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Category: Office

There are 5 posts published under Office.

Keslow Camera Always Ready for “Action” with a Tablet Solution

Keslow Camera may not be a household name, but if you watch TV or go to the movies, you’ve seen our work. As one of the largest camera rental companies in the Los Angeles/Hollywood area, we have a long list of credits ranging from Lone Suvivor to Disney’s upcoming Tomorrowland, to popular television shows like Sleepy Hollow, Chicago Fire, Shameless, and many more.

Our success comes largely from a culture that always puts the customer first. This requires commitment, talent and very efficient business processes. That’s why Keslow Camera abandoned its old paper-based system for a custom FileMaker solution for iPad, iPhone, and Mac computers that we affectionately call Flawless. Today, the solution touches every aspect of our business, from managing contracts and bids to fulfilling orders, tracking equipment worldwide, invoicing, and forecasting sales.

After implementing Flawless, I’ve learned several ways to succeed with tablets.

  • Don’t get bogged down in paper: Instead of spending several minutes trying to locate an order or determine what’s in stock and what is already rented out, our team can now respond instantly to customers. This flexibility enables us to land important contracts with major media and entertainment companies.
  • Involve the entire staff: We now have over 50 employees across various offices around the U.S., all using Flawless running on Macs, iPads, iPod touches, and iPhones. The equipment puller, shipping & receiving team, and prep technicians all use iOS devices to accomplish their work.  Any time barcodes are being scanned in or out to build contracts; an iOS device comes into play.
  • Engage management: We’re using iPhones running Flawless remotely, either from home after hours or anytime we are out of the office to check availability of gear. This capability is especially handy throughout weekends when we get emergency calls.
  • Keep speed in mind: Production teams need to know in advance what equipment is available if they need additional gear shipped out. Flawless helps us submit bids faster than the competition so we are the first to respond to the customer.
  • Think paperless: We need to manage a large number of PDFs – purchase orders, contracts and invoices. With our custom solution, the company can maintain these documents externally to the solution in managed storage, while still being able to have instant access. 

Developer Scott Rose of ScottWorld developed Flawless. The database is hosted on a Mac Pro for easy access across Keslow Camera’s offices in Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Santa Fe, and New Orleans. Managers and staff can tap into the information they need anytime, from anywhere, including via iPads and iPhones. The FileMaker Go app brings the full, rich application to Keslow’s iPad and iPhone users – it’s not just a slimmed-down version of the database.

Plus, unlike typical off-the-shelf software, it’s really easy to make updates and improvements to our solution, as our business grows – no waiting for months or years for new features. With our new solution, ScottWorld can constantly and quickly make improvements any time an employee has a good suggestion.

Keslow Camera is growing roughly 30 percent year over year, so having this kind of power and flexibility is essential. This blazing-fast solution, accessible to our staff nationwide, is really helping set us apart from our competition.



Startup Real Estate

So you’ve started your dream company, ready to take on the whole world with your market altering product. You have your MVP (or not).You have product-market fit (or not). You have your VC money in the bank (or not).


Startups encompass all the above stages and many others as well. One need, regardless of the size or stage in the lifecycle you find yourself, you and your team need is a place to sit. Or if you want to be trendy, stand. There are a variety of real estate options available for startups. Below is a list and brief description of each option in general order, from early stage to later.


Your garage. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates both started there. So did Walt Disney. Now it’s your turn. The garage — or your apartment if you live in NYC — is often the best place for you to start.


Pros: The commute is great and the price is right.

Cons: Car exhaust, no contact with the external world during the work day.


Coworking. Coworking has been the next big thing in office space for most of the last decade. Coworking spaces happen when someone rents a large block of space (usually at least 10,000 square feet or more) and then rents out individual desks or groups of desks on a short term basis. Many of these are month to month; some require a slightly longer term. There are both dedicated and floating desk options. You can office with other like-minded individuals as these spaces have a mix of entrepreneurs, writers, designers, salespeople, bloggers, engineers, filmmakers, nonprofits, and service providers.


There has been a huge proliferation of coworking spaces, especially in cities with large tech clusters. In August of last year, there were nearly 40 different locations forcoworking in New York City. Prices for desks at coworking facilities range from $300-700 per month.


