workshop offered a valuable opportunity for coworkers to learn how to plan, execute and measure strategic digital marketing.

“I’ve really enjoyed the workshop and was able to fully understand the potential of channels such as search marketing, social media and e-mail marketing in delivering real value to my business. I have also realised that we must stop thinking like business owners and start thinking like a customer if we are to succeed in the digital marketing arena”Alex MolokwuCowork Hub’s founder and Director

How to run an effective digital marketing campaign in 2017
If you didn’t make it, check out the top notch tips shared by Sophie, who has also worked for organisations such as Barclays and Glasgow International Festival.

Keep consistency throughout your company because this will create trust. Customers want to know you are consistent: make sure you have the same consistency levels across your brand for all channels;
• Think mobile: all trends suggest that most people will be using their mobiles to look at websites by 2018;
• Keep it simple & short: simplicity helps to make it easy for the customer: a Goldfish has an attention span of 7 seconds and so do most customers when the look at your website: sum up what you do in 5 seconds;
• Explore channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and how it could help to raise brand awareness, find relevant people to promote your product/service and expand beyond your personal network;
• Invest money to reach your target audiences: Google Adwords is the biggest market leader;
• Do not underestimate the importance of SEO and organic searches: if you can optimise your website for SEO then this will make your reach better;
• Your website is the online shop window for your product/service, make it count: keep things simple, be consistent and create trust. Have clear calls to action points throughout the website and minimise choice.

“You need to get your customer to take action and do something that benefits your
business. Do not make the customer think, help guide them and keep things
simple. Use simple words, do not be too technical, avoid jargon and have short
paragraphs. The landing page is essential so use analytics to help improve it”
Sophie Paton-McDermott

Engage, engage, engage
It may sound cliche these days to say how vital it is for business to engage with their customers, but a lot of them still don’t get it right. Sophie has also shared some tips on how to overcome that issue.

Make the most of the lowest hanging fruit your business has;
• Keep front of mind with your customers: encourage your loyal customers to become advocates for your brand;
• Communication with your customers can be your strongest strength for your business;
• Social media can be used to keep your customer base engaged in your business: talk to them about issues that matter to them, rather than the ones that suit your needs;
• Use shorter sentences (and paragraphs), bullet points, clear fonts and well chosen
images are a must;
Make the most of beautiful pictures: followers are more likely to engage with content that contains awesome/beautiful pictures;
• Work on the content: it has to be useful, informative, entertaining, fresh and bold;
• Be a friend: respond to enquiries/comments/likes as quickly as possible;
• Show appreciation for people who take the time to follow/support your brand: follow them back, respond to their comments, share their news;
• Referrals and e-mail marketing can be really profitable after engagement.

Much more to come
Delivered by Nwes on behalf of the London Growth Hub, the event is part of the initiative “Start, Scale, Grow“, a programme designed to give start-ups and SMEs owners the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence they need to scale and grow their businesses.

“The aim is to skill you up in the areas most likely to supercharge growth from your business, such as business modelling, financial planning and marketing” – Tom Bircham – Business Development Manager for Enterprise for London.

Several workshops are set to take place here at Cowork Hub until late July. To register for the programme and sign up for the upcoming events, please click here.

From the newsroom