Why Consultants, Startups & Entrepreneurs Choose Virtual Offices

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Leaving a corporate job to start a new business can be one of the most exciting and terrifying career moves a person can make. The barriers to enter an industry as a new player can be intimidating, and an entrepreneur needs to have a thick skin to ride out the first few years. However, starting a business today is not the same as it was before the rise of the internet. There are endless online tools that can support a business at an affordable price, and overhead can be dramatically reduced by taking advantage of them.

Revolutionizing Working from Home

One of the most important tools in an independent consultant, startup, or entrepreneur’s arsenal is a virtual office. When a services-based business is launched, renting office space is not immediately economical or necessary without a big team to collaborate with. Still, there is a need to impress clients and convey a level of professionalism. That is where a virtual office offers the most value: working from home with the benefit of a prestigious address and answering service can help the business appear larger than it is from the onset.

What a Virtual Office Includes

Having services like a professional receptionist answering the phone with the name of your business sends a message to the caller that the business is legitimate and even exclusive, since they aren’t directly contacting the CEO on the first ring. Additionally, virtual offices offer mail handling services where packages can be received in sought-after zip codes.

Time-Savings

Without a long commute in endless traffic, setting up shop in the home is a great way to optimize hours in the day. Not to mention inbound calls won’t slow the business owner down during a busy workday. In more premium virtual office packages, a voicemail notification system can be set up to transcribe messages left throughout the day.

Meeting Clients

When the time comes to wow a potential client, meetings in coffee shops just don’t feel professional. Meeting rooms by the hour and conference room use is a significant perk of having a virtual office. Typically, convenient access to a professional meeting area would cost thousands of dollars in rent each month. With a virtual office, many packages include conference room access at a significantly lower price point.

Finding the right virtual office services for your business can improve your image and elevate your brand. At Barrister Executive Suites, we have hosted hundreds of businesses over the years through our virtual office program. Contact us for more information on the right combination of features to meet your needs.

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How a Virtual Office Can Benefit Your Business

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Virtual offices offer startups, entrepreneurs and established professionals the ability to amplify their position in the industry in which they compete. Though there may be a small team behind the work they produce, there is nothing small about their passion to constantly improve. A virtual office can give your business the boost it needs to thrive–for many reasons. Here are a few ways a virtual office can benefit your business:

Eliminate the Commute

The traffic in Southern California can be egregious, putting you in a terrible mood just as the morning begins. Cutting out a commute can give you a longer morning to relax with a cup of coffee, giving you a sunnier disposition to start the day. If a long commute is standing in the way of breaking into a new geographic market, a virtual office enables you to work remotely with a team, right from your home.

Mailing Address Without the Rent

Location, location, location—it’s important even if you’re not there physically. All established businesses have a professional mailing address that’s not in a residential neighborhood. You can improve your business’s reputation with a prestigious mailing address, especially in upscale or trendy neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Pasadena, or Woodland Hills. A huge advantage of a virtual office is that it costs far less than a month’s worth of rent for a similar location. Barrister Executive Suites offers varying levels of features for virtual offices, each with professional mail and package handling so you don’t miss a thing.

Free Your Budget to Expand Your Business

Stop paying exorbitant rent, utility, and office overhead fees that are a drain on your profitability. Managing your team remotely, collaborating using employees’ own company-approved technology, can put thousands of dollars back in your pocket each month. Reallocating your budget to what really matters can grant your employees, your business, and yourself huge benefits.

Professional Receptionist

Having an answering service is one thing, but a professionally trained receptionist warmly greeting clients and associates creates an incredible first impression. The personalized answering service offered by Barrister Executive Suites is one of the features clients enjoy the most, as it gives their business an increased level of professionalism.

If you’d like to learn about more features of Virtual Offices, visit Barrister’s Virtual Office Space.

Announcing Our Newest San Diego Location Del Mar / Solana Beach – Preleasing NOW!

Barrister Suites Del Mar Solana Beach Coming Soon

We are pleased to announce the opening of our newest location at 445 Marine View Avenue, Del Mar, CA in The Timbers building. The iconic Class A office building is owned by Hankey Investment Corporation and will be the 4th location that Barrister operates in San Diego County, adding to our robust portfolio of over 28 locations in Southern California.