Pros: Coworking is generally very collegial. No more talking to yourself in the mirror.

Cons: Hearing your neighbor talk about his or her personal problems all day.


Executive Suites. Not many startups turn to Executive Suites, because the cost ends up being more than a startup wants to pay. The benefits are there though; you get your own office or offices as well as the flexibility of short term leases. As with coworking, many are month to month and a long term deal here would be a year. In many ways, these are grown-up coworking spaces and they have been around for decades.


Pros: Flexibility! Access to shared conference rooms and kitchens.

Cons: Many don’t have “the look and feel” that startups like.



Sharing space with another company.  This is a good bet once your team grows to more than a handful. A lot of coworking environments aren’t geared towards medium sized teams. This option keeps you from having to sign a long term lease and has the added benefit of being around another startup. Shared spaces can be hard to find, however. The best bets here are to reach out to your network orPivotDesk.


Pros: Short term. Getting to show off your commitment issues in a whole new facet of life.

Cons: You still don’t have the space to call your own.


A lease with your name on it. You’ve made it…by one metric at least. None of the aforementioned options are sufficient to handle teams of any significant size. Once you get past 10 to 15 people, your sharing options are more limited. Though, you have many more options as the other 95 or more percent of the real estate market is now open to you.


Another…err…sub-option here are subleases. These are much harder to come by than a traditional lease. A lot of them never even hit the market and are just passed through personal networks and brokers. Subleases are a nice option as you can sometimes get slightly below market terms and you can find them for shorter durations.


Pros: Signage, a.k.a. your name on the marquee (or door).

Cons: Most landlords will require a 3 to 5 year term…and they will think 3 years is short!


So those are your options. Aside from not having your garage listed, TheSquareFoot aggregates all of the other options. Happy hunting!


10 Steps to the Perfect Home Office IT Setup

1. Choose the right hardware


Computer hardware refers to physical elements such as computers, servers, printers and your choice of this has a significant impact on how you work.


Sometimes spending a little more can save you thousands of pounds over time by increasing productivity, but sometimes a cheap and simple solution is the best.  Before purchasing any computer hardware, speak to a trusted expert (or possibly more than one) so you match your needs and budget precisely.


2. Software for success


There are a huge number of software packages tailored for business success and so selecting the right ones can be daunting. Most businesses need to at least consider the following: operating system (e.g. MS Windows 8), Email, Word processing and Web Browser. In addition, other useful software to consider is a PDF reader (as many documents are sent in this format), accounting package and possibly a desktop publishing package (for producing professional looking documents).


The key to choosing software is to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. For example, you don’t need an accounting package if you are outsourcing your bookkeeping. And remember, there are some packages that can be downloaded for free, such as Open Office, or that are provided with other services (e.g. when you open a new bank account you might be offered a free accounting package)


3. The name is in the domain


Your domain name is what usually appears in the website address after the www and is also used in the second part of your email address (after the @ symbol). As these are often the first “branding” a prospect sees it’s important to make the right impression. It’s also worth noting that it can help play a part in your search engine rankings which in turn can help promote your business, so select this carefully.  A domain name that is not being sold by an existing company can be registered for just a few pounds so don’t be stung for hundreds or even thousands unnecessarily.


4. Website wonders


It is not necessary to spend thousands of pounds on a feature-packed website when you first start out, but a holding page with your contact details and some basic information is a must. Most domain hosting companies such as Go Daddy and 1&1 come with basic online web design functionality.


5. Security


It’s vital for any business to ensure that its computer systems are secure and the data kept safe; in fact most companies couldn’t operate if they lost their business data. The key actions to take to ensure your systems are secure are:


  1. Install and use anti-virus software
  2. Keep your software up to date with the latest patches – they often fix loop holes that viruses use
  3. Don’t open attachments to emails unless you are sure what they are and who they are from.
  4. Use strong passwords – at least 8 characters using letters, numbers and other symbols like !, $, etc
  5. Install a firewall and ensure it’s set up correctly
  6. Make sure you have a backup


6. Broadband basics


If your business relies on the internet, then you need to ensure you have a broadband service that is dependable. Many small businesses simply look for the cheapest option and that usually translates to a broadband package designed primarily for residential use. Business broadband packages generally offer a more reliable and more secure service.


