According to Business Dictionary, the word entrepreneurship is defined as “The capacity and willingness to develop, organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses.”
If a photo were to be placed alongside this definition, Greg Beadle’s portrait is one that would be a more than suitable fit. Greg is the founder of The Bureaux | Shared Work Habitats, a thriving Cape Town-based business that offers creative office and desk space for like-minded entrepreneurs and small businesses. He is also a professional photographer who has earned himself an international reputation and captured world-class events such as the Tour de France, ABSA Cape Epic and Ironman World Champs. Under his belt is also the title of co-owner of ArtGrip, a simple yet revolutionary tool used to showcase art. On his list, you will also find that he is an author of two books, mentor, husband and father. One thing you’ll come to learn about Greg, and perhaps a key element to his entrepreneurial success, is that he’s real; what you see is what you get.
We chatted to this entrepreneur about The Bureaux, perks, challenges and what he wished someone had told him before starting his own business…
Tell us about the Bureaux
What came to me as an early morning dream, over 5 years ago, has matured into an established business. Initially The Bureau was a shared office space for photographers and videographers. Realising that it is better to integrate all types of business together in a space, we expanded The Bureaux across 4 locations in Cape Town, now offering over 10,000sqm of productive, flexible work space to entrepreneurs. We offer affordable small office space to like-minded individuals and small businesses, including high speed uncapped wifi, cleaning, security, 24/7 access all within one price.As a photographer your eyes are trained to see a story in what others would deem an ordinary scene. The same applies to entrepreneurship. How can one sharpen their ‘entrepreneurial eyes’ to better see opportunities?
Keep your eyes wide open. As a photographer, you are always watching the peripheral spaces of your vision, aware of all that is going on around you. As an entrepreneur it is best to stay connected, connected to people, trends and the multiple opportunities that pop up around us on a daily basis. The toughest part of keeping your eyes wide open is how to be selective in choosing which opportunities to pursue on a daily/weekly/monthly basis. Saying no doesn’t come easy but we all need to understand that having certain rules lays the foundation for solid business.
Many have a romanticised idea about owning their own business. For you, what are the biggest challenges and the greatest perks?
Greatest perk is managing your own time. Not needing to apply for leave, spending time with family when you want to rather than when you are allowed to. Greatest challenges will be around cash flow, no matter how profitable you project your business to be, there will always be pitfalls of negative cash flow. Should you not be fluent in accounting talk, I recommend you find an entrepreneurial accounting firm who can best advise you on how to structure and manage your business.
“I wish someone had told me that before I started my own business….” – what are some of the hardest things you’ve had to learn as a business owner?
When employing staff there is a natural gravity towards employing the people you like or those who resonate with you due to their similarities with you. Try as best you can to employ people whose strengths overlap your weaknesses to ensure the team can operate at maximum productivity.
What skills would you suggest sharpening in order to successfully manage a thriving business
I always believed that a person who has studied law or accounting has an advantage in business. That or spending time running the hard yards, gaining real world practical experience on a day-to-day basis will set you apart and give you the self-assurance to make the bigger decisions necessary in owning your own business
Words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs
‘Don’t give up’ comes to mind first.
Do your research before jumping in the deep-end, don’t start a business that only you believe in. A great test is to take your product/service to ten friends and see who buys in.
If a few people buy in, take it to a few more people and test your target markets interest/ buy-in before you scale.