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November 2007, Getting Started With Interim Office Space

I have received quite a bit of email with requests to document as much as I feel comfortable the progress made on opening the new search firm in November of 2007 and what I am doing between now and then. There is also interest on the recent office space search, phone set up, etc. and also when it happens again next year.

Well if readers find it interesting I can do that although I am not sure how exciting this is going to be. So I put my wealth of marketing and PR knowledge to work and came up with the subject line and category for the blog, November 2007. Can you tell I spent a lot of time on it?

Office space

There was only one stipulation I had when I started looking at office space, a 1-year lease. How else can I open the new firm and have space for it next year if I still have a lease somewhere else? I preferred a space in/near the Warehouse District or in/near the University of Minnesota.

I set off on three different paths.

The first scenario, a sub-lease or sharing office space.

That is what I had been doing before with a friend of a friend from college. They had a large space and had 350+ sq. ft. they were not using. The thing with sharing office space is you have to feel comfortable with the other people and that you and they feel secure in the literal sense. The situation I had before with office sharing was perfect and I was hoping for something similar this time. It also saves on costs like a fax machine, Internet connection, and general expenses.

I sent an email to friends and to the Warehouse District Business Association but did not find anything with right amount of space at the right time.

The second scenario, executive suite space.

Being able to write one check to one person had great appeal to me. Combing office space, phone, fax, parking, Internet and other amenities is a great idea when you are doing office space for one.

There are many such spaces available in the Warehouse District and near downtown. I settled on one option, Union Plaza OffiCenter located at 333 Washington Avenue North Suite 300. Sue Ribe is the contact person and she can be reached via email, sribe@officenters.com.

The only draw back is if you do not need all of the extra amenities. I am a Headhunter and so I need basic things like a phone with caller ID, high-speed Internet connection, infrequent access to a fax machine, and a refrigerator for caffeine and to store leftovers from lunch.

They have a great location, the staff is top notch, professional setting, 1-year lease, and space size that is good for what I need. The issue, it is more than I need. They just provide more services than I would use and of course with that come a bit of a higher cost. Don’t get me wrong, I strongly recommend this location for anyone who is looking for this type of service.

The third scenario, simple low cost space.

There were not many options in the Warehouse District so I took my search to the area around the University of Minnesota. The area is close enough to home and helps me save time to get to my volunteer activities on campus.

The area had quite a few options. The best situation and the one I decided upon is the University Technology Enterprise Center (UTEC) in Dinkytown. For those reading not familiar with Minneapolis or the U of M area, Dinkytown is the business area on the north side of campus.

The UTEC building is home to many start-up companies and non-profits. They have offer many support services like the executive suite programs like phone/fax, Internet, copying, etc but they offer it a la carte or you can take care of it on your own. I went for it on my own. UTEC is the former Marshall High School so the building is not a traditional office building but is very functional. Parking is convenient with 24-hour access. Doug Walker is the contact person at UTEC and can be reached via email, djw@pro-ns.net.

After 60 days I still have many things in boxes. I decided that if I needed things I would find them. I figure after four months or so if I had not needed some of this stuff that I can start tossing it out and/or recycling.


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