Addis Expressions Art Exhibition @ Sky Business Centres

February 3, 2011

 

 

Addis Expressions is a contemporary Ethiopian Art Exhibition and runs from January 24th to March 21st  at our three Sky Business Centres Dublin locations.                           

The exhibition on loan from the Leinster Gallery Dublin  is part of Sky Business Centres programme of supporting Ethiopian Charities and Artists  and showcases the work of seven Addis Ababa based artists.  

 It is 25 years since Live Aid was held, yet the West still draw upon images of famine when Ethiopia is mentioned.  At the heart of this show is the desire to adjust the distorted image many Westerners have of Ethiopia.  The exhibition is an embodiment of a country that has a thriving art scene, rich culture and creative people.

The seven artists participating in the show have studied art at the renowned Addis Ababa Fine Arts School and some have exhibited and worked abroad.  Their backgrounds and experience are as varied as Ethiopians themselves and their work reflects this. They work in a number of different media and raise innumerable kinds of subject matter.  The artists try to capture both modern day life and some of the fast –disappearing aspects of Addis life.

The exhibition is open to members of the public and local businesses at these locations and dates.

24thJanurary –  4th February         –  Sky Business Centres, Clonshaugh.  

 7th February  – 4th March   –  Sky Business Centres, Clontarf.

7th March  –  21st March  –  Sky Business Centres, Damastown.

For location information see http://www.skybusinesscentres.com/html/location.asp

 

For more information telephone 01-8941400  see: www.skybusinesscentres.com and  www.macafish.com


How I beat the recession and how you can too….

September 30, 2010

 

By Pat Walsh owner of Sky Business Centres and CEO of Diaryplan.com

As an Entrepreneur and owner of Sky Business Centres, an office property business and with three Dublin office properties it would be true to say that since this recession started we have been very much in the worst part of the storm. With an abundance of vacant office buildings, plummeting office rental pricing and historically low business sentiment, owning and operating three serviced office centres is not the place to be.

However, this year our revenue has increased by 14%, our new web venture Diaryplan.com is now on the Microsoft marketplace in US, Canada, Australia and the UK and our “my events” sports calendar service is now live on eircom.net for 400,000 customers.

So how did this happen?

Well I’m not saying it’s been easy. On the contrary, its involved enormous hard work, sacrifice and dedication both by my valued colleagues and me but it has been achieved without raising additional finance, investment or equity release.

So here’s how I did it and how you can do it too in 10 points:

   1.  As the adage goes “if you keep doing the same thing, you will get the same results”. We’ve taken a stark look at the future and re-engineered our business to match what is demand now by changing our traditional office rental model to now offering low cost office rental services, business continuity and enhanced virtual office services. Rather than waiting for the market waves to drown us, we’re swimming with the tide.

   2.    Sales by social networking – Yes there is a lot of hype and it does involve work. However we’ve successfully used linkedin, twitter and facebook to attract new customers. We have found linkedin particularly useful in finding the right contacts for our target market segments. See my linkedin profile at:

Pat Walsh on Linkedin

   3.    Go Green – Like many businesses we have high electricity and gas costs. We’ve done the “Big Switch” to Bord Gais and also fitted time sensor switches were possible. We are also saving time and money by going with eft and Direct debit. So no more paper invoices, statements and no more cheques.

  4.     As Jack Welch stated “Delegate Ruthlessly” so use www.elance.com or similar web freelance websites. This year alone we have saved an estimated €53,000.00 by buying services online. By tendering on Elance we have saved on legal services, internet marketing, graphic and video design, i.t support, telephone system support and architectural services. Examples include where we registered a PCT worldwide patent application at a cost of €4,600.00 as opposed to quotes received for €15,000.  On elance.com our new video for eircom.net cost only €125.00 to prepare, script and produce! See it at eircom.net my events. You can do the same. Start saving now.

  5.    Go global and increase sales by becoming an elance.com or cloud equivalent service provider. Every month on Elance 32,000 jobs plus are awarded. That’s $300 million dollars of business since 2007. Do you offer engineering, software, marketing, creative or business consultancy services? Then get in on a piece of the action. Register as a provider on Elance.com. We’ve done this and are making money so what are you waiting for?

  6.   We saved one years audit fee by changing our ARD (Annual Return Date) – The revenue won’t like it, your accountant won’t like it, but you will, because its legal and it will save on your auditing fees.

