The economic downturn has hit all of us hard. Many workers in construction and real estate have lost their jobs. In December 2008 almost 80,000 people were unemployed in the Balearics as Spanish newspapers “El País” and “El Mundo” reported. The Spanish government expects the country´s unemployment to rise to over 12 per cent in January 2009, the highest figure since 1996. In the light of this, all business owners know they must cut costs wherever possible. And many are turning to external resources to make effective savings.
In Mallorca, several enterprises specialise in offering flexible low-cost business services. Examples of this kind of “capitalist self-support” are Planet Space and Extra Space, self storage companies and flexible office providers; Cómodo & Co., a business center specialist in Palma city; and Moneycorp for flexible international money exchange between different currencies.
Dutchman Jim Drabbe´s company “Cómodo & Co.” offers two buildings in privileged surroundings in Palma’s inner city – one near Plaza Cort and one at Las Ramblas – with 15 offices, prepared for immediate move-in and fully equipped. Customers are able to start working at once, without bureaucratic obstacles, and earn money. The rooms are for rent but Jim Drabbe prefers to use the term “packages of office services”. Indeed, furniture, receptionist service, computer, telephone and internet connection are provided; on request, even staff. The cheapest office (18 sqm) costs 300 euros per month (electricity and internet included, VAT and telephone connection added). The biggest office of “Cómodo & Co.” is 75 square metres and can house up to six employees. The rent for the rooms is 907 euros per month (+ VAT and 230 euros for “affiliated services” – electricity, telephone, reception et cetera).
Drabbe: “Our clients should be able to concentrate on their work. One can book our rooms short-term or for three years or more, with long-term discounts. We have stock market brokers here and branches of big international companies seeking flexible solutions.” It´s an attractive concept in times of difficult economic conditions. Foreign self-employed people avoid language barriers and having to deal with rental contracts or telephone companies. Hiring staff is unnecessary. “Instant offices” like this are common in metropolitan cities like London or Amsterdam. “Cómodo & Co.” started in 2006 in Mallorca.
Tom Sell with his company “Planet Space” offers a similar thing. The Briton and his father founded the company for self storage and rental offices in 2004. In their business centre in Palma´s industrial area Polígono Son Castelló meeting rooms and ready-made rental offices are designed for business customers. Tom Sell: “Five offices are currently rented. It´s a perfect solution for lawyers and sales people, who spend most of the day out or for real estate agents who can´t afford luxurious inner city offices any more.” Choosing “Planet Space” means cutting costs, because of the location outside the city centre. Thus a one-person-office can be rented for as little as 170 euros per month, a five-person-office costs 620 euros per month. Wireless internet, office furnishing and free delivery of goods are included.
Self storage is the core business of “Planet Space”. The company runs two huge storage houses on the island: one business centre in Son Castelló and a storage hall only in Polígono Son Bugadelles (Calvià). Top brand companies such as Red Bull energy drinks and Sunseeker Yachting have chosen “Planet Space” to lighten the storage load on their own premises. Many interior design companies also use this flexible storage option. They can put in and take out their goods quickly and easily.
Tom Sell: “The advantages are that the customer only pays as long as he uses the space and always has personal access to the goods, which are protected by an alarm system.” One storage unit (1 sqm), equivalent to a big wardrobe, costs 40 euros per month (plus VAT). Ten sqm provides the same storage as an average car garage and cost 220 euros per month (plus VAT). The principle is easy, quick, light and flexible working. Sell: “People from abroad need help in setting up a business in Spain, because it´s quite difficult. That´s our aim. Furthermore:
“A small or medium sized company could save between 1,000 and 2,000 euros a month by moving into less fancy offices outside Palma.”
Another storage provider is Extra Space in Can Valero (Palma). They offer storage room from 1 sqm to 200 sqm, as well as office services, a conference room or parcel drop off/collection. Packaging materials are available at the ExtraShop. The company offers a free pick-up service and recommends removal companies at preferential rates.
Making measurable cost savings is also possible with Moneycorp. Norman Marks, country manager for Spain, says that Moneycorp “moves money quickly” – if at least two different currencies are involved. Moneycorp (49 per cent owned by The Royal Bank of Scotland) exchanged 10 billion pounds sterling for its clients worldwide in 2007. The core business is regular international payments, e.g. mortgages and pensions from one country to another.
Companies settled in Mallorca and receiving goods and material from suppliers in the UK, can save thousands of euros a year by making use of Moneycorp´s services. Due to its global activity and size, Moneycorp can offer much better exchange rates than single local banks.
Outsourcing of goods, staff and business areas – lower expenses for rent and flexible money exchange rates: These medicaments help immediately to maintain companies healthy in times of recession and decreasing public buying power. Thus entrepreneurs can steer their businesses against the negative trend.
Gremi Sabaters 34
Polígono Son Castelló, Palma
(Offices and Storage)
Tel. +34 971 459 469
C/ Illes Balears 48
Polígono Son Bugadelles
Santa Ponsa, Calvia
Tel. +34 971 699 969
Cami Dels Reis 158, Palma
Polígono Son Valentí
Can Valero (Exit Puigpunyent)
Tel. +34 902 877 272
Cómodo & Co.
C/Rambla dels Ducs 13, Palma
C/ Sant Sebastià 3, Palma,
C/ Rambla dels Ducs 13, Palma
Tel. +34 971 715 246
Mobile: +34 661 426 036
Account Manager for Mallorca: Clarisse Musselwhite
Phone: +34 687 932 472
Phone: +34 902 887 243