Four Affordable Solutions for StartUps

os3pics With unemployment rates still on the rise, many people have given up on looking for a job and have decided to take the initiative and create their own. Starting up your own company is always a bit of a challenge, but in an economy like this, people are even more unsure of themselves. The cost of legal fees, supplies, employees, and other services are enough to have any up-and-coming entrepreneur shaking in their boots. Not to mention, you’ve got to find a place to run your business. But, don’t go backing out of your plan yet! There are many, many alternatives to renting out an office building! Let me share four very affordable and practical options.

1. Shared Office Space: Instead of renting out an office building that you will need to outfit with a frontdesk, copy machine, new paint, etc. Try renting out just an office in a larger commercial office building. The staff at these types of facilities will take care of keeping the copy machine running, providing hot coffee for the masses, and will keep the lobby area neatly furnished and presentable for your clients. Not only will you save money on the rent each month, but you will also save yourself the hassle of building maintenance.

2. Divvy Up an Office: Some of the office facilities also offer “divvy programs” where companies can divvy up office time with each other. For example, thinkspace offers a Divvy program where, for $200 per month, you have access to a fully furnished, wifi enabled, private office 2 days per week. You end up paying $25 or less per day. It’s a great deal and often a great alternative for companies who just don’t yet have the funds to get an office space of their own.

3. Coworking: If you are currently running your business out of your home but feel like you need some time away every once in a while, there is always coworking. Coworking normally consists of a larger open room with multiple places to work. Desks, chairs, and internet access are always provided and sometimes other things are included as well. Basically, for a small fee, you can come in and use one of the workstations for the day. It’s a great way to be inspired by the other people who would be working around you and could get you out of that coffee house rut.

4. Virtual Offices: Virtual offices are also great for businesses just starting out. With a virtual office, you obtain a physical presence for a low price. You are able to use the provider’s prestigious address and location as your business address. Most virtual offices also offer a delivery service so that your packages can be dropped off throughout the week and signed for. Many also offer mail forwarding services.

There are many options for companies just dipping their toes into the business world. thinkspace actually provides all four of the options listed above for a very competitive price and in a Class A building. If you have an questions on any of these or other thinkspace services, please email Alyssa (at) thinkspace (dot) com.

thinkspace Offers New Services to Help Small Businesses

NEW THINKSPACE SERVICES!!

thinkspace has decided to provide some new services starting this year that we think will be a great help to our community! I’d like to highlight a couple of those here:

website-designWebsite Design: For just $500, we will create a website for you that will dazzle and drive your customers to call. Not only will you be able to afford a great looking site, but we will teach you how to do basic maintenance on it all by yourself! This way if you need to update your text or your images, you wont have to spend the money to rehire us or anyone else, you can just do it yourself! To check out some of the sites we’ve done, please visit Seattle Accelerator, Stacie CPA and Think Redmond . Please email alyssa (at) thinkspace (dot) com for more information or to see more of the sites that we’ve done.

Bookkeeping Services: Not enough time to get all your bookkeeping done by tax day? We now have the ability to start doing it for you! Starting at $49 per hour, we can do your initial setup in QuickBooks, upkeep, AP/AR, invoicing, reconciling, track and record purchase, sales, receipts, and payments. If you are just starting out, then maybe you could drop by one of your fellow thinkspace CPA members for a Chart of Accounts as well! Please email angie (at) thinkspace (dot) com for more information.

Administrative Support: thinkspace can give your business all the administrative help it desires! We can help you with any task you can dream up; from formatting a document, copy projects, scheduling, mass mailing and postage, to dictation and phone answering, we are here to help! Please email maryb (at) thinkspace (dot) com with any questions.

Always Remember: thinkspace is here to help you succeed, we are an extension of your team. Please, just ask us, when something comes to mind and we will do our best to lend our support!

