Archive for August, 2009

Are you ready for economic recovery?

August 26, 2009

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According to the Conference Board, consumer confidence is at its highest point since the recession began.  Home prices have posted their first quarterly increase in three years and even Warren Buffet writes that we are on a path to recovery.  While not likely to look the same as it did before, the economy will grow again.  When it does; you want to be prepared.  Now is the time to abandon inertia and equip your small business for recovery.

Start by remembering your plans and goals from before the stock market collapsed.  Which good ideas stalled out while you were busy putting out fires?  Think through every area of your business: sales, marketing, infrastructure, technology and personnel.   Many strategies will still be viable though some of them may require reworking.  By reviving your awareness of those good ideas and the possibilities they contain, your confidence will catch on and encourage even more good ideas.  We are working on our own preparations at The Suites Collection.  During the next few weeks we will continue this series on examining the steps to recovery, so we invite you to check back and share your own experiences.

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Read the Fine Print

August 19, 2009

caught fish

If a price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  Getting caught in a bait and switch scam is frustrating, particularly for small business owners who imbue all deals with personal integrity.  No one likes to be surprised by hidden fees.  To protect yourself you must read all contracts carefully and know who you are doing business with.

Be alert for clues that a shady deal may be going on behind the scenes.   Was the source of this vendor reliable?  Already today I’ve received three unsolicited faxes offering me deals on medical plans and vacations.  The numbers look great, but they are not likely to be quality arrangements.   Another question to ask is who is making decisions about your deal?  The farther away the executives are from the base of operations, the greater the chance that your offer is based on quotas and top down pressure, rather than transparency suitable for a beneficial relationship.   Find out if they have dissatisfied customers by using Rip Off Report

At The Suites Collection, our contracts are personalized for your company and your deal.  We are a small business and one of the first independent executive office operations established in Chicago.  Our longevity is reinforced by successful relationships we have with long term tenants, some of whom have been with us for over a decade.  We are known for superb service because we tailor our offerings to fit the needs of our tenants.  Schedule a tour of our unique office centers and get to know our team of support professionals.  We are here to help you grow your business. 

Are you ready to stop working from home?

August 11, 2009

crowded house

Working in your living space can be burdensome on your family and your business.   Certain aspects of the arrangement that appeal to you at first may not seem so beneficial once the interruptions and expenses add up.  Personal matters can become a distraction.   Cost savings disappear when equipment fails.  You may not have appropriate meeting space for clients.  Maintaining the efficiency of a home office can drain your resources.   Don’t let the value of your business suffer because you are not in the right place to get the job done.

Furnished offices in a professional atmosphere are move-in ready at The Suites Collection.  If you are weighing the decision to leave your home office for a new one, arrange a tour for any or all of our three convenient business centers.  Rents start at under $1000 per month.  Your furniture, telephone and high speed internet connection are included in your rent.    Our centers are equipped with conference rooms, copier, fax and secretarial support.   We have a wide variety of office sizes and layouts to suit your style and our experienced staff will work with you to select the right one.  If your office needs change in the future, you can transition to another one with minimal disruption. 

Studio 7

model law office

If you do plan to continue working from a home, The Suites Collection offers another service that can enhance your business.   Our virtual office program will allow you to have a prestigious mailing address and personalized telephone reception with 24/7 access to voice mail.  Our flexible office program offers part time use of an office for when you need focused time to prepare for a meeting or require privacy with a client.   Meeting and conference rooms that hold up to 20 people are available for half or full day rental and are located close to public transportation and parking.

For more insight on the ways individuals and businesses make the most of shared office environments, see these recent articles from Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.  Or, for a fun international perspective, read how the Germans are also enjoying the benefits!