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 It’s possible the space is outdated, perhaps in a higher crime area, in need of repair and lacks basic comforts like central air conditioning.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. www.executivesuiteprofessionals.com

8 Ways to Build a Business on a Budget

They say money makes the world go round. But when cash is tight, how do you grow your business without growing the size of your budget?

How do you build a business on a budget? To answer this, we asked some of the world’s best entrepreneurs for their advice. Here’s what they said:

1. Knowledge is Power

Amber Armstrong ‏(@ambarmstrong), Program Director at IBM Commerce, Mobile and Social, said: “Identify your network and find people who know what you do not know.” As a small business owner, you want to oversee everything – but sometimes you get drawn into affairs of which you have little knowledge or experience. So identify people who can help fill the void.

Amber lives by this rule, although she admits she didn’t come up with it herself. “Brian Fanzo told me that one” she says. So naturally, we asked Brian for his advice too…

2. Are You Likeable?

Brian Fanzo ‏(@iSocialFanz), speaker and self-confessed evangelist of social technology and change, says: “People buy from people they like.” He advises small businesses to focus on relationships and customer engagement, and not just marketing.

It’s easy to plough headfirst into marketing, branding and advertising when you’re running a fledgling business. Those things are important, but like Brian says, you need to think long-term. Focus on your relationship with your customers and they’re more likely to come back to you – and to recommend you to others, too.

3. Referrals Are Important. REALLY Important.

On the subject of recommendations, Ken Varga penned a great article on how to grow a small business on a budget. Many of these tips ring true, including this one: “Referrals are one of the most important tools you can use to grow your business,” says Ken, explaining that two ways to generate referrals are to “pay for them per lead; or bribe people in a fun way.”

Naturally, we prefer the latter. Ken advises: “Referrals are the least expensive way to grow your business on a budget. The key is to start writing down the ideas you get, and then start doing them.” He also adds a word of caution: “If you haven’t done your job on making your clients happy, you shouldn’t ask for a referral.”

Wise words.

4. Promotion, Promotion, Promotion

Like we said earlier, branding and marketing is important. Digital Sales & Marketing Professional Gary Creigh (@gscreigh) offers these words of wisdom for small businesses:

“It is important to promote your business before it is launched, as marketing and promotion can take a while to gather momentum. By pre-promoting yourself, prior to launch, you can get a buzz going and hit the ground running.”

To start, Gary suggests: “Create a simple one-page webpage which sets out your mission, feature and benefits, as well as a sign-up form for users who are interested. Use Twitter and Facebook as well as networking on LinkedIn to create a pre-launch buzz – and get those potential customers intrigued and ready to buy from you!”

5. Continuous Improvement

Mike Sullivan, Chief Marketing Officer of yours truly, Alliance Virtual Offices, says it’s all about “continuous improvement”. Some know this better as the ‘kaizen’ approach, or ‘good’ (kai) ‘change’ (zen) – read more about this here.

Mike says that whatever size of business you’re running, you should always focus on continuous improvement by looking for ways to progress your enterprise. “Always look and learn,” he says. “Take a non-judgmental standpoint and find ways to improve. Rather than being overly critical, instead take a broad look at the situation and consider how you can make it better.”

You can do this in your own business, and also by looking at your competitors. Look at what they’re doing – both good and bad – and then identify ways you can improve on it.

6. Think Big, Act Small

Ben Weeks (@REGV1), Founder and Managing Director of workspace search Real Estate Grapevine Limited, works with startups every day. He’s seen plenty of great businesses take off, but he’s also seen the effects of poor business decisions – particularly where expensive real estate is concerned.

“Never bite off more office space than you can chew,” he says. “Many young companies have visions of exponential growth and needing stacks of office space to accommodate such growth… but only when you are well and truly ready would I seek leased premises over serviced or coworking space.”

Real estate is one of the most expensive parts of running a business, and the hard truth is that most companies don’t even need it, at least in the beginning. As Ben says, “there are so many derivatives these days”. For instance, a business address can come from a virtual office instead of a physical workspace.

