Why Nashville is Among Best Places to Start a Business

Nashville has recently earned it’s way to the top of the charts to live, work and play. If you haven’t seen the news, there’s plenty of evidence demonstrating this city’s appeal. Let’s take a look at why Nashville is among the best places to start a business:

Opportunities, Opportunities, Opportunities

nashville, tn businesses
Don’t take our word for it. Nashville was named #3 on Kiplinger’s ‘10 Great Cities for Starting a Business List’ and ranked #6 on Forbes List of best places for business and careers for job growth.

Entrepreneurs and small businesses are taking advantage of the Entrepreneur Center to catch their big break. Healthcare, technology, social enterprise, digital media and entertainment tip the scale as the largest industries in this area. Networking is huge in this city, so you have plenty of opportunities to rub elbows and make your sales pitch.

Best of all, this bustling growing city lets you grow your business while remaining budget-friendly.

Affordability

Both living expenses and businesses costs are affordable. It doesn’t get much better than this. According to KPMG, business costs are 5.1 percent below the national average across all industries. Plus, corporate services, such and financial planning and wealth management are 13.2 percent below average.

Entertainment and Leisure for All

Music City - Nashville TN

No one wants to start a business somewhere drab, because eventually you’ll end up moving and Nashville is quite the contrary. When it comes to nights and weekends, locals can be found at the Nashville Flea Market, arguably one of the best in the country, with 800 to 1,200  vendors from over 30 states. Speaking of country…there’s always something musical going on in Nashville and the surrounding areas—Brentwood, Madison, Belle Meade, nicknamed ‘Music City.’

For those who enjoy both culture and history, you’ll be happy to learn that there’s numerous historical sites throughout the region, such as the home of the nation’s 7th present Andrew Jackson and plenty of museums. Nashville Opera, The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. There’s also plenty of nice campus’ to visit, including Vanderbilt University & Medical Center, Belmont University, Middle Tennessee State University and Fisk University.

With self-employment costs well below the national average, a growing number of jobs and companies moving to the area, not to mention a booming entertainment scene, it’s no wonder that more people and companies are enchanted by all that Nashville has to offer.

Capitalizing on Nashville’s Success
BusinesSuites has jumped on the bandwagon to open up a new executive suites location in Brentwood Seven Springs. We’re excited to be part of the action and support local businesses through office space solutions, virtual offices and meeting room options.

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Giveaway: Free Subscription to Austin Business Journal

Hey Austinites,

The bustling Austin business community continues to thrive. It can sometimes be hard to keep up with all of the happenings around town, but Austin Business Journal (ABJ) provides a great comprehensive overview of everything happening in the Austin community, from business events and tech conferences to grand openings for new restaurants.

You can be the lucky winner of a one-year print and digital subscription to the ABJ including their Book of Lists!

Austin Business Journal

 

Learn more about ABJ’s subscription, a $96 value! You’ll gain access member-only content, exclusive online tools and the mobile/tablet version of the app for easy browsing.

How to Enter

From Monday, August 31 through Friday, September 11, we will be selecting a winner from our social media followers. All you have to do is like or follow our page and share one of our posts during this time frame. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn and like us on Facebook to enter!. Good luck! The winner will be announced mid-September.

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Top 3 Software Tools for Your Virtual Office

So you’ve decided that a virtual office solution is the best thing for both you and your business. Having a virtual office can be beneficial in a lot of ways, especially if you’re someone with a lot of other commitments outside of your work. Parent’s often find that a virtual office works well for them so that they can be home for their children. Other business owners and business professionals find working from home to be more productive than working from an office with other people to distract you. Some others—particularly start-ups—find a virtual office much more affordable than leasing office space. Now that you’ve decided, what exactly are you going to need to get your virtual office not only up-and-running, but organized to?

An E-Mail Program

email programsThis one isn’t rocket science, or is it? Using the email you’ve had for over 10 years – you know, the one you can never remember when you want to download a new App on your smartphone – isn’t an option. Not only because it’s most likely embarrassing (mine was something along the lines of horsegirl@hotmail.com) but because you need something much for professional, that can sync with the other programs that you will need.

I recommend downloading the complete Microsoft Office package over any other program. You can use the Microsoft Outlook e-mail program – complete with calendar – and sync Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to it. That way, in case of a power outage or a computer virus, you can access all of your email and work files from office.live.com.

Ditch the e-mail that you made in 6th grade, and upgrade to something more professional.

A Reliable Internet Browser

Such a small thing, right? Wrong. Having the right web browser is more important than you think and should be a carefully made decision. Like everything else you will need for virtual office space, research your options carefully.

Currently, Mozila FireFox and Google Chrome may be your best choices for an Internet browser. Mozila is famous for having one of the most user-friendly interfaces and top-of-the-line browser security – meaning less of those annoying pop-up adds that often cause computers to get viruses. What’s the best part about it? It’s completely free!

