Some Nelson businesses are using the old mantra “power in numbers” to keep their operating costs down and they say it’s not only good for their bottom line but good for productivity as well.
In the past few years a number of Nelson businesses have taken the opportunity to share leased space and the lowered rent costs that come with it. The move is becoming more popular and last week another Nelson business announced they are closing their doors only to reopen them in a shared space with another business.
Phil Jordan and Ricky Dasler of Living Sound will close their Hardy St store at the end of May and will co-lease a new site with a technology-based retailer, which wanted their involvment kept low key for now.
The duo from Living Sound say their current premises has been a hi-fi store since the mid-1980s but a combination of increased competition and a change in customers buying habits means they were keen to look at fresh options. Ricky says the move makes sense as the businesses complement each other.
“I think you’re seeing more of this kind of thing, businesses wanting to be innovative and keep overheads down.”
He says the move will be nostalgic as he has personally worked in the store for more than 20 years.
But it’s not the first time businesses have decided to share the same roof.
Hogey’s moved into the same store as Stirling Sports almost two years ago and other models exist in Nelson too. The Bridge St Collective houses around 15 businesses in the one building and its founder Galen King says the benefits of a “co-working” environment are huge.
“We find we are so much more motivated and stimulated when working amongst and around other motivated and stimulated people. This doesn’t necessarily mean we interact with them regularly or work together. Just having the creativity around us can help make a day more interesting than working from home in isolation,” he says.
“Of course, in addition to the community aspect of a co-working studio, there are the cost savings and the added services we can offer that, individually, we’d all struggle to justify or would be more expensive, such as a full-colour printer, finishing equipment, kitchen facilities and main street frontage. By sharing a space we also reduce costs of power, broadband etc.”
Phil says the move is an exciting time for their business. “We’re pretty enthused. We can see all the potential and I think we will be well suited to each other,” he says.
“The technology in hi fi now, a lot of people wouldn’t know that we’ve got it here. They probably think to see all the latest technology you have to go to a computer shop. So it makes sense that we go in with a technology company. A lot of our stuff is operated with products like iPads.”
Galen says he wasn’t surprised to hear of the Living Sound move and expects more businesses to do the same over time.
“Definitely. All over the world, co-working is taking off and it’s only a matter of time before it does so in Nelson too.”