Tag Archives: business knowledge

SimonCRE

SimonCRE, One Stop Voice Relocate to Scottsdale

SimonCRE and One Stop Voice, headed by Scottsdale entrepreneur Joshua Simon, moved into a larger office space this month at a location at Scottsdale and Chaparral roads. The new office space more than doubles the square footage giving some much needed breathing room for the expanding businesses. The purposeful timing of the move capitalizes on market conditions of office rental spaces.

According to recently published data, office vacancy has dropped to 21.4 percent in Phoenix. In large part this is due to overall employment increasing, which has created more jobs within companies that need room for growth. During the first quarter of 2013, office rent per square foot was at a six-year low, then changed direction in the second quarter with a 3.1 percent increase. In the third quarter rental rates are expected to continue to climb. Based on the data, it appears that the worst is in the past and that the market is entering a more Landlord-friendly environment. For Tenants, this means that the timing it good to now lock in rental rates with multi-year contracts.

“We paid particular attention to a couple of major factors before pulling the trigger on a larger office space,” explains Simon on the timing of his recent move. “One of those factors was that we wanted to make sure a larger office space was a prudent fiscal decision for both SimonCRE and One Stop Voice. We had the ability to make a move sooner, but waiting until now was a better answer for us. As importantly, we had a clear physical need for more space and amenities.”

The new office space covers more than 4,000 square feet with significant conveniences built-in. In their former location, community spaces were converted into offices because business growth demanded it. Now, the staff has ample room with dedicated space for both SimonCRE and One Stop Voice. A large reception area welcomes guests and comfortable conference room offers dramatic views of Camelback Mountain. The completely remodeled suite is a professional environment that is well-suited to the growing team.

The new address headquarters both Simon companies: SimonCRE and One Stop Voice. SimonCRE is a commercial real estate development firm that caters to regional brands searching to expand their reach. The firm specializes in shopping center development and redevelopment opportunities, as well as build-to-suit and single tenant projects. They have successfully completed projects across the United States. Cloud-based communications systems company One Stop Voice champions VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol communications for corporate clients. Because of the cutting-edge technology offered, the firm has experienced significant growth.

4222 E Thomas Road

Tucson Law Firm Launches Phoenix Office at Arcadia Gateway Center

hopley greg 5X7 photo

Greg Hopley

Zanes Law, a 10-year highly successful firm in Southern Arizona, selected the 90,000-square-foot Arcadia Gateway Center, 4222 E. Thomas Road in Phoenix, for its first office in the Valley.

Serving personal injury clients, the firm is led by Doug Zanes, an Arizona injury lawyer, and Claudia Zanes, the CEO.

“We chose a location that was central enough to serve all areas of the Phoenix community,” said the firm’s CEO Claudia Zanes (non-attorney). 

Arcadia Gateway Center also is the home of Phoenix Seminary, Center for Arizona Policy, Whiting Turner, Reliance Standard Life Insurance, Hormel Foods and Stealth Solar, among others.

Greg Hopley, executive vice president at Colliers International, served as the landlord’s broker. Zanes Law did not have a broker. 

“The Arcadia Gateway Center looks forward to Zanes Law serving as a dynamic new tenant that will bring additional energy and vibrancy to the business center,” Hopley said.

 

small business training

W. P. Carey School & SRP Host Small Business Leadership Academy

Small businesses play a key role in our economic recovery, creating jobs to help get our community back on track. The W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University is offering a program to help small business owners and executives learn how to improve efficiency, streamline operations and raise profits. The fifth annual Small Business Leadership Academy is available to the leaders of small and diverse local businesses.

“We’ve had phenomenal feedback from business owners who attended the academy over the past several years,” said Dawn Feldman, executive director of the W. P. Carey School of Business Center for Executive and Professional Development, which hosts the program. “Classes are held just one night per week, so they fit right into busy executives’ schedules, and they’re taught by top professors from the highly ranked W. P. Carey School. Participants not only take away great business knowledge, but also a new support network of peers that will exist long after the program is over.”

Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding co-sponsor, is offering a number of scholarships to its current suppliers and small business customers.

“The academy offers an outstanding opportunity for small business owners to gain knowledge from highly acclaimed professors and establish lasting relationships with other community small business owners, all in a well-structured academic, but practical environment,” said Carrie Young, senior director, corporate operations services for SRP. “The partnership we have with ASU, coupled with the sponsorship and scholarships we offer to the academy, is a natural fit for SRP in supporting economic development within our own community.”

As part of a larger partnership with ASU focused on small business support, JPMorgan Chase is also joining as a top sponsor, providing 15 scholarships to the academy.

“As Arizona’s number one SBA lender, we know how important small businesses are to our economy,” said Joe Stewart, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase in Arizona. “Entrepreneurs who participate in the Small Business Leadership Academy will get the best of ASU in a format that fits their busy schedules.”

