Connect with us

Business Entrepreneur

Small business owners’ new ammunition: office hoteling

You may have heard of coworking or co-officing, and considered your office options, be it opening your first, or expanding and contracting your current, but have you heard of office hoteling? One of the biggest consulting firms in the world has implemented hoteling, and it is a viable option for many brands.

Published

on

New ammo for small business owners

As an independent contractor, I wholeheartedly understand what it means to have a professional demeanor and brand that faces my client and I am lucky enough to have a broker with a stunning office that I get to utilize with all of its additional benefits when I need them for initial meetings and client introductions. I understand that the client wants to know that their agent or consultant is a professional who is able to manage their transactions, time, and keep things organized (not just for them, but for themselves).

Have you ever walked into someone else’s office and seen their filing system (ahem – or lack thereof) and thought oh, sweet baby Jeeeeesus… I can’t have this person handling my this-that-or the other thing? I know you have thought it, it may have even been a coworker that you were frightened by their leaning tower-o-files. We’ve all seen it. Also, how often do you see people that have home offices inviting their clients “into the fold” so to speak or to “come to the office” if they are consultants who work from their home office? You don’t see that, is the answer and if you said that, gold star for you.

Is the artillery for you? Small business owners opt in

In these times where we see many folks telecommuting and enjoying the benefits of a home office, there is an increased need for organizations that offer hoteling options for small business owners and independent contractors who are looking to hold a high powered meeting in a location that isn’t lunch over at the neighborhood TGIFridays or in the local library. No, these independent business owners have worked too hard to build up their reputation as a solid business owner and they want to flash a little class and sophistication!

Enter the not-so-new intelligent offices of the world, where people can rent out a space, a cubicle, and glassed-in office, a conference room, or even just have their phone calls routed through a professional reception team before they get to you. Intelligent offices are a smart way for people who do not currently have the budget for the overhead of a fully leased commercial space to receive the benefits of a higher-end executive suite. Rent a conference room; receive full reception services from a professional administrative team; even attend or teach at professional development seminars so you can strengthen and sharpen your own business savvy.

Bringing out the big guns: Booz Allen Hamilton and hoteling

Speaking of savvy, the concept of business hoteling isn’t just for the small business mind you, no. It has evolved into something much more interesting and sustainable for some of our nation’s top consulting firms. McLean, Virginia’s Booz Allen Hamilton, the original consulting firm and defense contractor went public… then they went hotel.

Yes, if it is good enough for Booz Allen’s elite team of professionals to have to call in to reserve their desks, then it must be good enough for the rest of us! It has been just over a year since they implemented the practice where junior level staff had to “call in” to reserve their desk and to date, it seems to be working wonders. From privacy rooms to collaboration rooms, Booz has thought of everything to make their system of hoteling work for their employees and the style of business that they conduct; they even request that some employees telecommute to reduce the demand on office space and improve employee moral and productivity.

Booz started to develop this program in 2009 as they were growing significantly. Since there weren’t enough desks at the main offices and they understood that most of the consultants were usually on client sites, why did these folks even need offices if they weren’t even going to be there to fill them? Since inception, Booz has streamlined their operations by closing the doors to a facility in McLean, eliminating the need for the operating costs, which can be substantial for a commercial building of that size. Hoteling is about business sustainability and makes perfect sense for the consultant who is always on the go.

You sank my battleship: the downfalls of hoteling

If a larger business is thinking about hoteling, yes there are many cost saving benefits such as the cost savings from operating costs going down, etc.; however, you need to think about potential pitfalls, too. There is the possibility that there will be a loss of brand identity and community if your employees aren’t always seeing each other or your branding. Employees who are telecommuting might not have all of the resources that they need in their home environment and the other distractions as identified in the recent corporate A.D.D. article.

And let’s not forget about the slacker employee that you have to chase after while their at work… what happens when you leave them to their own devices?! If you do think that the hoteling option might be something you’re interested in, the Booz Allen Hamilton model seems to be working well in full swing after just over a year of use. Keep in mind, they managed change and expectations through extensive videos and online help tools to get their staff acquainted with this seemingly foreign office structure.

Hoteling can be a great option for larger businesses who have created a very streamlined and well executed plan and can also work wonders for small business owners looking for that outward-facing, professional edge that they had been looking for in a more sustainable way.