Michael Brown to Speak at February Brown Bag!

mbrownWhen: Wednesday, February 3rd from 1-2pm
Where: thinkspace Seminar Room-1st Floor

Michael will be sharing his story about how he built his business, discussing how to create a dashboard and key metrics. Some of Michaels top customers that he’s created Dashboards for are: The Seattle Seahawks, Blue Nile, NBC, Microsoft, Treetop, Smithsonian, Boeing, Treetop, The Department of Defence and Rolls Royce. He attended Harvard University studying computer science and has 13 years programming experience and 11+ years of business operations experience. Michael consulted at US Web Corporation. He was a founding member and Chief Technology Officer of iSolute.com, a 100 person Internet product company. Subsequent to iSolute.com, Michael established consulting and non-technology based companies. He is currently owner and CEO of Affirma Consulting, a 25 person award winning Microsoft Technology Consulting firm with specialization in SharePoint, BI and high-end custom development. Michael is also a member of Entrepreneurs Organization and an avid business enthusiast.

Please email alyssa (at) thinkspace (dot) com to reserve a spot.

thinkspace In The News!

Got to speak with Mary Decker from The Redmond Reporter at our January Brown Bag and she had some great comments on the economy and things that thinkspace and Nancy Juetten (among others) are trying to do to help businesses succeed in such times. She even quoted me! (I definitely feel like a celebrity now… wink, wink!) To read more about thinkspace in the news, please visit http://thinkspace.com/press.

Mary presented us with a review of Nancy Juetten’s presentation and then went on to talk about the different things that thinkspace is doing to help out small businesses in the economy. Here is a quote from the article:

“The monthly educational events are “among the measures we have been taking to help out small businesses and startups in the area during this rough economic time,” said Alyssa Magnotti, community manager for Thinkspace.

Thinkspace is a LEED-certified, “green” building at 8201 164th Ave. NE, offering full-time or part-time physical and virtual office space for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to avoid high overhead costs but have a professional setting to meet with clients — an alternative to working at home or a coffee shop.

“In an economy with such a high unemployment rate, more and more people are taking the initiative to create their own job for themselves by creating their own business,” Magnotti remarked…” To read more, please go to http://pnwlocalnews.com .

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Dan Pink on Coworking, “It’s more than simply real estate”

I attended Town Hall Seattle tonight to listen to Dan Pink talk about “What really motivates us”. Dan’s the author a bunch of books, his latest called “Drive”. Dan focused in on three things during his presentation: 1) Autonony, 2) Mastery, and 3) Purpose. I could go into details, but, I wanted to focus in on one word that Dan mentioned during his presentation, “coworking”.

After the presentation, I went to get my book signed and had a quick conversation with Dan.  I brought up the topic “coworking” with him again and…

Dan: “Coworking is totally cool and it’s definitely on to something. It’s a great time to be doing it. Does it (coworking) answer the question about people looking for affinity?”

Peter: “yes, it’s all about the natural affinity for passion and inspiration that brings entrepreneurs together. We all feed off the energy of each other which is why so many people that had home-based businesses become thinkspace members.”

Dan: “It’s more than simply real estate, interesting!”

Peter: “Yes, I don’t even talk about the four walls, because, it’s about the community of the space.”

For me that was an amazing connection! I wish I would have had more time to ask him his perspective about what makes people motivated to be a part of coworking community.

danpink-pcheeHere’s my take on why people are motivated to be a part of this community. Solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, startups, small businesses, home-based businesses many if not most have complete autonomy to define the vision and path that business will go. Entrepreneurs don’t lack motivation, it’s just a matter of being able to sustain it. I definitely don’t lack motivation, but, sustaining it year after year inside my house was impossible. This is one of the reasons why I feel thinkspace exists, so there could be place where entrepreneurs could feed off the crazy energy created by everyone else who is inspired to build a successful business. Another reason is the collaboration aspects, being able to bounce ideas off of others — sharing those idea gives me the feedback to create a better product and provide better services as well as come up with new ideas. So here’s my shout out to Dan, what do you think?