Coworking space

Finding Your Ideal Office Space

In the article Traditional Workspace or Virtual Office? Three Tips for Founders to Consider, they discuss the 6 fundamental needs people seek to meet through work. The needs we seek are the feeling of achievement, autonomy, belonging, sense of purpose, sense of security, and status. They believe that both traditional office space and virtual offices can fulfill these needs, and that it is about finding the right fit as a startup business founder. Of course, there are financial setbacks when finding startup office space. Most founders cannot afford to spend funds building their own office but want the appearance of a professional office. But renting commercial office space “can come with a hefty monthly price tag”. This is why I think that coworking spaces are ideal for new business owners.

The article also gives tips for founders to consider when starting their business. The first being to “obtain a work mailing address”. They suggest getting a P.O box, but to avoid having it sound like one. This allows you to look professional, even if you do not have a professional office space yet. The second and third tip are to use free virtual conferencing tools and to find conference room options with low rates. Utilizing free or inexpensive space is best when starting your business. But overall, as a new business owner, you should “create your own combination of traditional and non-traditional methods to achieve optimal space conditions”.

Why Coworking Spaces Are Here to Stay

Another article, Why Coworking Spaces Are Here to Stay, explains that “young entrepreneurs are looking to coworking facilities to grab relatively inexpensive office space”. Because of today’s technology, “an office worker can be mobile and an on-the-go entrepreneur would simply be wasting money by paying for a full time office”. The use of non-traditional office space taps into some of the fundamental needs I mentioned. We want autonomy, the freedom to not work in one space for 8 hours a day. But as social beings, we still seek for a sense of belonging and interactions with colleagues. Coworking office space helps bring these two needs together. This is why “young entrepreneurs with new companies that require very little office area are starting out in coworking spaces to save money and meet others to collaborate with”.

Officense: Your Office Solution

At Officense, we can meet all of your coworking needs. We can provide you space to collaborate and be around others, while also giving you the freedom to make your own schedule. Our virtual phone and administrative services appeal to your need for autonomy. Our instant offices and commercial space for rent gives you that traditional work environment when you need it. We also offer you more than just a P.O Box. We give you a prestigious downtown address with virtual mail services including mail sorting, notifications, and forwarding when you need it.

Create your ideal combination of traditional and non-traditional office space

We offer class A, fully furnished dedicated office space and month to month office space rented as needed, without the hefty price tag. There are conference rooms by the hour, at the low rates you need. You can avoid using your resources to pay an expensive monthly rent, while still having impressive office to use when you need it. We offer front desk reception, phone services, a business mailing address and beautiful startup office space overlooking the Inner Harbor in downtown Baltimore. You are able to completely customize the way your run your business.  Create your ideal mix of traditional and non-traditional office space. Give Officense a call at (410) 814-7500 to meet your new staff and tour your new business location, today!

Solo Practice

Starting a solo practice is hard.  It takes persistence, attention to detail, and a realistic, implementable business plan in order to succeed as a solo lawyer.  Of these challenges, the most prominent are the basic issues of business administration, office space, and legal marketing.

 

Legal Administration

Besides the work you are doing in the court room, when you run your own solo practice there is always more work to be done in the office.  Between answering emails, scheduling consultations, processing billing, and document preparation a solo attorney may find themselves overwhelmed by paper work.

The Thomas Reuter’s Solo and Small Law Firms Group recently completed a study asking attorneys about the most challenging aspects of their profession, and not surprisingly, time spent on nonbillable, administrative tasks was at the top of the list.   Survey results concluded that 31% of all solo and small law firm time is spent handling administrative tasks.  These results should be a wakeup call to solo practice attorneys.  The 31% is even more shocking when you break down its impact on a firm’s profitability and bottom line.  Take the breakdown below, for example:

 

  • 40 hour work week * 31% of admin time = 12 hours of unbilled work

 

  • 12 hours of unbilled work * $150 hourly rate = $1,800 lost weekly

 

  • $1,800 unbilled hours per week * 48 weeks per year = $86,400 lost yearly

 

Obviously, no firm can carry the high costs of inefficient administrative methods without seriously diminishing potential profits.  As a solo attorney finding a better way will be essential to your success.