Genevieve Concannon is one of those multifaceted individuals who brings business savvy, creativity and conscientiousness to the table in real estate and social media.  Genevieve takes marketing and sustainability in a fresh direction- cultivating some fun and funky grass roots branding and marketing strategies that set her and Arbour Realtyapart from the masses. Always herself and ready to help others understand sustainability in building a home or a business, Genevieve brings a new way to look at marketing yourself in the world of real estate and green building- because she's lived it and breathed it and played in the sand piles with the big-boys.  If you weren't aware, Genevieve is a sustainability nerd, a ghost writer and the event hostess with the mostess in NoVa. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Ron Foo Chun

    May 21, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    Another example of what’s old is new again. I worked on projects back in the ’80s for the long gone Digital Equipment as we rolled out hoteling offices to reduce their real estate footprint. The trend has been reinvented and will continue as companies big & small try to reduce costs.

  2. AgentGenius

    May 22, 2012 at 11:33 am

    exactly! do you think environmentalism has anything to do with it, or do you believe it is strictly financial?

  3. Ron Foo Chun

    May 22, 2012 at 11:33 am

    From my perspective and experiences it’s been financial drivers.

  4. AgentGenius

    May 22, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    I agree.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Entrepreneur

7 books every entrepreneur should read

(BUSINESS ENTREPRENEUR) You’ve heard it said, “do as I say and not as I do.” Read these books from authors who have figured out what works and what doesn’t when starting a business.

Published

on

bookstores books

The power of books

If you’re thinking about leading a startup, but not sure where to go, the internet is often the first place we look. Surely, you can find dozens of blogs, articles, stories, and opinionated editorials that can help give you something to think about.

bar
However, there are tons and tons of great books that can help you think about what you need to get started, how you need to change your mindset, or challenges you may confront as you begin your startup journey. Take a look at the following 7 you may want to add to your bookshelf.

1. The Startup Checklist: 25 Steps to a Scalable, High-Growth Business
This text not only boasts a 5 start rating on Amazon, but offers what few books do – practical, tangible, down to earth advice. Where lots of books try to tell you a story, talk strategy, and share wins, author David Rose instead focuses on advice that assumes no prior experience – and breaks it down from the fundamentals.

2. Nail It then Scale It: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation
Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom focus on creating a lean startup by offering a step-by-step process that focuses on nailing the product, saving time, and saving money. The first step is about testing assumptions about your business, and then adjusting to growing it (hence: Nail It and Scale It). Strong aspects of this book include a great theoretical foundation, and an easy to follow framework.

3. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls that Can Sink a Startup
Wasserman’s strength here is that he focuses not only on the financial challenges, but identifies the human cost of bad relationships – ultimately how bad decisions at the inception of a start-up set the stage for its downfall. This book is a great tool to proactively avoid future legal challenges down the row, and also discusses the importance of getting it right from the start.

4. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
Horowitz writes about his experiences, taken from his blog, in a way that even inexperienced managers can touch and learn. The advice here really focuses on leading a start-up, and what lessons his experience has given him. Presented in a humorous, honest, and poignantly profane way.

5. The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company
Blank and Dorf here standout due the sheer mass of this text. A comprehensive volume at 573 pages, my favorite piece for new investors is a focus on valued metrics – leveraging data to fuel growth.

6. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
A personal favorite of mine, this book is recommended for entrepreneurs not because it’s focus on business, but as a reminder that those of you wanting to start up are people. You have limited resources to manage as a person, and will need to adjust your perspective on what you care about. This book is about changing your mindset to pick your battles and be more focused.

7. Disciplined Entrepreneurship: 24 Steps to a Successful Startup
Bill Aulet starts with an approach that entrepreneurs can be taught, and breaks down the process into 24 steps, highlighting the role of focus, the challenges you may encounter, and the use of innovation. This text wins due to its practicality for new start-ups, and a specific method for creating new ventures. It also features a workbook as an additional, optional resource. Check it out on Amazon

GET READING!

Continue Reading

Business Entrepreneur

Business pro tip: when pricing your product, think like a photographer

(ENTREPRENEUR NEWS) On of the growing pains associated with starting your own business is knowing how much to charge for goods and services. Use these helpful tips one photographer uses for pricing a photo and get the ball rolling!

