A great deal at Court House Executive Offices

January 12, 2010

How much does something cost?  It is a simple question, but have you ever been frustrated in trying to get an answer?  Some businesses play games by offering promotional pricing that expires all too soon or by demanding mandatory fees for services you don’t even use.  At The Suites Collection, our prices are not promotional and there are no mandatory fees.  Far from it, we include a telephone and internet connection in every office.  That means your monthly rent includes everything you need to get your business started tomorrow!

At Court House Executive Offices, our professional staff members run an efficient environment and handle daily operations behind the scenes.  This leaves you free to concentrate on your own business.  With prices ranging from $600 a month for a one person office to $2,200 a month for a team of people,   we have something available for companies in any stage of growth.  Our current tenants believe we offer, “convenience” and “a great business environment”, so we invite you to check out our available suites – the prices are printed online – and contact us for a tour

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Executive efficiency

December 11, 2009

How do you start work each day?  If you are at home, do you have a way to establish the difference between your personal and professional activities?  If you work in an office, do you use a set routine to kick off each morning?  Can you count on others to respect your schedule or do you sometimes get interrupted?  Productivity will diminish if you don’t have a quiet, dedicated place to conduct your business.   Having a distraction-free work environment is ideal.  Finding the right place that allows you to work efficiently means the difference between success and failure in business (or even just good days vs. bad days).

Court House Executive Offices offers a distraction-free environment to allow you to get down to business.   One of the many ways that we excel at taking care of you is by the efficient way you begin each day as our tenant.  Our offices are furnished with workstations that are comfortable and convenient.  Your telephone and high speed internet connection is already in place.  Our experienced and helpful support staff will greet your guests, handle equipment problems and make sure there is fresh coffee every morning.   We’d love to show you around our unique office atmosphere.  Please schedule a visit and see how productive you can be when you spend your days surrounded by like minded business professionals at Court House Executive Offices.

We’ll take care of your office while you take care of your business

November 5, 2009

Corner

Court House Executive Offices provides private suites and meeting rooms for entrepreneurs.  Our tenants enjoy shared amenities and a congenial atmosphere surrounded by like minded business professionals.  Beginning today, our new blog series will examine the ways that Court House Executive Offices (“CHEO”) empowers companies to succeed in this economy –  with flexibility, efficiency and affordability. 

Because we are independently owned and managed, we can be flexible when responding to your specific business needs.  If the time comes change  your staffing, technology or space considerations, we will work with you to find the perfect solution.  Joanna Greene of the Chicago Workforce Investment Council, our tenant since 2003, says, “The best part is the flexibility we have to expand our space (when business is going well) or reduce it when we need to.  We also convene many meetings, so having access to all types and sizes of conference rooms has been very valuable.”  Indeed, the well appointed facilities at CHEO can accommodate a wide range of meetings from personnel interviews to court depositions to training programs.

We’d like to share more with you about the benefits of bringing your business to us.  Please call us at 312-994-2700 to schedule a tour today!

 

Chicago’s holiday survival guide

October 20, 2009

daley plaza holiday

Even though our recent blogs on the improving economy were rightly optimistic, that doesn’t necessarily mean that small businesses are seeing more money in their bank accounts (yet).  After a year of frugality and belt tightening, you are probably ready to loosen up and kiss 2009 good-bye!  Show your staff and loyal clients extra appreciation during this festive season.  Our vibrant city offers plenty of options to make merry without draining the bank.  Dining and entertainment are probably areas where they have trimmed their personal budgets, so give them the chance to get out and have some fun. 

The hospitality industry is finding creative ways to compete for your business this year.  Deals abound, especially if you plan strategically.  Take your team to dinner and give them a gift that is free for you by dining at any Lettuce Entertain You restaurant.  They are awarding a $25 holiday Bonus certificate for every $100 in Gift Cards purchased between November 1 and December 30, 2009.   Smaller venues are offering deals too.   La Madia Pizzeria at 59 W. Grand is offering $25 gift certificates for every $100 spent on holiday parties booked by Nov. 15.   If you have a favorite restaurant in mind, give them a call and see what deals they are offering for the holidays. 