Google Chrome, on the other hand, is the fastest growing browser community. Though still slightly behind Mozila Firefox in capabilities, Google Chrome provides, fast web browsing and has built-in PDF capabilities. Though Internet Explorer is also a popular web browser option, I have to admit that it doesn’t quite live up to the grandeur of Google Chrome or Mozila FireFox.

Virus Protection Software

virus protection softwareVirus protection is the most important decision to make as far as picking the correct option. If you handle a lot of sensitive information, a good firewall, virus, and malware protection system is vital. Even while not handling extremely valuable information, it is still crucial to download a virus protection software such as McAfee or Norton AntiVirus.

McAfee is the world’s most popular security technology software on the market today. Most computer users use McAfee because the company boasts a “proven and proactive” approach to malware and virus protection. Downloading McAfee is affordable, and provides you with antimalware, antivirus, and antispyware protection.

Norton AntiVirus recently updated to Norton Security. Though McAfee is still the leading securoity technology, Norton has other features that may persuade you to buy it. Norton Security protects all devices – PC, Mac, Android, and iOS – without having to purchase different programs for each device. Meaning, if you’re someone who is frequently on the go, and you have a lot of your work files stored on multiple devices, you can be sure that they are always protected.

Is That All I Need?

To put it simply, no. You do need more software and equipment to run your business through a virtual office. These three things are the first step in organizing and protecting your work when not working from a full-service office that will provide most things for you.

These three steps are the beginning. Once you have these—and a computer, of course—you are well on your way to working from a virtual office. Ask our experts your questions and see if a virtual office is right for you. 

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Stop Killing your Small Business’ Customer Service

Guilty as charged!

You closed the deal and got the client, but now what? Retention is super important and every interaction counts. Customer service experience plays a critical role in retention; it’s the only way to differentiate. You don’t want to be the reason your customers seek out your competition, so watch out for these common small business customer service killers:office receptionist

1. No Receptionist or Admin 

Having a friendly, detail-oriented receptionist cannot be und

erestimated. When your customers call, they expect to be greeted professionally and given the attention they seek. When you aren’t available, your customers feel like they’ve been heard and know they can leave a message.Furthermore, the receptionist can screen and forward your calls to your cell phone, so you never miss a thing.

In person, a receptionist is even more valuable. They establish an exceptional first impression (when trained correctly), can offer water or coffee, show guests to the restroom, or simply say, “we’ve been expecting you.” Great admins convey professionalism and create a seamless experience.

(By the way, you don’t need to hire a dedicated employee for this purpose if you rent an office from an executive office suite provider; at BusinesSuites, this service is included with your small business office rental.

bad customer service

2. Meeting with Clients in All the Wrong Places

Your clients want confidentiality and privacy when they meet with you. Starbucks is not going to cut it. Your shared office space won’t work either. If your office doesn’t have a conference room, you can rent executive office suite meeting rooms, deposition and case war rooms and more, all offering private, comfortable spaces on-demand. Plus, if you’re like many other small business owners, you don’t exactly have the most glamorous office and can make a better impression when using a tech-powered meeting facility.

3. Ignoring Customer Service Comments on Social Media and Review Sites

Word the wise: people are talking about your business. Don’t you want to be part of the conversion and guide their perspectives? Whether someone posts something positive or negative, you should create a Google Alert for mentions of your brand. Develop a process for checking and answering any comments online. Millions of Americans read online reviews and check business’ social media to get a feel for their reputation. Make sure you’ve created a positive presence online!

4. Unreliable Technology

You’re late to a video conference one time due to technical difficulties…no big deal. But then your voicemail stops working and your email isn’t syncing correctly on your phone and none of your customers are able to promptly reach you. That’s no way to live! Establish partnerships with vendors that you know will provide you with a solid technology infrastructure. Both you and your customers depend on it.

Just like any other relationship, your bond with your customers is based on mutual understanding, support and nurturing. Yes, building trust takes a lot of work, but it’s well worth the effort if you want your business to succeed.

Luckily for you, BusinesSuites is equipped to help you better manage your office needs and prevent common customer service mishaps. We’ve been perfecting our small business office solutions for 30+ years, so take advantage of our amenities, and remember, the customer always comes first!

 

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How-To: Calculate the True Cost of Office Space Satisfaction

With every decision we make, we weigh the value of our satisfaction with the value of the purchase we are about to make. At the grocery store, we have to decide between the lesser valued off-brand product, and the more expensive, organic brand product. One option offers less nutritional value, but is friendlier to your pocket book – the other option offers your ideal nutritional value, better taste, but is at a higher monetary value. Which do you choose? How do you choose? For the answer, you will have to calculate the true cost of your satisfaction, and in this case, the true cost of your office space.

Choosing an Office Location: What’s The True Cost of my Office Space?

To begin, we must ask, “What am I paying for?”

office space costs

You may have heard professionals in your business circle complaining about things they dislike about their office space. It can range from the size of the space itself, to equipment that doesn’t function correctly, to the cost of the utilities. No matter the case, you have to wonder what this person’s expectations were for the amount that they are paying.