Published

on

photo

More than a thousand words

A picture may say a thousand words, but a photo doesn’t just tell a story. A simple photo can be an excellent example on how to price your next business product.

bar
Photography blogger Sarah Petty wrote her method of pricing a simple 8×10 inch photograph for as advice for her fellow photography business owners. But her advice can actually be applied beyond the world of studios and darkrooms. Here’s how to think like a photographer whenever developing the cost of your next good or service.

Step One: Know thyself (and know thy client)

Your first step in knowing your next price for your next best selling item or service is knowing what type of business you run. This is solved by answering the simple question: are you a high volume seller with lower prices or lower volume seller with higher prices?

This question can be answered by looking at your sales for the past month. Are your trends indicating your customers prefer a more personalized, boutique approach to the things they purchase from you (with higher prices), or do you move a lot of product (with lower prices)?

When you understand what type of business sales trend you’re following, move onto step two.

Step Two: Understand your sunk costs.

A sunk, or fixed cost, is the price to manufacture or deliver a good that will not change (unless reacting to the market’s inflation). What is the basic core cost of manufacturing the product you intend to put in your store? That amount, your cost of goods sold (CGOS), is the baseline from which your ultimate price will come from. Now to step three.

Step Three: Look at your other overhead for producing your product.

So you know your CGOS, so all you do now is just add what money you want to make off that? Wrong. You’re forgetting that you’re not just making that product. You are maintaining a store or electronic storefront, you’ve got office space, human resource costs, and other things that may slip by whenever you’re trying to develop your price for your next big thing. This doesn’t mean you’re charging a customer a month’s rent for consultation fee, of course, but knowing that you’re going to need a comfortable cushion whenever figuring this product’s cost out. According to the federal Small Business Administration you should allocate a portion of the profit “to each service performed or product produced” and this cost should be calculated annually. Finished, now to step four.

Step Four: Profit!

Finally, after factoring your CGOS and your overhead, now you can decide what you want to make by selling. Petty personally uses the approximation of making 4 or 5 times her CGOS plus her overhead per item. Whatever the ultimate cost is, it has to be able to lend you the ability to live comfortably in order for you to be able to manufacture more in the future.

The next time you have to develop a price for a new product, don’t forget to step into the world of photography for awhile. You’ll be saying cheese all the way to the bank.

#KnowYourPrice

Continue Reading

Business Entrepreneur

Startup helps freelancers find trusted partners for overflow work

(BUSINESS NEWS) Covailnt is a service for freelancers that takes the mystery out of collaborating, helping us all to focus on what’s in front of us.

Published

on

covailnt freelancers overflow

Trying to balance work and networking can be a huge pain even as a traditional worker; for freelancers, maintaining both categories is often downright impossible. If you’re struggling to make meaningful partnerships in the freelancing world, Covailnt may have a solution for you.

Covailnt takes the mystery out of freelancing, which—unlike romance—could do with a bit less guesswork. The service is best described as a combination of a workflow app and a social network, but its core function is to serve as a database of freelancers. Each person who signs up for Covailnt fills out a profile which includes skills, availability, location, and a portfolio; as a Covailnt user, you can use this information to determine whether you want to work with the person.

The ability to review a freelancer’s highlight reel without having to initiate a conversation is sure to be a time-saver, and you get to avoid the awkward follow-up conversation to boot.

Time efficiency is clearly a strong influence on Covailnt’s platform: each freelancer’s surface-level profile prioritizes the preview window to display their level of business, using metrics from “Not Working” all the way through “Slammed”. Having this information front-and-center makes it easy to differentiate between who in your network might be available for overflow work and who you shouldn’t contact for the time being.

Covailnt also makes it easy to find compatible people with whom to collaborate. In what always seems to be the case when a group project emerges, your go-to collaborator might be too busy to handle a joint effort, and not everyone has the time to troll through the classifieds in search of a temporary partner. Searching for a like-minded, similarly skilled freelancer via Covailnt can significantly cut down on the time you spend looking and help you prioritize the work itself.

Beyond its site-level features, the coolest part of this service is that it allows you to build a network of talented people with whom you share interests, goals, and workstyles. Once you’ve established such a network, you may find your work queue filling up with things you actually care about, enabling you to push some of your less enjoyable work to someone in your network who will give it the care it deserves.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Our Great Partners

The
American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.

Emerging Stories

Get The American Genius
neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to get business and tech updates, breaking stories, and more!