Soft Skills: How They Can Set Your Business Apart


As we run with open arms into the future, embracing technology, and automation, companies are finding that the new influx of employees are rusty on their soft skills.

Shaking a hand, looking someone in the eyes, or simply smiling and greeting them with pleasantries has seen a decrease in the workforce. With the advancements in technology, we as a society have become heavily reliant on automated messaging systems and email. There is nothing wrong with these forms of communication, but an essential step to retaining business can be missed when a person is greeted by a machine or a disinterested front desk.

Soft skills are slowly fading with the onslaught of technological advances so when a company still incorporates soft skills in their business model it can really set them apart. Face to face interaction is on the decline in the work force, but there is still that need for a client to put a face to the voice on the phone or the emails they receive.

When thinking about your business, think about the reviews your company is receiving. Are they positive with client and employee interaction, or is that just omitted in the reviews all together. Sometimes silence on a particular aspect of an interaction can be just as bad as a negative review.

At Executive Suite Professionals, the ladies that work at the reception desk are encouraged to cultivate their soft skills to prime clients for a positive interaction. Shaking someone’s hand with confidence, smiling, and opening a dialogue that allows for the client to have undivided attention can be the difference between a new client or a missed opportunity.

There is nothing wrong with emails or automated messages, but at the end of the day, face to face interaction can make a big difference. Politeness and professionalism can bring in more clients than just an information email. At ESP we offer that face to face interaction. The front desk is always polite and professional and endeavor to give potential clients an opportunity to have a positive experience.

-Devin Hill

How to Market a Small Business


Day Office at ESP

The office is all set, the decorations are up and they are inviting. The website has launched, the employees are ready to go, but clients are having a hard time finding your business. Why?

Much of it has to do with the fact that when you hire a company to build your website, they will put it together, they will even launch it for you, but in some cases they neglect SEO. Search engine optimization, also known as buzzwords. As an employer, when you are looking at candidates for a position in your office, you look for buzzwords in their resumes. Well your clients are doing the same thing when they are looking at your website.

We are in a digital age where if we need to know something about a subject or a person we hit the Internet, hard. We throw a combination of buzzwords out there and hope that a helpful website flies back at us. If your website does not have embedded SEO, the correct buzzwords, new clients are not going to be able to find your website.

Along with those buzzwords, you will need positive Google reviews. The more reviews you have, the higher your website will climb on that search list.

Social media is also an excellent marketing tool. For some outlets, the marketing it can provide is free, for others there is a monthly charge. When attempting to market via social media, be sure to read the fine print so that you don’t go over budget.

However, even when all of that technology and potential, unless you have someone handling your social media and staying on top of popular trends, there is a chance your marketing will take a hit.

That is where Executive Suite Professionals can help. With the start of 2018, social media marketing is being offered to new clients, as well as SEO and blogging.

Your new business has nothing but potential. Be sure to use the tools available to you when it comes to marketing, including ESP’s new marketing consultant.


-Devin Hill

Starting a Small Business and Finding the Right Office Space


Inside each of us is the flicker of a dream. For some that dream is to support our friends and family in their success. For others their dreams are to strike out on their own and build their own empire with their support team. Both are noble pursuits, but when striking out on your own you have to have a plan, a solid foundation; an office space.

It takes 10 seconds to make a first impression. For most people it is how we dress that conveys that first impression. For businesses, it is their office space. Your office space is the suit your company wears and it is being weighed by existing clients and potential clients. At Executive Suite Professionals that proverbial suit is always dry cleaned and pressed to instill confidence in clients.

At ESP, when you pick an office space, not only to get an ideal spot in the heart of downtown and in a reputable, easily identifiable building, but the office itself comes fully furnished. When a potential client calls in, there are two receptionists on the phones at all times so no opportunity is missed. The first few steps into suite 1400 is a breathtaking display of marble and cherry wood. In that reception area your clients will be greeted with the utmost professionalism and you will be called to come walk them back to your office. At no time will a client catch you unawares.

The quiet professional atmosphere instills confidence in the clients, but it also offers comfort. The perfect office space is hard to find. When breaking down the budget for a budding business, it is better to save as much money up front as possible, while still giving your clients the best possible experience. Executive Suite Professional can offer that to you.

We have been here in the Downtown area for five years going on six with many satisfied clients on our floor. We don’t just offer office space though. Along with the office space our clients can take advantage of our conference rooms, our social media experts, and our notary service. ESP is a full service business center and we are here to help your business grow.

It is the New Year, your dream can come true. ESP can give you the foundation you need to take your business from an idea to reality.

-Devin Hill


Executive Suite Professionals – 301 W. Bay Street, Ste. 1400 – Jacksonville, FL 32202

904.329.7250 –



The Flavors of Downtown

Thursday, June 15th,   Lisa Gufford, Managing Member at Executive Suite Professionals planned an event in cooperation with CenterState Bank entitled ‘The Flavors of Downtown” where several brick and mortar restaurants donated food. Some of the restaurants include, The Pita Pit, Banks BBQ and Bakery, Akel’s Deli, Uptown Kitchen & Bar, The Ultimate Caribbean, and the Burrito Gallery. Why is this important?