 

Office Space

 

Another challenge comes in the form of finding a place to meet your clients.  It’s no secret that a more professional image leads to higher hourly rates.  Attorneys who meet clients at a coffee shop will just simply never make as much as those who meet on the 8th floor in an executive office suite.  Unfortunately, solo practicing lawyers often cannot afford prime real estate.  Meeting at home is no better.  Lawyers who go the home office route soon find they sacrifice their privacy and comfort at the expense of their practice.

 

Legal Marketing

 

One of the most difficult things for young, solo practice attorneys just starting out is finding clients.  Marketing is challenging for all businesses and there is no lack of competition in the legal field.  New attorneys need a networking group to support them and spread their name.  They need high quality printing and copying equipment to print flyers and direct mailers.  They also need a professional address and local phone number to promote online and on business cards.  If your address is a P.O. box and your phone number area code is from Maine, no one will ever find your firm when they search for a Baltimore attorney.

So What’s the Solution??

 

Luckily, there is a solution for solo practice law firms and attorneys.  At Officense we have been helping attorneys for over 10 years.  Our team of executive assistants can scan packets of discovery materials in mere minutes, and make your scheduling and client follow up a breeze.  Stop meeting your clients at restaurants and use our beautifully furnished offices and conference rooms which can be rented hourly, daily, and yearly.  Attorneys can leverage our network of business connections and take advantage of Officense community events to propel their firm from an unknown to being talked about by business owners throughout all of Baltimore.  The resources and amenities provided by Officense are what every solo practice and small firm needs to beat the competition and reach their potential success.  Call us today at 410-814-7500 and learn how we can make your life easier and help your practice grow!

 

Business Incubator
As a business incubator, Baltimore is the place to be if you’re a budding startup. What makes a particular location a top business incubator? Is it low-cost office space or is it business services offered within a community?

Startup Requirements

Firstly, let us examine what a startup needs to thrive. The Maryland Business Incubator Association states: “the resources that young companies need to grow [are] management guidance, technical assistance and consulting; flexible rental space; shared basic business services and equipment; virtual memberships; technology support services; and assistance in obtaining financing.” Along with these wonderful resources, a new business also needs a dedicated phone service for all their new clients to reach them. A dedicated business line, with live answering, will improve client retention for any business. Furthermore, clients like to know they can reach someone and not just a voicemail box that someone never checks.

Secondly, in addition to a live answer business line, startups need professional office space in a high traffic area without the high-priced commitment of leasing a whole office. This type of office space goes by many names: flexible space, co-working space, shared offices, or virtual office. Honestly, the list is endless! What’s important about this type of business space is that it’s a la carte. Finally, Startups should only pay for the time they need, allowing their resources to be allocated in a more practical way in the beginning of their business’s life.

Your Personal Business Incubator

In conclusion, where can you find all the best resources that the Business Incubator of Downtown Baltimore has to offer? The answer is Officense! Our facilities have a la carte executive office space and conference rooms with amenities such as high-speed Wi-Fi, executive furniture, conference capable phones, city views, address services, and fully trained executive assistants. With Officense, Executive Assistants will live-answer your calls, greet your clients, handle your mail and that’s all without you even being in the office. So, make the trip downtown and tour our facilities to begin your business incubation journey, today!

Follow us on Twitter!

Working Remotely

No morning traffic. No rush out the door. At the office, it seems like everyone is focused on their computer, talking on the phone or online anyway. Working remotely is a growing trend in the business world. Is traditional office space really still necessary? Let’s talk about the pros and cons of working from home to see if it works for us.