The Timbers building has breathtaking ocean views and an expansive window line which provides maximum natural light.  We’re currently in the process of constructing the suite to provide high end finishes with an open space concept design for a creative office atmosphere (pictures coming soon!).  On-site amenities include 24-hour security, outdoor atrium area surrounding a koi pond, and free covered parking.

Ron Azad, Executive V.P. of Asset Management and Development at Hankey Investment Company commented: “Our firm has invested over $1.5 million in building improvements since acquiring the asset nearly 2 years ago.  We are excited to have a Barrister suite in the building. We’re familiar with their exceptional reputation as an Executive Suite provider, and knew that their business model would make an ideal fit for our building, as well as the local business community.”

We are looking forward to serving the beach cities business community in the north county region of San Diego. Local professionals will benefit from this convenient location and the wide array of services that our suite provides. Be sure to check out our:

This location is an excellent solution for local professionals who are looking to work closer to home, minimize their overhead expense, and maximize their company’s image. “It’s a bright and vibrant office environment where clients have more time to be productive and focus on their core business, and enjoy being a part of our thriving tenant community” said Carrie Gates, Vice President of Leasing and Marketing for Barrister. “It’s a really great place to come and work every day”

Call today for more information! 1-800-576-0744

Employee in the Spotlight: Jerome Chau, Technology Manager

BarristerSuites_JeromeChau

Jerome Chau, Barrister’s Technology Manager

 

Meet Jerome Chau!

 

Jerome has been with Barrister Executive Suites, Inc. for 13 years, and currently serves as the Technology Manager.  Jerome oversees all aspects of the technology department including voice and data networks and IT infrastructure at all Barrister locations. Prior to managing all technology at Barrister, Jerome was a Suite Manager and Finance Manager.

Jerome has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UCLA. He resides in Monterey Park with his wife Yvonne and two daughters Krystal and Kirsten.

Jerome has a unique skill set, holding previous positions in sales, finance and information technology during his 20 years in the real estate industry. Prior to joining Barrister, Jerome was a broker with CB Richard Ellis in the Central Los Angeles region.   Jerome and his wife Yvonne serve as Youth Leaders at First Southern Baptist Church of Monterey Park where they mentor high school kids to serve the church and the community.

Jerome is our behind the scenes super star! He jets from one property to another at a moment’s notice. Next time you see him around, be sure to say hi!

Dressing for Success: It’s All About the Context!

Business Dress Code

There was once a time when every professional, no matter his or her industry, put on a suit each morning.  Today, there are many interpretations of formal, business casual, smart casual, etc.  If you’re not aware of the environment you’re in it can be easy to look sloppy, and it can be equally easy to be over-dressed.

 

Dress Codes vs. Self-Expression

“Dress codes have most certainly relaxed over time, particularly since the introduction of ‘jeans Fridays’ and dot-com era casual attire,” says Judah Kurtz of BPI group, a human resources consulting firm in Chicago, Illinois. “What is considered ‘appropriate’ varies by company and culture, as well as what parts of the house are strictly internal versus client/public facing.”

“Dress code policies walk a fine line between portraying a professional image to clients and customers while allowing employees to be comfortable, engaged, and expressive,” said Kevin Sheridan, senior vice president of HR optimization at Avatar HR Solutions, also in Chicago.

While some have adopted casual dress code policies that allow for self-expressions, others believe it’s important to have dress codes with limitations of expressions.

Franki Brandt-Pethtel, the Director of Operations for Bond Jewelers in the Tampa Bay Area, thinks maintaining a proper dress code shows respect for your employer, clients and yourself.

“Would you purchase an expensive piece of fine jewelry from a woman with a green Mohawk and sleeve full of tats? That’s why I wear a suit to work every day. My personal expression can wait until my day off,” she said.

While it’s ultimately up to each organization’s culture to deem what is fit, various human resource professionals believe general dress guidelines are useful as they create some parameters and expectations around what is considered appropriate.  At the same time, allowing some freedom of individual expression can have positive impacts on company culture and employee satisfaction.

“You may be memorable, but make sure you are memorable for the right reasons,” said Kurtz. “Be yourself, but don’t let your appearance or behaviors detract from your selling points: your intelligence, accomplishments, strengths and experience.”

