Redmond Chamber of Commerce Breakfast: Using Social Media for your Business

Thinkspace co-hosted its first event with the Redmond Chamber of Commerce on September 26, 2008. The event was a breakfast meeting in which Steve Broback and Jason Preston of the Parnassus Group discussed what is Social Media and how it can be used to help a business improve their online presence.

There was a heavy emphasis on blogging and how that specifically can help other businesses can find them doing a Google search.  Having a website is not enough.  Most websites are a company’s brochure.  They are not dynamic, the content does not change much.  Blogs, are very dynamic.  As the content changes, search engines like Google notice this and make note that this site changes a lot and therefore treats this more favorably.

Blogging encourages interaction between individuals and sites.  Blogs also do a lot of the things that generate good SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  Blogs also helps establish “thought leadership”.  Twitter and Facebook were also discussed.  These are important tools that can help your business reach a lot of people and allow customers to have direct access to your business.  To follow us on Twitter, here are our usernames: sbroback, jasonp107, pete_thinkspace.

The was a good turnout for this event as Steve and Jason spoke to a full room of people.  If you missed this event or wish to continue learning about blogging, we will be hosting the Blog Bling Mixer on October 23, 2008 at 6pm.  For more information follow this link “Blog Bling Mixer“.

View the PowerPoint deck from the Breakfast event: Blogging for your Business.

Team thinkspace plays in Redmond Chamber Golf Tournament

Today we sponsored a team made up of clients from our space.  The team consisted of Justin Pino, United Energy Trading; Jeff Jackson, Starrent Networks; Dane Halvorson, DT Motors; and myself.  We had a great time at this event.  The weather could not have been any better and the Bear Creek Country Club was beautiful.  Our team spent the day playing from the black tees (we had to move back one set of tee boxes after each birdie).  Everyone made timely contributions and we shot our way to sixteen under.  We also somehow managed to take first place!

Pictured (left to right): Dane Halvorson, Justin Pino, Peter Chee, (missing: Jeff Jackson had to run and coach soccer)

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How to find funding for a startup: Coffee with an Expert

Carolynn Duncan will be holding a Coffee with an Expert Clinic inside thinkspace on September 18 between 8:30am and 8:00pm. Carolynn works with FundingUniverse.com and Epic Ventures and has a background in venture capital, angel investing, and high-tech entrepreneurship. Carolynn will be holding a free Group Q&A event between 8:45am and 9:30am with time for networking from 9:30am and 10:00am. She is also taking requests for private 1:1 appointments throughout the day.  The cost for the private 1:1 appointments is $25 for a 30 minute session.

To RSVP for the free clinic click here: Upcoming.com.

To RSVP for a private 1:1 event click here: Coffee Clinic at thinkspace.

Eastside Executive Office Space Providers

Today, I attended a meeting and met many of the local eastside executive office space providers.  It was nice to meet some of the other providers of office space in Bellevue, Issaquah, Federal Way and Seattle.  We were the only ones to show up from Redmond.  Each company provides shared office space to companies that are looking for full service office suites.  There was representation from the following companies:

  • Premier Business Centers who has office space in Bellevue, near I-90.
  • Hometown Office Suites & Services located in Federal Way.
  • Lake Place Office Center located in Issaquah, the Costco shared office space.
  • Executive Support Center off Interurban Avenue in Seattle.
  • Meadow Creek Professional Center hosted the event at their location in Issaquah.

It’s nice to meet many independent office space providers in the local area so that way if I happen to come across people that are looking for space in Bellevue, I can refer them over to Premier Business Centers.

We discussed the economy and impact that it is having on people looking for shared office space. We’re seeing an increase in demand for virtual offices as companies are looking to minimize their expenses yet still have a professional addresss.  At thinkspace, we also provide virtual offices where companies also get to have their company name listed on our touch screen lobby directory.

We also discussed that there seems to be an increase in the number of companies looking for temporary office space.  Some companies are in-between space, their lease has expired in their current location and the new office space that they are looking to move into is not ready yet.  Tenant improvements sometimes take longer than expected and lining when a lease expires and the start of a new lease can sometimes leave a company without a place to operate.  That’s where companies like thinkspace can fill the gap and provide “sling space”.

I also found out today that there is a conference sponsored by OBCAI (Office Business Center Association International) on October 1- 4, 2008 at Disney’s Contemporary Resort in Orlando, Florida.  It would be interesting to attend that event but unfortunately it does not work with my schedule.  I’m looking forward to hearing about the event at the next gathering.

Redmond Chamber & thinkspace host discussion on Social Media Strategy 101

People are blogging about your business, and Google is listening. Are you ready? Today customers are tweeting about your products on Twitter and ganging up you on social networking sites like Facebook. These are all elements of the social media phenomenon and the opportunities for businesses to utilize the force of customers connecting to their advantage.

Presenters: Steve Broback, author of Publish and Prosper: Blogging for Your Business and founder of the Parnassus Group, a Social Media consultancy, and Jason Preston, New Media Manager at the Parnassus Group, will be presenting the tips and techniques of making your online presence matter. Learn how to rank highly in Google and attract new customers by taking advantage of easy-to-learn social media tools.

To register for the breakfast event click here.

Date of the event: September 26, 2008 from 7:30am – 9:00am.

Shared office space: attractive lease rates thanks to lowering our energy consumption by over 40%

Being in “green” shared office space can help keep your companies operating costs down.  Yes, it does cost more to go green, but the payback begins right away.  thinkspace has the ability to offer shared office space in a class A shared building and keep the lease rates reasonable.  One of the big ways we’re able to do this is because our space is operating more efficiently than before.  By going green it helps keep our costs down so that our lease rates remain attractive.  This is something you won’t be hearing from other shared serviced office space providers and executive office suites in Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, Sammamish, Woodinville, and even in Seattle.

Three years ago, before going green was hot and trendy, I was learning about efficient building envelopes at the King County Master Builders Association, Built Green classes.  We made our decision to go green with thinkspace and seek LEED certification for our work space.  We wanted to make a significant reduction in our carbon footprint and one way we did it was by reducing our electricity consumption.

As part of our LEED certification, we installed commercial energy efficient light fixtures.  The model that we used was the aesthetically attractive and appealing Lithonia PWS1836 AVANTE series fixture.  This article is a follow up to the the blog post that I wrote called “Energy efficient Commecial Light Fixtures“.  In addition to using these light fixtures, we also installed Lutron occupancy sensors in each office and meeting rooms.  Even our vending machines have energy misers on the vending machine, which I’m told will save us approximately $150 per year in electricity.

I wanted to follow up with concrete facts on our energy consumption since we have completed our build out.  I also wanted to show some historical numbers for the last three years so that you can see what a few years of usage looked like before the building went green.

                 
    2008   2007   2006    
  KWH Utility Bill KWH Utility Bill KWH Utility Bill  
  June 56,040 $4,897 58,080 $4,787 74,400 $5,785  
July 52,080 $4,741 88,200 $6,620 83,280 $6,100  
  August 48,600 $4,722 86,040 $6,564 88,560 $7,077  
                 

For August 2008, we consumed 48,600 KWH compared with 86,040 KHW in August 2007.  That’s a 37,400 KWH reduction for the same period a year prior when the building was not “green”.  To quantify that in dollars, our electricity bill is $1,841 less!  That’s a big 44% reduction in energy consumption.  I expected to see a 30% reduction in electricity expenses, but this is definitely exceeding my expectations.

“Green is the new black”.  That phrase has new meaning to me.