The 10-week academy will run on Wednesday nights from Aug. 29 to Nov. 14. The curriculum will cover business strategy, team-building, negotiations, procurement and competition through service offerings. Program applications are due July 13.

Participants must come from companies that have:

  • Been in business for at least three years,
  • Annual revenues between $1 million and $10 million,
  • Fewer than 100 employees.

Applicants must be able to attend all scheduled classes and related activities. Those who complete the program will receive four Continuing Education Units (CEUs) from Arizona State University. These units are widely used as a measure of participation in non-credit, professional development courses.

Other sponsors of this year’s program include the Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, U.S. Bank and the Hahnco Companies. These firms are also sponsors of the school’s Spirit of Enterprise Awards, which recognize some of the state’s best businesses. The W. P. Carey School’s Spirit of Enterprise Center helps hundreds of small businesses each year.

For more information about sponsoring a scholarship or applying to the small business leadership program offered through the nationally ranked W. P. Carey School of Business, call (480) 965-7579, e-mail wpcarey.execed@asu.edu or visit www.wpcarey.asu.edu/sbla. Current SRP vendors can also contact Art Oros, SRP procurement services manager, for information about this year’s SRP scholarships at (602) 236-8773 or Art.Oros@srpnet.com.

Franchise Owners

Seven Tips For Franchise Owners: Leveraging Your Name

Running a franchise is easy if all franchise owners manage under a common brand, a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) and everything else the contract commits them to follow. So how can individual franchise owners become a team and bring their individual businesses ahead by one name and one USP?

All owners and managers are driven by different personalities, needs, numbers, time off, egos, etc. Like any relationship, business owners should start by respecting the other franchise owners in their area and be sure to remind themselves that looks can be deceiving — especially when it appears another franchisee is trying to hurt your business, working outside of their designated area or not performing as the brand promises.

I joined Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber franchise more than five years ago now, and I’ve learned if I work together with the other franchise owners in my market, we achieve greater success than working as individuals.

For all you franchise owners, I’ve found seven areas to be especially helpful:

Build Relationships

Take the necessary time to communicate with one another. As a franchise owner, you share the same business name, brand and take on the reputation of other owners. It would serve others owners well to play nice in the sandbox. Remember the competition should not be within the brand. Make getting to know the other franchise owners a priority. Build a positive working relationship, like any relationship; it’s important to keep a healthy balance of work and play.

Set Goals

Know each other’s individual goals and then establish common goals; work together to achieve them. Knowing the other franchise owners will allow you to learn from their successes as well as their failures. It will also allow you to understand their strengths and respect weaknesses.

Be Aware

List the needs of each owner or office. Have a written game plan, with a list of dos and don’ts. For example, knowing up front that everyone agrees if they hear another office is not following the aforementioned rules, they have permission to bring it up and discuss the best actions for correcting the matter. Institute consequences if something doesn’t happen the way it’s supposed to. Let’s say one of the offices doesn’t make it to your monthly meeting; at the next monthly meeting, they have to buy lunch for the group, give the marketing tip, etc. — something that hurts a little while continuing to build on the existing relationship.

Work Together

Establish a give and take attitude, don’t assume you know what another owner has going on based solely on what seems to be happening. Be sure you know all of the facts before you make any judgments or complaints. Go straight to the source and ask specific questions with respect.

Think Economically

When working as one name, decide how the business can save money through purchasing power, by sharing consultants, overhead expenses, employee time, employee training, etc.

Be Open

Open your office, your business and your experience to the other owners for training, employee issues, marketing material review, new equipment, etc. This will allow both offices to become better. It can be challenging to see the forest through the trees when you’re in the business trenches. Opening your doors and asking the owners for their opinion on business decisions will provide a fresh perspective.

Review Other Franchises

Each year, review three other offices outside of your market that are performing well. The same rules that apply to sports, apply to business here. Practicing with someone bigger or better than you will offer growth opportunities to you and your staff.

I know that by working with fellow franchisees throughout the nation I have seen great things come about both personally and professionally. My company has grown at a much faster rate, as I have been able to learn quickly from other’s experience. Additionally, I have grown personally by increasing my business knowledge and leadership skills.

 

Girlfriend University - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Girlfriend University Isn’t Just For The Ladies

Don’t let the rhinestones, quotes by Madonna, crystal chandeliers and fuchsia touches fool you; Girlfriend University is serious business.

Founders Renee Dee, former publisher of Arizona Foothills Magazine, and Jodi Low, a former sales and marketing professional, combined their corporate and entrepreneurial backgrounds to create Girlfriend University as a way for women to grow personally and professionally.Girlfriend University Shirts, Lipstick

It’s a place for women to “catapult themselves into a great season of change,” Dee says.

