Gone are the days of dreary business buildings only to be replaced by a wealth of affordable, contemporary office suites in the heart of town, where staff can work, socialise and hold meetings. Honeycomb – the brainchild of Spencer Bourne – offer a variety of neighbourly yet private office arrangements, all of which are tailored to upcoming start-ups and prosperous businesses alike.
Who Are PT Portal?
PT Portal is a web-based application that has been created for Personal Trainers and their clients. The application can be used through the desktop or through iOS & Android apps.
The brand allows personal trainers to create an online network with their clients, helping them to deliver an outstanding ‘total training experience’.
After inviting their clients to join their own personal PT Portal, the personal trainer and client will manage everything from training techniques to goals and schedules. They’ll also record workouts and progress, and even book and pay for training sessions online. On top of this, the PT Portal Store gives personal trainers a unique platform to showcase a series of health and fitness products, perfectly suited to their client’s needs.
Who makes PT Portal possible?
‘There are two directors, one is an entrepreneur and the other is a Personal Trainer. We have a local design team in Jersey and we also have an offshore development team – responsible for building the software, the ongoing support, the maintenance and the enhancements.’
Suzy Hughes is the Chief Operating Officer for the business – her role involves pretty much everything from selecting products, to discussing the software with the PTs and finally, testing the application. The design team at E-Scape in Jersey have been at the forefront of designing the application and devising the marketing strategy.
An average day at PT Portal…
‘As a fitness business, it’s important to live what we do’.
Suzy starts her day with a personal training session, as this is key to keeping the business relevant. She finishes bright and early at 7.30am, which means she’s usually in the office by 7.45am.
‘Because of the nature of the schedule of personal trainers, no day is ever the same; we have to make an extra effort to fit around our clients, and the offshore team who are all on a different time zone.’
Any challenges you’ve had to overcome along the way?
‘Yes but I’m not sure we can put them in print! Lack of time has been our main challenge. One of our Directors used his only free day in five weeks to work on PT Portal!’
When you have a startup, everyone needs to muck in; even if the job at hand is something you’re unfamiliar with. You also need to be extremely self-motivated.
Biggest recognitions to date?
After PT Portal’s initial launch in 2011, the company has gone through the normal ups and downs of a start-up; fortunately more ups than downs and they’re now on the lookout for two additional members of staff.
‘We have personal trainers signing up to use the software in countries across the world – which is recognition in itself. It’s our local e-marketing competence and our overall business model that makes us different to similar businesses on the market.’
What do you love about your job?
‘Aside from working with people who are passionate about what they do, I’m able to make a difference to the health of our clients. The industry we work in is incredibly innovative and dynamic, which makes every day exciting.’
Why Wharf Street?
‘We needed a ‘lock up and leave’ which was convenient and very low maintenance. Kim, who managed the process of selecting the office, was both helpful and welcoming, which really swayed our decision – having good landlords is always an asset. Another reason we chose Wharf Street is because of its handy location – we’re so close to the design team.’
Is it important to have an office positioned in the centre of town?
‘As I am a team of one, sitting bang in the centre of town means I never feel isolated, and our design team are just up the road, which is very useful. Not everything should be completed over the phone!’
Further advantages to renting one of Honeycomb’s suites includes the flexible lease – if needed, businesses can upgrade to a larger office without breaking their lease. There’s also a kitchen, complimentary online access, individual mailboxes and no service charges to contend with – an advantage to start-ups wishing to find a quality, cost-effective office space.
What does your desk say about you?
‘It’s extremely tidy – with flowers, protein powder, a green smoothie, some fitness glove prototypes and a Jo Malone diffuser – to me this says – a girl who works in fitness sits here!’
Is it an asset to be able to take advantage of an office space that is open 24 hours a day/seven days a week?
‘We often need to conduct a web-ex with clients who are based in the UK & US, as they finish training late, they prefer to catch-up in the evenings or at weekends. Having an office space that is open 24 hours a day/seven days a week allows us to be extremely flexible – exactly what our business needs us to be.’