In an attempt to describe the current business environment in which we are working, I thought I would answer some pressing questions that have recently been asked of me.
How’s business? Business is good but it sure feels like I am working twice as hard to find it. Providing top-notch service to our clients is something that is always rewarding. However, identifying new clients is requiring more strategy, savvy and intuition than ever before. I have begun to tap into the power of social media to reach an expanded audience. One may never have thought that the in-person benefits of networking would ever diminish, but by blogging, “linking-in” and “friending” other business people, I am beginning to understand the penetration power of online social media tools.
When do you see this thing turning around? I am not an economist, but I listened to one speak recently and he said it will not be until 2012. That sounds about right to me. In fact, I recently negotiated a lease on behalf of a growing software company that has the same outlook. We decided to take advantage of a soft real estate market and align the growth plans of the company with those of the greater economy. By utilizing its entire space today, but only paying rent on a portion of it until 2012, the company will not waste precious resources over the next two years on costly real estate. A no-brainer if you ask me.
How do I know when to negotiate with my landlord? Look at your watch. It’s time. Inevitably there is something happening within your business that will impact your occupancy strategy. You may just not know it yet. Whether it’s a new product in the pipeline, a merger, or simply added payroll, it is always a good time to evaluate your real estate strategy. The two most important drivers are cost and flexibility. If you can control both, you can react and adapt to any changes in your business or market. If we’re not constantly evaluating, we’re not looking for ways to improve.