Located in the upscale Scottsdale Quarter, Girlfriend University is equally chic. Clean lines and modern decor set the scene for business and personal growth.

The campus, as the women call it, features a lobby, complete with stick figure renderings of Dee and Low; a conference room; a 50- to 70-seat classroom; and an intimate mastermind room in which teachers and students can brainstorm.

March will mark the first anniversary of Girlfriend University, but it has already grown.

The staff has burgeoned from two, founders Dee and Low, to five, in part because of the success of Girlfriend University’s two and a half day leadership development intensive programs, Dee says. This program doesn’t center on creating a business plan, as most of the university’s other programs do. Instead, it focuses on encouraging women to invest in themselves and their businesses for a good return, Dee says.

The students of the intensive program walk out of the program in a “clear, focused, confident, passionate way,” Low says.

Girlfriend University is committed to doing this “powerful” program monthly, Dee says. To continue this intensive program, Girlfriend University hosts “class reunions” for the students, Dee says.Girlfriend University

Although, as the name suggests, Girlfriend University markets primarily to women, men make up half of the university’s student body.

“The ‘guy’ friends, you could say, are not afraid to stop by,” Dee says.

One of those men is Christian O’Connell, global ambassador for TheScene.com.

“Their two-day course, in my opinion, was more valuable than every other personal development course I’ve ever done,” O’Connell says. “I’ve heard Donald Trump speak on business leadership principles, if you will. The element of personal growth and business knowledge growth that happens at that (Girlfriend University seminar) just surpassed anything that I’ve done.”

O’Connell found this course so useful he encouraged other employees at TheScene.com to take the class.

In addition to the intensive programs, Girlfriend University also hosts a variety of other classes.

It’s a one-stop shop for those looking to grow their current business or create a new one, Low says.

Girlfriend UniversityThree and a half hour marketing sessions, during which the student and teachers “go bananas” in a brainstorming session, is another popular class, Dee says. The session ends with the creation of a business model and a list of people to call and connections to make.

Monthly Business 101 classes focus on a variety of topic, including optimizing social media and maximum time efficiency.

In 2011, Girlfriend University will focus on more “intensive, life-changing programming for leaders and entrepreneurs,” Dee says. The next decade might hold a location change to a freestanding facility as the university grows, Low says.

Wherever Girlfriend University is, Dee is confident that it is unique.

“We feel very one-of-a-kind here,” Dee says. “You can’t go to every city and look at everything they’ve got, so it’s hard to confirm, but we’ve not bumped into anything like this any place else in the country. We’re excited about that.”

Upcoming GU Events:

GU hosts a variety of workshops and one-on-one business intensives, but what sets them apart and makes GU unique is their two-and-a-half day Leader 101 trainings. This intensive course is designed to amplify the passion, enthusiasm, commitment and connectedness in your life.

The monthly classes have received amazing testimonials, and CEO’s in the Valley are even putting their employees in the program. Once completed, the attendees can go onto Leader 202, Communication 101 and 202. The Mastery Curriculum is designed to build strong leaders and passionate employees.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Arizona's high technology industry - AZ Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Far-reaching Initiatives Are Driving The AZ Tech Council

When it comes to new initiatives to promote and develop Arizona’s high technology industry, there is no telling how far the Arizona Technology Council will go.

Would you believe … China? A 10-day, fact-finding journey — led by Arizona Technology Council President and CEO Steven Zylstra — to one of the oldest nations on the planet ranks as the most spectacular effort to assist Arizona’s technology companies and individuals. But there’s much more.

For example, Consultants on Demand, a program run by Dick Stover, CEO of Go1099.com, connects businesses with consultants and professionals for various contract services. It’s free to all Tech Council members.

With the addition of Consultants on Demand to the council’s website, members can post projects and special assignments without charge. Consultants and professionals can access and bid on these projects, also without charge.

Then there is the Mentoring Program, launched in 2010 to provide Tech Council members with a venue for strengthening and building their business knowledge and network. A pool of talented and experienced business professionals is available to fill the role of mentors. Under the program, a mentor spends a year working with a Tech Council member on mutually agreed upon goals for business and personal growth. In addition, the Tech Council has speakers address the group throughout the year on various business topics.

“As the group progresses through the program,” Zylstra says, “new relationships will be formed via networking, and stronger companies will be built by learning new business practices for strategic planning and efficient operational management.”

Because the technology industry is still somewhat male dominated, Women in the Workforce is a program that provides an opportunity for women in technology to share ideas and experiences. Teresa Snyder, marketing director for OneNeck IT Services, says the program is an attempt to fill a need for women in technology.

Arizona Business Magazine Jan/Feb 2011