 

Business-Meetings

Before you decide on an outfit for any professional appointment, carefully consider your audience. If you’re meeting someone abroad, research what the locals wear for business meetings and dress accordingly. When meeting with a high-level executive, do your best to mirror what he or she will wear.

For men, putting your best look forward often comes down a clean, crisp look from head to toe. Svelte suit. Slick tie. Shined shoes. Spruced hair. For women, the same rules apply. An equally unfettered, conservative — basically safe — professional look is often the best choice for meetings, regardless of your gender. If you wear a skirt with your blazer and blouse instead of dress pants, double check that it’s not too short.

 

Tech start-ups

Startups are notoriously contrarian cultures; they are looking to change the status quo. Dressing in a suit represents the status quo, or at least, a caricature of it.

Silicon Valley has a peculiar and yet virulent bias against the suit. It’s even a euphemism for an overly conservative, corporate-buzzword-speaking, pointy-haired Dilbert boss. No one wants to work with an “empty suit”. Software engineers help strongly define the culture in Silicon Valley, and they overwhelmingly don’t wear suits, or in general they don’t want to work with people who do.

If you are meeting with a tech startup, business casual dress is often the way to go.

Source:  Entrepreneur.com

 

Employee in the Spotlight: Jacqui White Jansen

Jacqui White Jansen

Assistant Vice President, Barrister Executive Suites, Inc.

Jacqui White Jansen
Assistant Vice President, Barrister Executive Suites, Inc.

 

Meet Jacqui White Jansen!

 

Jacqui has been with Barrister Executive Suites, Inc. for 23 years, and currently serves as the Assistant Vice President.  She’s primarily responsible for the West Los Angeles region, where we recently opened our newest location: 233 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 400, Santa Monica.  With 8 locations in the Westside region, Jacqui is kept busy!

Having been born and raised in Manchester England, Jacqui immigrated to the U.S. at age 22. Jacqui has two children, Zoe and Zari, and she lives in the Los Angeles area with her husband, Skip.

Jacqui brings valuable knowledge, great energy and experience to everything that she is involved with. While managing the Westside area for Barrister, Jacqui is involved in the local community in many other aspects. She has been volunteering on the Oncology Floor at St. John’s Hospital every week for 6 years, and is a member of LACRA (the Los Angeles Commercial Real Estate Association).  She serves on the Planning Committee for the LACRA Broker Challenge, a day of fun taking place on September 21st, 2015 at the Beach Club in Santa Monica (see our post Calling all Brokers! for more information).

Stop by our newest Santa Monica addition and say hi! We will be hosting our Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening Party on November 4th.  Stay tuned for more details.

The Power of Power Couples

Power Couples

The Power of Power Couples

The term “power couple” usually evokes images of wealth, charisma, and glamour, but for many prominent professional couples, life in the dual-career lane can be anything but a smooth ride.

There are many challenges in maintaining a loving relationship and a chaos-free household when both partners work long hours and may often travel. Here are some of their road-tested ideas for making such relationships work:

Put the relationship first.

Marriages require a lot of care, feeding and attention, but, the relationship is unfortunately the thing that tends to get neglected first.  It’s important to be fully present for your spouse as much as possible. Steve Vassallo, a partner at Foundation Capital, uses a metaphor to make this point. “It’s like being in an airplane when the oxygen masks come down,” he says. “You’ve got to make sure that the relationship is healthy before you worry about other things.”

Define your roles.

As a management consultant for Strategy & (formerly Booz & Company), Alex Conrad spent a good deal of her career on the road, while her husband, Parker Conrad, co-founded companies in the Bay Area–most recently Zenefits, a free human-resources platform. Neither Alex nor Parker had much time to focus on home life. So they worked out an arrangement early on: She would handle the tasks that could be done remotely, like paying the bills; he would take care of anything that needed to be done in person. “Just being explicit in advance about what your roles are is really helpful,” Alex says.

Set your limits.

When Hagel was returning to her job at the Boston Consulting Group after earning her MBA in 2012, she knew that her spouse would be traveling a lot, “so one of my non-negotiables was that I didn’t want to be on the road all the time,” she recalls. Similarly, Eva Sage-Gavin turned down several lucrative job offers over the years so that her daughter, an only child, could grow up surrounded by uncles, aunts, and cousins in Northern California. “Without a doubt,” she says, “you’ve got to define what is important to you as a family, and you’ve got to stick to it.”