   7.  Clear your head and get a reality check by doing something good. Last year I travelled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with Connect Ethiopia to train twenty three small Addis based businesses to become cloud based service providers. Spending time with people, whose priority is food for the day, helped me prioritise what is really important and not frivolous.  Most Ethiopians would welcome our recession conditions any day. See the slideshow at Ethiopia Slide Show and more information on our blog: Sky Business Centres Blog

   8.   Start a new business venture. You have the experience, knowhow and resources to run your existing business.  Talk to Enterprise Ireland and use  tools like google insights to find out what products and services are in demand. Start a new venture and leverage your existing resources to provide a low cost base for a new profitable business.  My new venture is Diaryplan.com. It’s well on the way to global success. No prizes for guessing where our HQ is. We’ve saved on start-up banking costs by using the Ulster Bank business start-up package

While I am on this subject, Is there anyone out there interested in setting up a new green technology business venture with me?

   9.   Avail of the FAS Work placement programme. You get an employee free for nine months, they get experience. After the nine months employ permanently and pay no PRSI for first twelve months. See: Fas Work Placement

 10.    Enter competitions for recognition and awards. Its time consuming but normally free to do so. In the current climate even if you are only shortlisted it is great free publicity. Diaryplan.com is a winner of the eircom web innovation award and was shortlisted for a golden spiders award. Sky Business Centres won the Esat BT service award and was shortlisted for the Small firms association national business awards. It all helps.


An Interview with Pat Walsh founder of Sky Business Centres

August 18, 2010

 

The following is an interview with Pat Walsh,  founder of Sky Business Centres

Why and how did  you  create this company?
I had a business in software for 16 years and office premises.
I became aware of the office market which was developing quickly in Dublin and I had the concept of serviced offices, virtual offices and workplace recovery. This is when I decided to launch this concept with the goal to developing, improving and expanding. I started with one centre and we now have three.

Do you think you are still  good value compared to the many other competitors in the market? Why?
It is difficult to answer today with all the surrounding competitors but we provide quality offices at competitive prices.
We provide serviced furnished offices, located 10 minutes from the city centre with: electricity, heating , water, tea, coffee, post handling, rates, broadband, wifi and cleaning all  included in the price.  I don’t think a lot of competitors can handle as good a price as us today.
We show our flexibility by providing both serviced and virtual offices aswell as Business recovery packages.

Could you tell us about Sky Business Centres Locations and the value of  the services Sky Business Centres offers its clients?
I think our 3 different locations are a real advantage for us which permit us to satisfy a wide category of clients which need to be either close to the city center or to the airport.
Also, I think our former and current clients really enjoy the quality of our services with our professional receptionist, our broadband and office facilities.
They are all winners here: they get a furnished office with secretarial services and broadband included for the price of rent.

So then what is  the secret to be able to provide this offer?
We try to satisfy our customers as best we can and through gaining a positive image through word of  mouth. We hope it will bring us new customers.

What is the advantage of  Business Continuity to a company?
There are 3 main factors:

First of all the peace of mind. When you get  Business Continuity in our premises you can rely on our facilities and services to be able to run your business without worrying about the management of a new office.

Secondly you can continue your business without taking the risk to undergo any financial  or business loss.

And Last but not least, you save money on your insurance without forgetting we give some free software.


Sky Business Centres goes to Ethiopia…

August 10, 2010

 

Pat Walsh Director of Sky Business Centres in Dublin visited Ethiopia this year to try an help those living in third world conditions. He went over there  to train locals up on how to use the internet to transact with Western companies via eLance.

The basic idea of the group is to try and improve the conditions in Ethiopia by trade rather than charity. By giving people small pieces of work it will help to provide sustainable income for them and their families. Ethiopia is the 7th poorest country in the world. Believe me their conditions make our recession look like a mega mega boom. By giving them small basic jobs they can build up their feedback rating and then go for bigger projects.

Here’s How it Works:

  1. This is NOT a charity, they are 100% clear that they must deliver. If you are not happy with their work – do not pay.
  2. Broadband is extremely slow in Ethiopia. Less than 1mbs. So large file transfers are not recommended
  3. This is a slideshare with some pictures of the Connect Ethiopia October mission and Elance Workshops trip:  http://www.slideshare.net/secret/saxJw0T0DPdyy
  4. We have also setup a LinkedIn group. See Elance Ethiopia
  5. Sample starter jobs that our Elance Ethiopians can do include (but not limited to):  Setup your business on twitter and facebook, Update your business on facebook, twitter, blog etc on a daily basis, Simple website changes, Language translations – English–Amharic-English, Graphics Design, Data entry, Produce a report on your competitors websites, Find me a list of 10 x five star child friendly villas in France, Research a product or service via the web etc etc   i.e what tasks can you outsource remotely?