City of Brotherly Love: Philadelphia

Philadelphia has seen its share of ups and downs, just like the rest of the country. Philly’s main advantage is that it is the largest business market in the state. There is also some new development in the area that is inspiring entrepreneurial types to pursue new businesses.

Along with new business comes financial uncertainty. Whether it is startup costs or increasing the bottom line, the challenges of small businesses are different from larger firms. One of the aspects they face is the cost of office space. Because of this, many startups begin in private homes.

However, there are always times when meeting there or in other casual spots is just not cool. For example, ever. Much of the time, even for creative businesses, it is very hard to impress an investor or new client from your living room. No matter how great your product or service is. And don’t get me started on Starbucks. So what is a new business owner or company experiencing growth to do?

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Spring Forward with Fresh Meeting Rooms

Meeting rooms_week 25_2Spring is on its way – or so they say. While the change in weather is particularly enjoyable for those facing old man winter, the other great thing about spring is the opportunity for change. The theory has always been that in cooler weather, people tend to burrow in their spaces for comfort, rather than confront things like cleaning. Truth be told, cleaning has never been a favorite thing for me to do regardless of the time of year, but there is no mistaking how great it feels after it is done.

Just like homes, offices need a thorough cleaning now and again. Spring is a time that motivates these activities, so why not embrace the challenge? But – what to do when office stuff is lying about in limbo? Let’s face it – most office spaces lack the space to really get in there and sort through old files and other things you totally forgot were even there. Like those old memos you never read in the first place. With email and technology – it’s amazing that people even still distribute those old dinosaurs.

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San Francisco | leading financial and cultural center of Northern California

Meeting rooms_week 25_1Just like nearly every other part of California, San Francisco is a pricey place to live with housing prices rivaling New York City and far exceeding Los Angeles. Doing business there is no different. Because of high real estate prices, few businesses could ever hope to buy property. That just makes commercial leasing even more lucrative for landlords and more costly than necessary for business tenants. Add to that the challenging economy – and you have a Fisherman’s Warf whale of a hard time trying to make ends meet, let alone turn a profit.

That being the case, just imagine what it is like for a new or growing business! It is so easy to outgrow space these days – even in a down economy. In fact, because businesses are more likely to rent as little space as possible – especially given the prices in San Francisco – it is easier than ever to do just that.

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Real estate is prime all over Los Angeles

Meeting rooms_week 24_3It goes without saying that Los Angeles is a town of many faces – both literally and figuratively. Real estate is prime all over L.A. – even in places that are less than worthy of their ridiculous cost. Somehow, the sunny weather manages to trump anything else about the region.

When it comes to meeting room space in LA, there are a variety of options to choose from. Hotels and similar venues offer luxurious spaces that cost a small fortune to rent them. Not to mention, most are not available to rent for just an hour or so if that is all you need. Therefore, the cost and minimum requirements usually make them unfeasible for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

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Not Your Parent’s Conference Room

Meeting rooms_week 24_2Conference rooms are one of the most important rooms in any organization. They serve as think tanks to broker deals, make decisions about company policy, and can become a place of refuge from the chaos of the office.

Modern conference rooms have everything at their disposal. Gone are the days of meetings rooms that had basic, stodgy pieces that did not allow personnel comfort while they worked.

Today’s conference rooms are designed with the people in mind who will be using them. Will the same people always use furniture and if so, what are their special requirements? For example, bad knees, and difficulty rising out of the chair, are considerations to think about in the modern conference room. The table that is chosen should be one that can seat a given number of people comfortably. It should align properly with the chairs and fit into the room without inconveniencing the movement of the people attending a meeting there.

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Startups still experience challenges in Orlando

Florida has historically offered affordable real estate given the climate and popularity of the region. However, those who invested during the boom of 2006 unfortunately really took a bath. And not in one of the many beautiful beaches. But like the rest of the country, Orlando is making an effort to rebound.

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Still, startups experience the same challenges in Orlando as they do anywhere else. Even though a business can get a suite for under $600 a month, there is rarely enough space for your desk and supplies, let alone to have meetings. This is when booking a meeting room outside of the office can really make a difference – for staff, investors, prospects, and clients.

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Distinguishing Your Business From The Competition

76Business today has become so competitive that it is critical to any company’s success to be able to differentiate themselves from competitors. Of course, the first order of business is to really understand who your competitors are. That may sound silly, but you really have to know your target market and who is courting them before you begin the process of differentiation.

The best way to distinguish a business from competition is to create some sort of advantage over the others. One of the best ways to do this is with more personal attention. Business has changed so much over the years so that people rarely get together anymore. One of the tactics we use for courting prospects and keeping our current customers happy is by arranging to meet with them.

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A Better Meeting Room Motivates Employees

Rather than focus on quotas, businesses can go a long way toward actually accomplishing them by first raising the level of enthusiasm at work. I know that whenever I am handed a quota, I roll my eyes, even if it’s only in my head.

The fact is that companies are made up of people, not machines. We’re not robots or computers – and if we’re made to feel that way, eventually we become resentful – and that is not productive. No company can afford to have every employee only do enough to get by. That’s why work environments are so important. A successful business all begins with a motivating business environment.

164And yet, companies today are more likely to invest in marketing campaigns than their own staff. Businesses should realize that their first marketing spend should be in-house. Much like Inbound Marketing has become the darling of the online universe to boost business, internal marketing can do wonders for business. I mean, if your staff isn’t excited about your products and services, how can you expect the public to be?

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Grow Your Business By Bonding With Clients

One of the more critical and yet less focused upon skills for any kind of success in business is understanding how to communicate with prospects and customers. When it comes to clients, bonding with them is the best way to establish a level of trust. We have found that the best way to do this is by taking the time to really get to know their needs. Then establish ways to meet those needs on as personal a basis as possible.4589

I know it sounds archaic, but back in the day, business people met regularly with their customers. They were accessible and went out of their way to make personal calls on their business establishments. Given the level of competition today, most any business can get a leg up on the competition if they make the effort to actually spend time with their prospects and customers.

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A Change of Scenery from the Office

2824There’s no doubt about it, it’s always great to get a change of scenery. This holds true for just about anything. Even if you have a fabulous home, it’s always nice to get away. The same holds true for offices – maybe even more so. You know how great it feels to get away for a weekend or a nice vacation. I always feel refreshed and more energetic to face whatever happens to be sitting on my desk. And depending upon what happened while I was away; it can be quite a bit.

No matter how nice your work place may be, having a change of scenery can do wonders for you. It’s really like a breath of fresh air. It clears your head so that you can focus even better than before. Imagine if you could do that on a regular basis; even if just in the middle of the day for a few hours.

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