Ben says “there is a juncture” where a private office may be needed, but advises startups to always “think big, act small” in the early days of running a business.

7. Think Partnerships

Vanessa Merit Nornberg (@vanessanornberg), President of Metal Mafia, says: “Identify companies who provide services or products that are complementary to yours.” As an example, she cites placing catalogues in each other’s mail orders. This, she says, eliminates the expense of extra mailing fees and can virtually double your readership overnight.

A “cross-pollination partnership” like this, she says, also acts as a silent endorsement – so it’s well worth seeking out suppliers with an existing client base and a good reputation. “(It) can also be done digitally – just ask to do an email exchange, or to trade advertising space on each other’s respective sites.”

8. Outsource

Gemma Falconer of GoToMeeting recommends outsourcing tasks that you aren’t comfortable doing yourself.

“If the public is going to see it and you aren’t an absolute pro at it, just outsource,” she says. “When it comes to building your website, creating a logo or designing marketing materials, you really will get what you pay for. If you can, use more of your marketing budget on the tasks that you can’t do yourself.”

With websites like Task Rabbit, Odesk, and People Per Hour offering expertise at affordable hourly rates or set fees, you really don’t need to take on the world. You can now outsource everything from SEO management and blogging to cold calling and receptionist services.

So, armed with these 8 tips on how to grow a business on a budget, where will you start? Keep us posted@AllianceVirtual – and good luck!

-Article provided by Alliance Virtual Offices: http://www.alliancevirtualoffices.com/virtual-office-blog/the-bootstrappers-bible-8-ways-to-build-a-business-on-a-budget/

ESP Virtual Tour

Have you seen the new Google virtual tours? Executive Suites Professionals has a Google tour where you can see the inside of the offices and conference rooms. Its just like walking around our office suites in person! Check out our tour by clicking here.

Putting Your Business Where the Business Is

How do you make the most of your location to boost your business?

Marketing expert Brett Relander has an answer for that. He wrote a great post – ‘Cut the Competition Down to Size with Location Based Mobile Marketing’ – to help small businesses get found more easily.

Smartphones are big business in marketing, and because your customers carry them around wherever they go, location is a big factor in trying to catch more potential spenders.

“More than 75% of smartphone users make use of location based services to gain information about businesses near their location,” says Brett. This ranges from getting directions to reading local reviews of your company.

“Businesses that are investing in efforts to increase their location-aware audience base are reporting improved conversions,” he added. “Preferred tools include QR codes, click-to-call, coupons, and mobile apps.”

Brett offers some great advice on the latest cutting-edge location-based marketing techniques, including RFID tags and geo-fencing.

You can read more about that on Brett’s blog. But first, let’s go back to basics.

Try these starter tips to help you get a firm footing in the world of location-based mobile marketing:

1. Get to Know the Platforms
The big social media platforms offering location-based services include Foursquare, Loopt, Yelp and Facebook. Try to identify which ones your customers are most likely to use based on age, interests and location. Sign up for the most relevant and download the apps to your phone.

2. Claim Your Business
Fill out details of your business on your chosen apps and maps. Add a badge to your website or on your front counter displaying your platforms – eg ‘We’re on Yelp’ – to try to encourage customers to interact.

Make sure your business is listed on search engine maps too, like Google and Bing, as well as the main service applications like Apple Maps. Check and edit your information to ensure it’s bang up to date.

3. Engage!
Don’t just jump on a platform and forget about it. Using social channels like Foursquare is a great way to engage with your customers. Promotions will help you to get noticed too. For instance you could offer customers a discount every time they ‘check in’ or leave a review. That will help to push more content to your profile and encourage customer loyalty.

Ready to put your business on the map? Try out these tips and let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear your feedback.

And if you’re looking to get noticed in a new location, a virtual office is a great way to get there. You can bag an impressive business address virtually anywhere in the world from Wilshire Boulevard to Wall Street, Champs-Elysees to Piccadilly.

It’s just one of the many ways Alliance Virtual Offices can help your small business grow. And grow. And grow…

Check out www.alliancevirtualoffices.com to find out more.