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back to article I said ‘no’ to a million-pound Tech City empire

I have been propositioned in a toilet by a 72-year-old man. He wants me to move in with him and do the business. Ah, it’s possible that I may have phrased this poorly. What I really meant to say is that he is looking to me to arise and provide him with a youthful injection to keep him in the game. No, no, you’re getting the …

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Anonymous Coward

This is the Internet

"the sight of lingerie models padding around the site, usually in their lingerie."

Pics or it didn't happen. K thx bye.

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Re: This is the Internet

Video, bare minimum. This is 20-something or other.

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zb

Carpe diem

Seize the day. You will always regret not giving it a go.

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Re: Carpe diem

One bad business decision can ruin your life for the rest of your life.

Trust me, it isn't worth it. It really isn't.

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Re: Carpe diem

It's not that bad, the worst case scenario is you'll end up going bankrupt, which means you won't be able to borrow money again for a while, but on the plus side, you won't owe anybody any money.

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Go

Re: Carpe diem

It could "ruin" a few years, but it could only ruin "the rest of your life" if you let it. And don't forget that one good business decision can also make you for life.

It's hard to see a bad business decision without the benefit of hindsight, and even if things go "tits up", the experience invariably leads to other things.

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bad manners

I love it how the YouTube embed is set to autoplay. Bad manners all by itself, made worse by the video being deep down the article, hardly a place one would jump straight to at the moment the article is loaded.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: bad manners

Whoops. Have killed the autoplay, ta for the headsup.

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Re: bad manners

Thanks. Much appreciated!

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Kickstarter?

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Seems an obvious use for it.

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Re: Kickstarter

Yes, there's Kickstarter. But Kickstarter won't raise the money in a few days and it tends to be oriented toward products that investors can download or be sent in the post, not property ventures. Unless I post them some of the bricks...

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Angel

Not Kickstarter - Seedrs

Seedrs are a far better place for this sort of thing - https://www.seedrs.com/sign_up?promo_code=85S6RYIP

They're specifically setup to deal with companies in a way that kickstarter isn't. Alternatively, you could get in touch with these guys - https://www.seedrs.com/startups/desklodge who might be interested.

If you sign up via the first link, I get a kickback for recommending you. if you'd rather I didn't, just go to https://www.seedrs.com/

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Holmes

NOW it makes sense...

"a maximum of five people rattling about in 2,000 square feet of office space"

"my client purchased a cheap office in an East End dump that ... has transformed into a million-pound property"

Why didn't he sell years ago, then? What a moron.

"at least one day a week is enlivened by the sight of lingerie models padding around the site, usually in their lingerie."

Ah. I see.

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Yag
Joke

Re: "Ah. I see."

If only I could see too...

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Happy

Re: "Ah. I see."

Live webcams

Paid sunscriptions.

He'll raise the dosh in no time.

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Stop

How much do you need?

See title.

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Re: How much do you need?

Actually, £50K would do the trick: redecoration, rewiring, furniture, rent, allowing me a few quid on top so that my children don't have to assemble dinner from our neighbours' dustbins.

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Re: How much do you need?

I could offer you £10k (up to £20k). (If there's anybody else in, this could end up as the first El Reg's commentard sourcing venture)

In case you are interested - How much comes from your own pocket? What do I get in return? Any security?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: How much do you need?

I could maybe add a similar amount, depending on how interesting the proposed interest is....

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Happy

Re: How much do you need?

I'll do it. Send me his number.

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Stop

Shoreditch

It's still a ****hole, only now it's a ****hole populated by ****ers.

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£50k

Isn't a large sum to be trying to raise. But what's the bit on offer to whoever provides the £50k? What, in short, is the deal?

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Re: £50k

I was thinking of doing something conventional such as returning the money plus interest. Do you think I should suck cocks instead?

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Re: £50k

Interest only on risk capital?

Hmm. Interesting concept. Because you've only an option over the building at current price, not actually the property itself.

I wish you luck, of course.

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Re: £50k

Tim, as I understand the 50k is for running the business (and to get the option on the property). Buying the place in two years time is a completely different matter.

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Re: £50k

Our current recession - the best the world has ever known - was built upon this excellent concept, so don't knock it.

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Re: £50k

Sure.

I do get that.

My comment is rather that someone seeking risk capital is usually offering some piece of the action in return for it.

Do note also that risk capital doesn't have to be returned: the adventure goes bust then it's the adventure that does, not the entrepreneur.

I can imagine someone providing that 50k in return for (obviously, assuming the numbers stack up of course) some share in the adventure. In fact, I've got someone in mind who would probably do so. In fact, having had a very brief chat about it with him, really would probably do so.

