James Mead by James Mead

Week 302

The big news for this week is that we’ve agreed to take on some more client work. It’s been good to have time over the summer to work on some of our own ideas and I think we’ve learnt a lot, but now the time has come for a new challenge and to earn some pennies.

It’s been another admin-heavy week. For example, we’ve had quite a few meetings with prospective clients recently and we wanted to write them all up. Chris also finished writing up some excellent instructions on how to check our annual accounts.

Corporation Tax

Once our accountant had submitted the annual accounts, Chris also attempted to pay our corporation tax. However, he made a slight slip in the (needlessly manual) step of working out the reference number to use.

He phoned HMRC to correct the mistake, but all their lines were busy and there was no queueing system. So he had to repeat the exercise a number of times until he finally got through, only to discover that he needed to wait until tomorrow (Tuesday) before they could do anything about it.

It all felt like a classic case of Failure Demand!

Office Space

We had a useful, if disappointing, meeting with our landlord in which we discovered that although they’re open to agreeing a new lease for our office, their starting point for rental value is almost double what we agreed only 18 months ago. This didn’t come as a complete surprise, but it was sobering to be confronted with the reality of the Shoreditch office space craziness!

On a related note, we discussed the idea of starting a separate (non-GFR) cooperative to take on a new lease for this (or another) office. We decided to send out a “questionnaire” to a bunch of people to get some feedback on the idea. We’ll be interested to see what people think. Please do get in touch if you’re interested.

We also made a start at identifying possible shared office space and desk rental options. We’d love to hear from you if you’ve got any ideas.

We’ve become very attached to our current office, particularly now that it’s become the venue for a few “community” events e.g. the London Computation Club, the GFR Show and Tell and even a couple of IndieWeb Homebrew website club meetings. So it’s going to be a bit of a wrench if it turns out we can’t stay.

GFR Video

Although we didn’t manage to make much progress on the project this week, we did have a productive session where we came up with a new goal on which to focus our endeavours.

At the moment the service is in closed alpha and we’ve decided that we at least want to get it to the point of a beta version where anyone can sign up for an account.

If we can find the time, we think this is eminently doable, but it will mean we need to address the thorny issue of how to charge people. However, I’m sure it’ll be good for us to tackle this sooner rather than later.

Social

Early in the week, we were treated to a visit from my sister and her young black labrador, Maddie. On the whole she was very well-behaved and the office emerged unscathed.

On Wednesday, we had an enjoyable, if slightly soggy, monthly drinks evening where we made an attempt on the Artillery Arms, but we were forced to retreat to the Old Fountain Inn when it became obvious we weren’t going to get seats.

Until next time.

– James

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