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How To Build An Empire With Your Favorite People

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Imagine starting a new company with your best friend. For many, the idea of working closely with someone they know sounds appealing—the perfect recipe for entrepreneurial success. For others, it sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Despite the differing opinions, history has provided examples of high-profile partnerships that have worked tremendously. Think Ben and Jerry’s or Hewlett-Packard.

Friends understand the vision and endure setbacks

Given that friends already understand each other’s subtle signals, there is less chance of being offended, or surprised, by someone’s communication style. Friends can detect and read intentions with greater ease. Moreover, companions tend to have ‘history’—whether from working in the same industry, sharing life experiences or educational paths—which gives them a particular outlook, and, therefore, the ability to agree on the direction of the business. 

Emerging research suggests businesses founded by friends in the startup sector are more likely to prevail under financial pressure. When companies go through financial loss, or lack of funding, existing partnerships within management help to solidify the team. Conversely, teams composed of ‘strangers’ were found to be less likely to endure financial storms.

Kortney Murray, CEO and Founder of Coastal Kapital LLC—a commercial equipment and asset-based lending company—has become a leader in the financial services industry by building her core team with friends and associates.

“My company is molded around the people that I care for most,” says Murray. “Although I’ve never had children, my management team has become a part of my ‘family’. We co-create vision, we have fun, and we share in the fruit of our success. As we grow, I add to the team those who feel like the ‘right fit’.”

Is this person the ‘right fit’ for your company? 

Working with friends does have its unknowns. How will people act or perform in any given scenario? To avoid this, some specialists advise ‘dating’ a prospective employee, running through a number of business scenarios in an attempt to gauge strengths and weaknesses. Whilst Murray describes her approach to people as ‘empathic’—understanding needs and reading emotions—she has also invested in a highly sophisticated screening tool that measures one’s ‘culture index’.

Murray explains: “The index provides a deep insight into natural ability, creativity and best-fit within the organization. It highlights stress points and helps me to anticipate when someone might feel stretched. The mathematical index is based on sound science and removes much of the guesswork, so I don’t have to try and be ‘psychic’. I can focus my energy on growing the company, whilst getting the best from each employee.”

Never assume you know what others are thinking

Assuming you know what someone is thinking, planning or feeling is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to teaming up with friends. Murray, for example, would once have described her best friend from college as being “the same person”.

“We are so vibrant, excited, and constantly laughing,” Murray continues, ”but, in fact, she absolutely can’t stand sales or being on the phone. She’s timid in her approach…If I had not asked those probing questions at the outset, I would have hired her for sales!”

Preserve friendships and prioritize marriage

Balance, like most areas of life, can be difficult to achieve. As the ‘boss’, how can you have the tough conversations with people you know, without jeopardizing relationships. To keep potential friction to a minimum, Murray advocates “being sensitive to employee needs”. She explains: “I don’t like to micromanage. They respect my business, I respect their time. It’s a mutual agreement. If you have to finish up early because you have family matters to attend to, it’s fine as long as we maintain that level of trust and respect.”

For any would-be entrepreneur, the toughest challenge must be working with family members. Business spats can quickly spill-over into home life and place added strain on relationships. Murray is quick to point out the reality of growing a business alongside her husband: “We’ve had 12 years of marriage; 10 of those in business together. He probably takes on more than he should; I should allow him a little bit more space. Although we work well together, I want to find time to date my husband again. In some ways, our business has taken away from our personal life.”

Murray continues: “Entrepreneurs are often guilty of forgetting about themselves. You ask everybody about themselves, but sometimes people don’t ask you about you. You have to be the strong one. I’m really trying to make time for myself. If I’m thriving, it’s going to have a positive impact on others.”

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

Designing Secure Commercial Spaces Without Compromising Aesthetics

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In the realm of commercial design, security and aesthetics often seem like opposing forces. Business owners and designers alike grapple with the challenge of creating spaces that not only captivate and inspire but also ensure the safety and security of assets and occupants. The good news is that integrating security features into commercial spaces without sacrificing visual appeal is entirely achievable. This blog post will delve into innovative design strategies that harmonise security with aesthetics, including a look at the best deadlocks for front doors in Australia, ensuring your commercial space is both beautiful and fortified.

Embracing Technology for Seamless Security

Modern technology offers a plethora of options for discreet yet effective security measures. For instance, advanced surveillance systems can be integrated into the architectural design in a way that they blend seamlessly with the environment. Smart locks and biometric access controls offer robust security without the clunky hardware, maintaining a sleek and modern aesthetic. Implementing these technologies not only elevates the security level of your commercial space but does so without disrupting its design flow.

Strategic Use of Materials and Design Elements

The choice of materials and design elements plays a crucial role in balancing security and aesthetics. High-strength materials such as tempered or laminated glass, for example, offer excellent security without compromising on the visual openness that glass provides. Similarly, incorporating natural barriers like decorative boulders or planters can serve as subtle physical deterrents while enhancing the space’s visual appeal.

Lighting: A Dual-Purpose Tool

Lighting is another powerful tool that serves both aesthetic and security purposes. Well-planned lighting can highlight architectural features and create a welcoming atmosphere while ensuring visibility and deterring unauthorised access after hours. Motion-sensor lighting, in particular, can be a discreet addition that enhances security without detracting from the design.

The Role of Deadlocks in Aesthetic Security

A critical aspect of securing any commercial space is the choice of locks, especially for front doors which are the primary entry and exit points. Deadlocks offer a high level of security, making them an essential feature for commercial spaces. However, selecting the right deadlock doesn’t mean you have to settle for a utilitarian look. Today, the market offers a variety of deadlock designs that complement any aesthetic, from modern minimalist to classic elegance. For those in Australia, choosing the best deadlocks for front doors involves considering both the security features and how the lock’s design integrates with your commercial space’s overall look.

Collaboration Between Security Experts and Designers

Achieving a balance between security and aesthetics often requires a collaborative approach. Security experts and interior designers need to work hand in hand from the early stages of the design process. This collaboration ensures that security measures are not afterthoughts but are integrated into the design in a way that complements the space’s aesthetic appeal.

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Designing secure commercial spaces without compromising aesthetics is not only possible but essential in today’s world. Remember, the goal is to integrate security seamlessly into the design, enhancing the user experience and ensuring peace of mind for both business owners and visitors. With thoughtful planning and collaboration, your commercial space can be a testament to the harmony that can exist between security and aesthetics.

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