Working Remotely

With new technology and ways to communicate virtually, there has been a rise in working remotely. In America, there are more than 13 million people who spend at least part of their week working from home. Studies have been done on this new trend that share its many advantages. The article Four Ways to Make Working from Home Work for You discusses how “workers tend to be more productive, take less sick days, tend to feel less stressed, and work more hours than employees who are exclusively on-site”. Plus, there are the obvious advantages. Not having to spend extra time getting ready in the morning, skipping commuter traffic, and the ability to run an errand or travel. Being able to customize your work day is appealing to everyone.

Finding the Right Balance

Why isn’t everyone working remotely? Four ways to make working from home work for you also discusses the drawbacks. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, explains “while there are obvious advantages to working early or being able to take [the] time to run a personal errand, it’s also easy for this to work against you. Colleagues may not know when they can reach you or may find you unpredictable”. Marissa has worked both from home and in a traditional office. She shares that when she worked from home she “made every effort to appear as if she has a ‘real office’ with a new phone line, business-sounding address, and corporate feel”. It is important to find the right balance for you and your business when deciding how to work.

How to Make Working from Home Work for You

Together, you can find the perfect balance between working from home while having all the advantages of a traditional office. You can bridge the gap by getting a virtual office assistant, office space when you need it and a professional business address. You have the ability to grow your business from the comfort of your home. At Officense you will have a team of executive assistants, both in office and virtually, who tailor services to your needs. You will gain a fully trained and professional staff that will make working from home work for you.

Our executive assistants answer your calls, handle your mail, greet your clients, follow up with leads and schedule appointments, providing a corporate feel and impressive business address. We provide high-end business facilities with fully furnished dedicated and a la carte office space, as well as conference rooms by the hour. An instant office when you need it, professional phone service to give your home office a corporate feel, and an impressive staff to help you with all of your administrative work. Give Officense a call at (410) 814-7500 to meet your new staff and tour your new business location, today!

Executive Assistants

 

Executive assistants may be more important for your startup business than you think. They give the first impression and convey your company’s message, which is key for your new brand’s image. For every company, especially a startup, customers are extremely important for the future of your business.

Ability to Make or Break Your Business

In Micah Solomon’s article “Leadership is Swell, But Your Receptionist Makes or Breaks Your Business” he claims a “clueless receptionist today, a bankrupt business tomorrow”. His article provides the example of the Ritz Carlton Hotels rigorous training for their receptionists. This customer service focused approach is based on their belief that every single employee is a representation of the brand. Solomon believes that thefirst and last impression creator is among the most important positions in your enterprise.” Executive Assistants, receptionists, or any employee on the front line, are essential for your entire business.

Keep a Lean Team and Spend Wisely

Now, I understand that a startup business may not always have the means to provide rigorous customer-service training for their employees. Or perhaps, even have the time to hire or train new employees at all. In an interview, a first-time business owner gave tips to make a successful startup company. Her #1 tip was to “Keep a Lean Team and Spend Wisely,” where she advises avoiding unnecessary hires and spending every dollar intentionally. This cost efficiency is what all startup business owners can connect with.  As a business owner, having an executive assistant would allow you to use your time adequately. But, there is simply not enough time or money to hire and train these employees.

Your Executive Assistants

Having professionally trained executive assistants who exude your new brand’s image, without having to spend time training, while staying on budget. I know what you are thinking- this is not possible for my business. Well, with Officense it is! At Officense you will have a team of executive assistants, both in office and virtually, who tailor services to your company’s needs. Our team comes at a fraction of the cost of hiring an assistant on your own. You will gain a fully trained and professional staff that will give your startup the great first impression it needs.

We have executive assistants to answer your calls, greet your clients, follow up with leads, schedule appointments, and much more. We also provide high-end business facilities with fully furnished dedicated and a la carte office space, as well as conference rooms by the hour. Give Officense a call at (410) 814-7500 to meet your new staff and tour your new prestigious business location, today!

Download our Pricing Brochure!

Offices are full-service and include all utilities and receptionist courtesies.  Learn more about pricing and amenities by downloading our Private Office, Virtual Office, and Phone Answering Pricing Brochures!