Local entertainment can also be fun and affordable.  A great way to kick off the season with a small group is to attend a free caroling concert under the Bean in Millennium Park.   If you are planning to provide a night out for a larger group, take a private trolley holiday lights tour for only $23 per person.   Or for a treat they can use with family or friends throughout the year, give gift certificates for the Imax at Navy Pier.  Any gesture will certainly be appreciated.

Finding a way for your business to help someone in need would make poignant addition to your year end celebrations.  The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a worthy cause to consider during the holidays.  The food distribution center is always looking for donations or volunteers.  For a finishing touch, mail out greeting cards to vendors, delivery people and any one else whose work influences your business.  Include a brief note of thanks for their important contribution.  You can support a good cause by purchasing your cards from Chicago Lights Tutoring, whose cards are designed by participants in their tutoring program, which serves children from low-income families across Chicago. 

Energize and Maximize

September 30, 2009

help wanted

Today concludes the third quarter of 2009 and The Dow Jones Industrial is up 15.3% for the period, on track for its best quarterly performance since 1998.  It’s fitting news for the last installment of our blog series on keeping on top of the economic wave.  While the climate improves, we should keep in mind that the result of this recovery will be a new economy unlike the one we enjoyed just one year ago. 

How will it be different?

1)      The consumer will place more emphasis on value.

2)      Labor markets will be volatile.

3)      The environmental & renewable-energy sector is a powerful new force.

Given the new realities, what choices can you make to better your position in your sector?  It is our business to be aware of issues facing independent and small business owners.  We find that being informed about our clients’ concerns makes it easier to build long lasting relationships and gain their trust.  Lately, we have taken our blog advice to heart and have delved into every area of our organization to find ways to energize new initiatives and maximize current realities.  We are going through a marketing blitz, reinforcing our assets and resurrecting stalled initiatives.  Our staff team goal is to not leave any stone unturned in our quest to better every area of our business.  We are excited to see what comes next and are glad that the news keeps getting better!

Marketing for the new economy

September 15, 2009

retail sales

Sales at U.S. retailers rose at their fastest pace in three-and-half years last month.  This was the biggest monthly advance since January 2006, according to the US Commerce Department.  Now that customers are opening their wallets again, smart business owners will be geared up.  This is our third blog on preparing for the recovery and each week the economic news has gotten better!  It’s now time to accumulate new customers as you stake your share of the expanding marketplace.

Hopefully, you’ve continued your usual advertising programs throughout the recession, but with cash flowing again a big marketing push is a smart idea.  Potential customers are making decisions about where they will spend and this opportunity may be the only positive aspect of the economic slump. 

There are two imperatives to selling your products and services in the new economy: presence on the internet and offering a good deal.  Even if your product isn’t sold from a website, shoppers will go online to get a sense of your company and to research their decision.  Make sure they can find you online and that your website gives a good impression.  Then, show them you are sensitive to their wounded wallets by offering something better than they will find elsewhere.  If lowering your prices or offering a temporary discount isn’t possible, convince your audience that you are giving them the best value for their hard earned money.  Be sure to let them know that your price is a considered factor, because even with a recovery at hand, the hard lesson we all learned was that we may suffer in the face of excess but we will all benefit from each others’ careful spending.

Tools for the new economy

September 3, 2009

crystal ball

“The worst is over” according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.   Today’s announcement cites their appraisal that our global economy is emerging from recession more quickly than originally expected.  That’s great news for small business owners who are struggling with a shrinking bottom line.  It is a welcome relief to know that the economy will be growing again.  Luckily, small businesses will have an advantage in this shifting climate because we are fast to adapt to change. 

Our last Suites blog discussed resurrecting company initiatives and goals that had life before the stock market collapse.  Once the cobwebs have been cleared out, what next? 

The great thing about being a small business is the ability to be lean and mean with your operational structure and communication systems.   Be sure to shore up those assets now.  Show your existing customers that you appreciate them.   A thank you note or a quick phone call can be all it takes to ensure their continued allegiance.    Also, connect with your valued vendors and stock up on product deals while they last.  Gather your key team members together and make sure they are all ready to provide good products and great service to satisfy customers.  That is your goal now, just as it always has been.  Though you can’t go back in time and you can’t predict the future, you can arm yourself with tools to support your efforts while you forge a new direction.

Are you ready for economic recovery?

August 26, 2009

graph

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.

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!