On reasonable terms too. But this sort of thing: if you can finance it with loans and are willing to take on that personal responsibility for paying the loans back, well, good luck to you and all who sail in the adventure.

But if you want capital, not debt, then a slice of the action will have to be sold. The point at the end being that if a slice of the adventure is to be sold then that capital is there and available, assuming, as above, that the numbers do stack up.

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Re: £50k

"adventure" - I like that. Sometimes the shortened current term loses its explicit meaning.

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Go

The offer

£50K loan for first dibs on the desk with line of sight to the lingerie models studio. All form a queue now :-)

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Go

Rent the floor from him at half the going rate - as per his offer - then sub-let it at the going rate. You've immediately got a profit (less the 10% commission you owe me for this idea).

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Re: Rent the floor...

Yup, already thought of but dismissed. The reason it's cheap is because it needs a refurb. In its current state, it would only interest the owners of the London Dungeon.

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Trollface

Re: Rent the floor...

S&M club then. Lingerie models on one side, ancient cobwebby stonework and old machinery on the other. Readily available London weirdos with disposable cash and suspect interests (i.e. politicos) and you will be quids in.

Plus you can set your IT skills to rigging up the hidden CCTV to keep the brown envelopes rolling in!

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Anonymous Coward

what he said...

... you could line up a few interested sub-let clients before you accept the deal. If you have free range of your floor and there are no issues with erecting partitions you could have a 'hub' setup in no time with sub-let clients all feeling trendy but paying the market rates for rent. Then whatever profit you make on the subletting stash 20% of that depending on the size of the profit) to go towards maintenance. As long as you are breaking even, should give you enough time to build up a stash of cash before hiring a 'Space Designer' to maximise how many bods you can pack in there comfortably.

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Well there you have it

I can’t see how I could balance the books. He wants me to move quickly but it’s not going to happen: I’d need a pot of cash to get into launch mode and prevent it from switching to tits-up mode within six months."

Says it all right there. I wouldn't have touched it either. Er, bought in.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: and prevent it from switching to tits-up mode w

This switching to tits-up mode with adjacent lingerie models sounds interesting. Do tell me more.

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This may be your one and only -

Try renegotiating. It appears he wants you, so go and give him the opportunity to get you. That's business, and this is your first test

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"By those living inside London, it [Shoreditch] was known as a shithole."

Still is. But now it's one mostly inhabited by Hoxton Tw@ts.

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I lived in hackney and worked in Shoreditch 73 -81, might have been a dump, but it provided jobs in light industry and warehousing for ordinary working class people not poseurs!

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Be a self-facilitating media node

With the British government offering to guarantee higher risk property loans up to £130 billion (no wonder the national debt keeps going up) plus some shared equity scams you should be able to get the money if you can reasonably convincingly show that you are a first time shoebox-buyer, which probably all you can get for 50k in London. Do it properly and you don't even have to think about ever paying it back and.

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WTF?

Are you mad?

Are you completely mad? Do not turn this deal down!

You need 50k to turn this place into a fancy office suitable for hot desking freelancers, right? I would say that you should get 5 years from the guy, not 2 years, and your option to buy must be at 2013 prices LESS the cost of your investment in the offices plus interest at, say, 5%. If you don't buy then whoever does buy has to pay you back that amount. Also you must bind his heirs to this if he pops it or goes mad.

You said there used to be 30 people working there. So let's say you have a max of 25 hot desks, plus a meeting room or two, to rent. You should be able to easily get £1k, if not £2k or more, per desk per month, if the place is suitably tarted up. Plus you will be renting your meeting rooms per hour. Go check out Regus's prices to get a feel for what the top of the market costs. You can charge more per-day/week or short term desk space.

Anyway, long story short, even at well under 50% capacity you should be taking in £10-£20k per month, £600k-£1.2m over 5 years. Your overheads will be relatively minimal - an office manager or two, plus supplies - which should be enough to let you buy the place in 5 years (or at least put down a hefty deposit).

If you're going to keep the existing business ticking over, you need a % of that too. /Especially/ if it's the existing business, not, the elderly dude, that owns the property.

If you seriously can't raise £50k then I will invest it. But I will want 50% of the action. Surely you've seen Dragons' Den? You would be best off getting "soft" money from someone in your family etc. Next best would be a bank (yes, this is totally possible if you can write a credible business plan, which should not be difficult in this case!) Last best would be to get an investor. The worst option would be to walk away from a deal like this, unless there's something you haven't told us...

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Shoreditch Works

The Shoreditch Works folk are running a very similar Kickstarter right now, maybe it's worth asking them for any advice they might have? They haven't been successful yet but they're over halfway to their £25k goal.

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/179276400/open-the-shoreditch-village-hall?ref=card

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with them in any way, but they have given me free beer in the past.

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