#Bossy: Waterfront Business Centre’s Khadija Jiwani

Upscale co-working space on the North Shore says Work Close, Think Far

By Loose Lips Magazine

Just a stone’s throw away from the SeaBus at the Lonsdale Quay, the Waterfront Business Centre is a hub for high-end professionals looking for an alternative to hotdesking.

Khadija Jiwani — known to friends and clients alike as Kat — is at the helm of the upscale co-working space, a multi-purpose office that caters to a variety of clients and business needs.

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“We have in-house, virtual tenants and service users (hourly users). Why we decided [on this business model] is because the North Shore is an amazing place to live and to work. So why go into downtown when you can work on the North Shore and live on the North Shore but think globally,” Jiwani tells Loose Lips Mag at the North Vancouver building, set on the water, that houses Waterfront Business Centre.

“For every single one of [my clients], it’s not about the money, it’s about fulfilling their needs. They might [have complicated requests], and I’ll get it done. Nowadays, it is very difficult to find people willing to go the extra mile.”

Her business offers leased, private office rentals, virtual office services, hourly offices and boardroom rental, but the most important aspect of Jiwani’s prestigious centre is the customer service.

“There’s not a lot of turnover. [Private office] tenants generally sign a 12-month lease, and I make sure that their customer experience is top notch. Whatever they need or want, I’ll do it,” she says.

There are also multi-purpose, hourly offices for clients looking to meet with patients or customers, with boardroom and kitchen access as well.

“There’s a huge need for this type of office selection, especially for lawyers, accountants and counsellors. I get calls everyday specifically by professional parents (ie: moms or dads) who are working from their home and looking for a more professional or quiet space to meet their clients.  This allows them to juggle the work life balance” says Jiwani.

Prices for a virtual office start at $199.95 per month—which includes using the space’s mailing address, answered telephones, sending emails and five hours of meeting room time included per month—to $1,300 for a set, private and furnished office overlooking the Vancouver Harbour.

Though Jiwani knows that her office comes at a premium price, what she offers is a premium service. The walls are adorned in original artwork and each office suite includes quality furniture such as a spacious desk, hanging file cabinet, office and guest chairs. The shared kitchen space also comes with complimentary tea, coffee and water.

As for why Jiwani stepped into entrepreneurship, she says she was inspired by her husband.

“My husband took a leap of faith and he now owns [Off The Tracks Bistro in Granville Island], and I’ve never seen him happier. It’s his own business, he works hard but he makes his hours however he wants, he can spend time with the kids … and then I said, ‘You know what? I would love that. I would love to have my own business. Can I do it? Sure I can. Am I a hard worker? Absolutely. So why not give it a go?  The rest is history.”

Now Jiwani has the flexibility to accommodate her work and personal life in a way that is both fulfilling and challenging. Jiwani’s primary aspiration is to go into work everyday loving what she does.

“When I work at the centre, I love what I do. It’s a passion.”

Her plans for the future include refining her business model and continuing to provide upscale service for every level of clientele. She has no plans of expansion.

“For me, I would rather provide them with 100 per cent customer service than want to expand and lose that personal touch,” she admits.  “I’m very content with what I’ve achieved.”

With a catchphrase like “Work Close, Think Far,” Jiwani provides an intimate and local workspace with no limitations for success.

When at-home entrepreneurs need a professional work environment on the fly, Waterfront Business Centre is more than happy to oblige, and not just within the regular nine-to-five that other centres provide.

“There are very few offices that offer after-hours or weekends, so I’ve created this and opened it for anyone who’s looking to meet their clients or their patients. I even offer the boardroom or the multi-purpose hourly room. Nobody on the North Shore does that.”

Waterfront Business Centre is currently offering virtual office spaces at $199.95 per month. To inquire, get in contact with Khadija at khadija@waterfrontbusiness.ca, or call the office at 1-855-782-7525. Waterfront Business Centre is located at 220 – 145 Chadwick Court, North Vancouver.