Developing a praiseworthy business plan takes both time and dedication, and when it comes to sourcing an equally commendable office space, it seems a similar level of devotion is required. With Honeycomb – the brainchild of Spencer Bourne – this is far from the case. It’s here you’ll find a fantastic office alternative – and one that is perfectly in tune with the needs, goals and objectives of various like-minded businesses across the island.
Who Are Mantra?
Mantra is a training procurement company, which works with local companies to help them better manage and buy their training. Once the customer has decided on a training programme, Mantra will buy it on their behalf.
‘The customer is always in control and that’s important to us.’
The business, which launched four years ago, is essentially an extension to a company’s training function. Such a programme saves individuals both time and money, allowing them to concentrate on the more strategic elements of learning and development.
Mantra is also home to a cloud based Learning Management System, dubbed EMMA. Customers are able to use this particular system to track staff training, which includes overseeing the likes of dates, locations, attendees, costs, accreditations, evaluations and any returns on investment.
‘It’s very simple to use and is available in three simple monthly packages that provide all the information and features needed to track most learning and development needs.
Any challenges you’ve had to overcome along the way?
Gordon Porter, Mantra’s Sales Director, is very well versed in dealing with most day-to-day challenges, but as a small business, time is always of the essence, in fact, it’s one of the company’s greatest challenges!
‘There just aren’t enough hours in the day, at least not if you want a life outside the office.’
What does the future hold for Mantra?
For Mantra, our plans are twofold. Firstly, we’d like to continue to expand the range of customers who use our training procurement service today, and secondly, we’d like fill what we see as a gap in the market for a simple cost-effective learning management system. Most solutions we see are large, unwieldy and too complex. Our solution was deliberately planned to be simple, easy to use and effective, which is why we plan to sell and market EMMA in its own right.
Why Bourne House?
Regardless of whether your start-up is a worldly Internet company or a one-off boutique service, having a user-friendly hub in which to work from is a must.
Bourne House is a fantastic facility for us at Mantra and one which has met all of our criteria! Modern, spacious, air-conditioned units with 24/7 access in the centre of town, all at a fixed monthly fee – what more could you want? It also has a nice relaxed feel to it, and every company based here feel the same way!
Is it important to have an office positioned in the centre of town?
Absolutely. It’s where all our customers are based, which means I can be with clients within 10 minutes. Timing is hugely important to us as training is very much about relationships and people. Although everyone in the company has video and web conferencing capabilities, which allow them to demonstrate solutions like EMMA over the web, we much prefer to pop in and see the customer face-to-face.
Further advantages to renting one of Honeycomb’s suites include the flexible lease – if needed, businesses can upgrade to a larger office without breaking their contract. There’s also a kitchen, free online access, individual mailboxes and no service charges to contend with – an advantage to businesses wishing to stick to an accurate financial plan.
What does your desk say about you?
Today it is actually quite tidy but normally it’s very much organised chaos. I invariably work on many projects simultaneously and the effect of that is clear to see from my desk. I’m not big on filing…
A day in the life of Gordon Porter…
HR and training is very much a people oriented business and Gordon has the good fortune to work with some wonderful individuals across all the islands. He kick starts his day with a lane swimming session at 6.30am and is usually at his desk by 7.30am, which makes unrestricted access to Bourne House essential! He then spends a total of 30 minutes practicing a musical instrument (although he won’t tell us which one) – and is ready to commence the day at 8am. ‘No two days are ever alike, however each is as rewarding as the other.’
And it’s not all work, in between new business developments and account management, Mantra’s work force of five always have time to play a few pranks on one another.
‘I try to avoid working at weekends but invariably will pop into the office at some point over a weekend, so having 24/7 access is great.’