Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Record-breaking Cayman business numbers usher in turnkey solutions

The number of active companies registered in Cayman increased by 8% between the end of 2017 and 2018 with the sub-segments of resident and foreign companies each increasing by 9%. As of June (the most recent month of reported figures), there were 109,918 companies registered in Cayman.

Globally, turnkey office spaces have become quite trendy for small and medium-sized businesses. Co-working and turnkey arrangements are an attractive solution for the growing number of start-up, early growth or existing companies that want the flexibility and cost-benefits of not having to invest in physical office space or are in transitional phases due to relocation or other reasons.

Local solutions include Cayman Enterprise City, which provides bespoke office solutions as part of Cayman’s special economic zone, Worknest, a coworking space for small businesses and startups, and Readyspaces, Dart Real Estate’s fresh-on-the market 25-space turnkey venture.

The following are some reasons to consider a turnkey solution for your small or medium Cayman business.

Limited set-up costs and logistics

Turnkey solutions provide the quickest and most cost-effective way to relocate or to expand to Grand Cayman. There is limited downtime associated with an office move.

In the case of Cayman Enterprise City, businesses have immediate access to high-speed internet, offshore hosting and payment gateways as well as a variety of legal and logistical support services that make it possible to set up a business presence in Cayman within days.

Turnkey office space eliminates many of the secondary costs such as utilities, maintenance, IT and support staff that come with traditional offices. Bundled pricing can provide business owners with a much better picture of the actual monthly cost of a space.

“Having a turnkey space eliminates the necessity of setting up a professional environment from scratch, and we [Readyspaces] offer an excellent level of service with a full-time community manager that ensures someone is always on hand to help meet any needs that arise,” says Jennifer Ebanks, senior manager of business development for Dart.

Knowledge leadership and networking

According to azbigmedia.com, “As a coworking space is shared between different people, it brings about the interaction between these individuals. Through these interactions, one is able to gain more insight into emerging trends. This community-based interaction also brings about the sharing of ideas— Ideas which can be used in bettering one’s business and also for individual development.”

Traditional networking experiences are also enhanced through organized programmes and events. Cayman Enterprise city, for example, provides internship programmes, Tech talks, scholarships, and education, including a recent 12-week coding programme for women.

Worknest’s 3- year business incubator programme, which is open to 10-15 businesses, is geared toward speeding up the growth and success of startup and early stage companies and is often sponsored by private companies or municipal entities and public institutions, such as colleges and universities with the goal of providing young businesses with the support that they need to grow.

Boost to company image and legitimacy

According to Harvard Business Review, “working from an actual workplace (as opposed to from a home office or coffee shop) can signal to others that you take your work seriously and that others see you as a serious worker. The workplace has become a symbol of “legitimacy.”

“Undoubtedly, having a space that provides access to business services and conference rooms presents a much better image for you to bring an associate to for a meeting rather than having them drop by your house or in a crowded coffee shop,” say the folks at Worknest.

Flexibility and productivity

Having all support services on-site and included into monthly payment plans is a major benefit from the perspective of both flexibility and productivity. Most facilities offer high-speed WiFi, full-time receptionists, shared copiers, kitchens and washrooms, back-up generators and meeting rooms.

Because furnished offices cater to the needs of many different varieties of businesses, they are also often the most flexible option when it comes to leases.

The ability to expand to a larger space as needed is another advantage of flexible office space. With traditional office space, businesses often pay more in overheads for spaces that allow for growth, which is a huge budget drain.

Prospects for the future

According to Jackie Doak, president of business development for Dart, “With a new regulatory environment and high demand from both local and international audiences, readyspaces allows Dart to meet current business needs while supporting the achievement of economic substance.”

Indeed, with the record growth in registered businesses, it doesn’t appear that the turnkey trend will be slowing down in the Cayman Islands anytime soon.

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