Outsource whatever you can.

The Vassallos experimented with a variety of caretaking arrangements for their three young children before settling on hiring a nanny who could also serve as a domestic executive assistant. “A big turning point for me was when I realized that it was as cost-effective to hire a nanny in the Bay Area as it is to have two kids in full-time daycare,” Trae says. Besides helping with the children, their nanny does the grocery shopping, child chauffeuring, and other routine errands. “By having logistical things taken care of on the home front, I feel like we’re able to spend real quality time with our kids,” she says.

Have realistic expectations.

People often think they know exactly what they want in a future spouse, including good looks, brains, earning power, and the disposition to be a good parent. But Dennis Gavin cautions against “over-optimization” in that department. “I guarantee there are a bunch of [men] in this room who say, ‘I really want to marry someone who is a brilliant [career person],’ but then when they get married, they also want their spouse to have kids and be a supermom,” he says. It’s critical for dual-career couples to have an open dialogue about their expectations before marriage.

Remember that the laundry really can wait.

Another strategy that is helpful is to lower your “Martha Stewart” standards. Perhaps it’s best to live in a small apartment that doesn’t require a lot of upkeep. If the laundry isn’t folded promptly, remember it’s no big deal.

Keep rituals.

While they were dating and attending Stanford GSB, Lindsey Scrase and Theresa Hagel started taking long walks together in the campus foothills. The regular outings gave them the time and space to talk about big agenda issues in their lives–work-life balance, mental and physical health, finances, and relationships with family and friends–before they became problematic. Now married and living in San Francisco, they take walks in the city at least twice a month to check in with each other on the bigger issues.

 

Reference/Source: http://www.inc.com/stanford-business/how-power-couples-balance-work-and-family.html

Super Bowl Sunday!

"Snackadium"
“Snackadium”

 

Who will win: Seattle Seahawks or Denver Broncos?

 

Millions of football fans will be disputing this in their living rooms Sunday, February 2nd.  What will be on the minds of many others on Saturday, February 1st is: “What snack should I bring to the Super Bowl Party?”  Before you bring a bag of chips and your signature dip, take a minute to consider a “Snackadium” (snacks + stadium).  Impress your friends by combining everyone’s favorite dishes into one large creative presentation.  You can make it with savory treats, healthy bites or sweet desserts!

 

For tips on how to create one, visit http://www.pillsbury.com/holidays-celebrations/game-day/diy-snackadium

 

Barrister Executive Suites, Inc. encourages all to have a safe and fun Super Bowl Sunday.

 

 

Tenant in the Spotlight: Johnathan Razbannia

            We are excited to announce that one of our Encino tenants, Johnathan Razbannia, President of JMR Holdings, will be on radio station 670AM on October 17, 2011 to share insightful information regarding property tax reassessments. JMR Holdings provides an array of services that compliment developers needs, such as assistance with obtaining entitlements for subdivision of land, as well as providing reassessment services for properties that have been incorrectly assessed resulting in higher property tax payments.
            Reassessments are accomplished through the evaluation of property taxes for the fiscal year to verify if there would be any merit for a reassessment of the property taxes. This applies to a single-family residence, multi-family residence, commercial, and vacant land parcels purchased in 2002 to the Present. In some instances, JMR Holdings has been able to date back as far as four years in obtaining refunds on tax bills. In fact, JMR Holdings recently had a successful outcome in which the assessment of a new construction project totaling 9.2 million was reduced to 7.5 million, resulting in a total savings of $50,000.
          The Property tax reassessment deadline for 2011 is November 30th, so if you would like to inquire about how to possibly reduce your taxes please contact the office of JMR Holdings for a free consultation at (818) 201-0441 or contact him via email at jrazbannia@jmrlanduse.com. Visit his firm on the web at www.jmrlanduse.com.

        Please remember to tune in to radio station 670AM on Monday, October 17th from 1:30-2:00PM for some timely information relating to property tax reassessment and a potential tax savings opportunity!

Johnathan Razbannia, President of JMR Holdings