Ziferblat - which is Russian for clock face – is a new workspace concept that is part office, part café and part event space – and which operates under a pay-per-minute model. Since launching in Moscow in 2011, Ziferblat has grown to 14 branches across Europe, with venues in the UK, Russia, Ukraine, and Slovenia.
Entrepreneur Ben Davies joined a local team who wanted to bring the Ziferblat concept to Manchester and turned to the Business Growth Hub for support.
Isabelle Farquhar, Hub start-up growth advisor, helped Ben to research the target market and competitors, while also providing financial and legal guidance and business planning. Ben also attended a number of the Hub’s networking events, giving him the opportunity to build relationships with business leaders from across Greater Manchester.
In January 2015, the Edge Street branch of Ziferblat in Manchester’s Northern Quarter opened and has since achieved a turnover of £450,000, while employing 35 people. And now Ben and the team will be working on two new Ziferblat venues in Greater Manchester as part of Ziferblat’s ambitious growth strategy, which aims to launch a venue in every major UK city by 2021.
Ben Davies, marketing manager at Ziferblat UK says: “The success of our Edge Street venue reflects the customer appetite for the relaxed, community atmosphere we offer. The support we have received from Business Growth Hub has helped us to develop our growth strategy, expand our network and identify funding opportunities, allowing us to successfully start our business. We are now able to build on that success with new venues across Greater Manchester and the UK.”
Isabelle adds:“Ziferblat is an intriguing concept and one that has proven to be very popular on a global scale. It is not always easy to successfully apply a radically new business model to the UK market, but Ben and the team at Ziferblat have done so with great success.
“The business’ innovative model puts Ziferblat at the forefront of a new kind of environment, sitting somewhere between an office, home and a café. The business has found a niche that has proven popular, giving it an entrepreneurial edge and a platform to expand.”