People come together over food, as its an integral part of our culture. We build networks over a meal, strengthening old bonds over chips and salsa or a rack of ribs. These downtown brick and mortar restaurants are an integral part of our culture and our economy in downtown Jacksonville. Recently however, there has been a decline in business due to the rise in popularity of  food trucks. At the event, the representatives of the restaurants featured explained that the food trucks, which are a good idea, ultimately are not a good fit for downtown.

The trucks are traditionally made for carnivals and theme parks, a more whimsical environment. They even work wonders in places like New York and LA, but here in Jacksonville, the population density has both brick and mortar restaurants and the food trucks marketing to the same patriots.

During the event, the food was sampled and it was noticed that there were many healthy selections, Pita Pit and Akel’s offer exceptionally delicious and healthy food choices compared to the food trucks, as well as friendly inviting atmospheres. The Burrito Gallery and Uptown Bar & Grill are perfect for dinner meetings with their full bar and eclectic selection of food. These restaurants are part of what make Downtown Jacksonville amazing, they bring the people together in a way that the food trucks can’t.

We are all a family, the Burrito Gallery even advertises local artists, their artwork hangs on the walls, inviting conversation and nurturing the talent locally.  Next time you and your co-workers want some good food and to make good memories visit the brick and mortar restaurants, they are here to serve you and bring you the best experience possible. Remember this is our home and we are all family. We must support one another when we can. It is reported that the restaurants featured at the event will be called for catering opportunities by some of the guests who attended.


-Devin Hill

Suites near courthouse working for attorneys

By Max Marbut, Associate Editor

It’s only about 600 steps and 5.3 minutes from the Duval County Courthouse.

That’s part of what’s made Executive Suite Professionals such a success since it opened in July 2014, said Lisa Gufford.

She and some partners built out most of the 14th floor at EverBank Center to offer small businesses small office suites and meeting rooms with a Class A address Downtown at 301 W. Bay St.

The space includes traditional office amenities like mailboxes, shipping and receiving services and a coffee lounge. It has a central reception area and shared support staff.

Gufford said the response was so strong that nine months after opening, a second phase of EPS was added, for a total of 31,000 square feet including 93 suites and six meeting and conference rooms occupied by more than 150 entrepreneurs, small business owners — and mostly, attorneys and legal-related service providers.

Gufford said Tuesday EPS is 95 percent leased. Eighty percent of the tenants are solo practitioner lawyers or small firms and about 15 percent are court reporters.

Read full article on Jax Daily Record


Differences Between Class A, B and C Office Space

Offices are normally categorized into three different types of spaces: A, B and C. It is a tiered system with level A office spaces being in the most sought-after buildings. Many times located in downtown areas, level A office spaces are ones where image conscious companies usually have their offices. Fortune 500 companies are likely to have level A office spaces.

Office Space Class A

“A” spaces may have terrific amenities like cafes, mailrooms, and fitness facilities. As you might expect, these also are the most expensive spaces and are highly competitive.

While “A” space is the most expensive, it is possible to have your business located at spaces like this on a budget. One such example is with Executive Suite Professionals. ESP clients only pay for their individual office, but expenses for common areas, receptionist, mail service and larger boardrooms is absorbed by Executive Suite Professionals. The result is an affordable office space that still has the upscale image for those companies that want to give their customers and employees comfort and peace of mind.  

Office Space Class B

These spaces are not as impressive as the ones with an A rating. They’re about average as far as rent and age of the building itself. The building could be approximately 20 years old and be ready for a remodel. Perhaps it was once considered an “A” space but changing area demographics or lack of maintenance caused it to be downgraded to a “B” space.

As far as amenities, a B level building could have fancy marble lobbies,  or functional spaces that are medium-sized and near to a prime location. They could have some amenities like security personnel on site or parking for customers, clients and employees.

This type of building is for those who need to be near a certain location and would like some amenities, but can’t afford traditional “A” space.

C Office Space

A level C office space is primarily functional and lacks any amenities or highly coveted street visibility. It’s possible the space is outdated, perhaps in a higher crime area, in need of repair and lacks basic comforts like central air conditioning.

However, this is cheaper than class A or B space.

Best of “A” space without the cost.

In Jacksonville, Florida the concept of shared space continues to be a popular alternative to traditional space. With improvements in technology, many companies and individuals are electing to not have any space at all. Instead, they have a “virtual office” and have all the benefits of a traditional office, without the commitment of time and money it requires.

To learn more about shared office space or what it means to have a virtual office, visit Executive Suite Professionals website.

Executive Suite Professionals Receives 2016 Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award

Executive Suite Professionals has been selected for the 2016 Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award in the Shared Office Spaces category by the Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award Program. This is the second time since 2014 that Executive Suite Professionals has been selected for this award.

Each year, the Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Jacksonville area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2016 Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About the Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award Program

The Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Jacksonville area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Best Businesses of Jacksonville Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.