Choosing the right package can be daunting but many internet service providers (ISP) now offer exclusive packages that address many of the concerns about running a business online, or being reliant on the internet for information or communication purposes.


7. Support – who are you going to call?


Who are you going to call if things go wrong? You can’t afford downtime and inefficient working so make sure you put in place quality IT support.


8. Backup Basics


Most businesses understand how vital it is to protect the data on their computer systems. Yet despite this, a recent survey shows that less than 50% of SME’s routinely back up their data. And half of all companies that do lose their data go out of business overnight.


Unfortunately many businesses don’t realise the importance of backing up until it’s too late.


A comprehensive back up system for a PC or laptop can be put in place for a monthly fee that is little more than the cost of a cup of coffee so there’s no excuse. It could be the most important investment you make.


9. Sorting Spam


Spam accounts for 45% of all e-mails and costs business world-wide a total of $20 billion a year in lost productivity and technology expenses, according to the Radicati Group, a market research firm in Palo Alto, CA -Wall Street Journal.


Most email packages come with a reasonable level of spam filtering but if you find too much is getting through then there are more enhanced services that you can put in place.


However, remember that there is no true 100% definition for what spam is. It really depends on what the business or individual considers to be Spam. Any anti-spam filter has to adapt and learn about the individual users tastes and what Spam he/she wants to receive and what to discard. All solutions are a compromise between stopping unwanted intrusions and filtering email whilst ensuring business continuity. Speak to your trusted IT advisor for the best advice.


10. Print and Produce


All in one printer and copiers work well and are very affordable nowadays – you can purchase a great system for around £100. For those extra special documents it’s worth considering using one of the high street printers that provide a range of services for small businesses.


If you do a lot of printing and rely heavily on your printer then consider leasing – there are some excellent deals around for even the smallest business.


The Importance of Having Your Own Workspace

London, like San Francisco and New York, is a great place to start a company. Not only is it a financial and commercial epicenter, but it provides a lot of options for young companies. One of the most popular for tech startups these days is the coworking space.


These spaces are a great starting point. For a — relatively — low price, they provide startups a place to work complete with internet, meeting rooms, full facilities and often a fun breakout space. Not only that, but being part of a shared workspace provides you with an immediately available support network, mentoring pool and, often, educational member events.


There comes a time, though, when you need to leave the comfort and security that a shared workspace provides and strike out on your own. We recently moved to our very own space in Hoxton from a shared workspace and we haven’t looked back since!


3 Signs You’re Ready to Move Out


1. The only benefit to their networking events is the free beer


Now, I’m not one to knock free beer, but there comes a point when the network your coworking space can offer you becomes just too small. Networking for small companies is very targeted and even the biggest and best coworking spaces can only have a network that is so big. If everyone you meet at a networking event has heard of you or it starts to look more like a reunion than a chance to meet new people, you might want to think about moving on.


2. Privacy becomes an issue


Working in a shared space is a lot like being in the dorms at university, everyone knows everything about everyone else. When there’s only a few of you this isn’t much of an issue; you can go out to coffee or fit everyone in a meeting room when you want to discuss anything confidential. When you have 15 people, this becomes exceedingly difficult. One of the things I strongly believe in as a CEO is being open with my team. This means I want to be able to post user numbers, have group meetings about our investors and whiteboard ideas, none of which is really possible in a shared space without everyone else working there knowing about it.


3. Everything your neighbors do irritates you


Your team is unique. You’ve cultivated them, specially, to meld, compliment and fit in not just with each other, but with the culture you want for your business. When you work in close proximity with other people who have different personality traits or work schedules, clashes are inevitable. As your team grows, it becomes harder to build and maintain a company culture when there are so many distractions. We were lucky in that we didn’t have many problems, but I’ve heard some real horror stories!


There are, of course, a few things you need to be aware of before taking the plunge and getting your own space:


It’s expensive. Really expensive.


I’m not just talking about the increase in rent — it’s all the other stuff. I never realized how much stuff there was to buy: desks, chairs, screens, whiteboards, brackets, carpet, couches, dining table…the list goes on. The first weekend we moved, I racked up a total of 8 hours in IKEA! And it’s not just the stuff. You’ll suddenly find yourself paying internet, water and electric. Then there are the builders, the inevitable repairs and service people like cleaners you’ll need to contract.