Calculating the cost of your satisfaction isn’t as complicated as it sounds – but fail to do so, and you may find yourself unhappy with the amount you are paying per month for your office space and amenities. The cost of your satisfaction is calculated by weighing the qualitative (Non-Dollar Factors) and quantitative (Actual Cost) data that you gather when looking for office space. It when you combine all of your needs and wants, mix them around in a giant blender along with costs for services, and serve up a monthly price that you will be paying for your workspace environment happiness.

Qualitative Data – Calculating Your Wants and Needs

Clearly, qualitative data can’t be given a monetary value – how can you put a price on your happiness? Instead, rating these amenities on a scale (i.e. 1-5) and then calculating the average of each can give you an overall quantitative value for your wants and needs.

For example, one of your biggest “wants” for your future office space may be to have the most up-to-date equipment and supplies while also maintaining a large variety for your many needs. The first location you visit has the most up-to-date equipment and supplies of the three locations you have viewed, but only has a printer, fax machine, scanner, and labeler. For this location, you may score it as a 4 – you’re pleased that the equipment is up-to-date, but you were hoping for a larger variety. At the next location, you were unimpressed with their outdated, limited selection of office equipment and supplies, so you may rank this location as a 1. The third location, however, has a large selection of updated equipment that is double in size to that of the first location – therefore, you may rank this location as a 5 for their equipment and supplies. If at any time there is a disqualifying factor, you erase them from your list.  Find a new alternative.

Make a list of both your needs and your wants. At each location, pay attention to what needs and wants are met, and which are not. After seeing all potential locations, rate each on a scale, then average each location for a total score. The higher this score the better the location suits your needs.

Quantitative Data – Calculating Monthly Cost for Space

Calculating the cost of a location is pretty straightforward. Be sure to get all the details of pricing for everything you may need. Many times, utilities are covered under the monthly office space rent you pay the landlord. Things such as phone, internet, office support, and janitorial services may cost extra. Does your landlord supply any for an extra fee? Or do you need to hire people to fulfill these services? It’s important that you ask the cost for these different services up front because it plays an important role in your cost of satisfaction calculations.

Let’s say that at location one, you would be paying a base rent and operating expenses fee of $400/month. The equipment included is free of charge, and the utilities are included in the rent. Phone and internet services are an additional $150/month and the location doesn’t offer office support – which you mark as 1. There aren’t any setup fees and if you would like a janitorial service, you would have to pay their contracted janitorial service $100/month. For the first location, you would be paying a monetary fee of $650/month without office support.

It’s important that you remain within your target budget. Do not by any means think that the cost for your satisfaction with your office space overrides what you can comfortably afford. This calculation is meant to ensure that when making a purchasing decision, you aren’t simply settling for the most inexpensive option without first considering what you are receiving for the value.

Location 1 Location 2 Location 3
Address 0 0 0
Grade the following items on a scale of 1-5, 5 being the best 1 being the worst.
Meets Space Requirement 3 4 5
Commute Time / Accessibility 5 3 3
Safety & Security 4 5 5
 Amenities Onsite & Nearby 4 5 5
Equipment & Supplies 4 1 5
Furnishings Provided 3 2 5
Total Score 3.83 3.33 4.67

Calculate the quantitative cost of the other two locations. Now, you will be able to easily compare the three locations by qualitative and quantitative value.

Fill in monthly cost information for the following.
Base Rent + Operating Expenses  $                                       400.00  $                                       300.00  $                                       400.00
Equipment (copiers, printers, etc.)  $                                                 –    $                                                 –    $                                                 –  
Phone Service  $                                         75.00  $                                         50.00  $                                         50.00
Internet Service  $                                         75.00  $                                       100.00  $                                         75.00
Office Support  $                                                 –    $                                       100.00  $                                         50.00
Setup Fees  $                                                 –    $                                                 –    $                                                 –  
Janitorial/Maid Service Cost  $                                       100.00  $                                                 –    $                                                 –  
Utilities Cost  $                                                 –    $                                                 –    $                                                 –  
Total Cost  $                                       650.00  $                                       550.00  $                                       575.00
Cost for Satisfaction  $                                       169.57  $                                       165.00  $                                       123.21

Quantitative Data / Qualitative Data = Cost for Satisfaction

The final step will calculate the cost of the potential locations for your satisfaction. Divide the total cost of the monthly rent at each location by the total score of the wants and needs you desire at each location. This will give you your cost for satisfaction per month.

For example, if location three had a total amenities score of 4.5 and the total cost of the location per month is $550, the cost of that location for your satisfaction would be about $122/month. If that calculates as the lowest amount, this may be the location for you.

Instead of looking for a place that won’t put much of a dent in your earnings, look for office space that will satisfy you for the long run. Moving office locations is not only a hassle, but is sometime not feasible for smaller companies or start-up brands. It is worth the extra money for rent if it means that you will be happy and satisfied with your office location.

Questions or comments? Don’t hesitate to ask our office space experts! 

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