It’s time consuming.


If you think you’ll be able to run both a company and an office space on your own, you’re wrong. Managing a space is a full time job. It took my assistant several months of working on nothing else to get everything ready for our move. From setting up the electricity to renting the moving van, it all takes time. Then, once you’ve moved in, there are plenty of things to coordinate: stocking the kitchen, hiring cleaners, paying bills and making sure everything is maintained properly.


So, Do the Benefits Outweigh the Costs?


It’s important to look at getting your own space the same way you would any other business decision - as an ROI. How important to your success are your people, your culture, and your autonomy? And how does that play against the bottom line of your business? After all, all the culture in the world won’t do you any good if you bankrupt yourself getting it!


For me, it was a no brainer. In order for us to grow as a company, it was essential that our culture was fully developed and clear for everyone to see.  As your team grows beyond the ability to sit at a round table, you have to work harder at maintaining that culture and your own space allows you the freedom you need to do just that. Culture is extremely important to us and, thus, it was crucial that my team have a space they could call their own.


Even in such a short time the benefits have certainly outweighed the costs. Now that we have our own space, the team feels more like a team. We’re proud of our space. We can bring in clients, investors or potential hires and say with confidence: yes, this is who we are. It’s given us the opportunity to play out the uniqueness of our culture and it’s brought us together as a company.


Like many young companies we got our start in a shared workspace. We were very fortunate in that the lovely folks at TechHub did everything they could to accommodate our growth; without them we could not have gotten this far and their support has been invaluable. But at the end of the day, if you want to transition from being a small startup to a successful business, I believe that having your own space is a must. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!


How To Create The Perfect Home Office

Whether you are building a new home work space or converting a room into your office, this is an exciting moment for your business. You finally get to create the space where you will become a successful business woman doing something you love.


Forbes says that when you work from home, you need a space that inspires you to get up and “go to work,” even if that means walking down the hall. Take the time to design your new home office so you will be truly inspired to work at home.


Start with the Empty Space

Before anything else is in the room, bring in a chair, sit down, close your eyes, and visualize yourself working in this space. Where are you facing? How is the lighting? How are your supplies organized? What other furniture is in the room? How easy is it to move around the room? This simple exercise will tell you a lot about where you will be most productive.


Formal or Informal?

Entrepreneur notes a work environment that is too casual may not encourage you to be productive. Find the balance between a space that feels comfortable enough to work in your PJs, and one that requires a business suit. Some women find they are more productive when they dress up a bit. A less casual office may make you feel like you’re “going to the office” and get your mind into work mode.


Get Wired — And Wireless

Few things are more annoying than having to stretch an extension cord across the room. If building a room, place outlets every six or eight feet on every wall. If working with an existing room, add baseboard outlets to give you more flexibility.


It’s also wise to review your home network set-up to make sure you have all the bandwidth you need. Look at a service such as for packages that fit your business and your budget. Your home network is your connection to the “outside world,” so you will want speed and reliability.


Set Boundaries

You will want a way to “close off” your office from the rest of the house. This could simply be the door to the room, or a privacy screen, if you’re using just a portion of a room. Ideally, you want to be in your office without the sight and sound distractions of your living space. Also, when you leave your office, you want to shut off that space from the house, indicating that you have “left work”. This way, you will be able to focus on the reason you are in each space without distractions.


The Comfort Factor

A little color can go a long way to making an inspiring place to work. Karen Haller specializes in the psychology of color. She writes in Women Unlimited Worldwide that the right colors on the wall, along with accessories, will affect your motivation in that space. For example, she suggests light blue for creativity and green for calm and balance.


When you start to furnish your space, nothing will be a better investment than your desk chair. If your work requires a lot of sitting, a great desk chair is as valuable to you as a pair of high-performance shoes is to a runner. At the end of your work day, you’ll appreciate the comfort and support of a good chair.


These few things will start you on your way to creating that ideal work space at home. You’ll have a space you want to go to where you can be creative and productive. Don’t cut corners. Make this the space where you and your talents can really flourish.