Ready. Set. Launch! 7 Points to Consider When Starting Your Business

On November 30th we had the pleasure of attending an inspiring and informative event geared towards entrepreneurs.  It was presented by Chevon Hines, a driven and passionate young woman who graduated with her undergrad in May 2012. She had the vision to start her own company and she did; this was the first event she put on as Chevon Hines Enterprises.

The event was a panel of 4 experts who had the experience and wisdom necessary to guide and advice new business owners.

So whether you are a recent startup or have been in business for 20 years, the panel of experts shared some very helpful advice that can benefit everyone.

  • OK, so you have your big idea. Before you write a business plan, write a position paper, this should cover a few vital points: (1) What’s the problem in the industry? (2) What’s different about you? (3) Why does this difference matter?   This is helpful to know before you hit the road running to see that your product/service is actually needed in the industry.
  • Do you have an innovative idea? Someone’s going to catch up to you. Have a strategic plan to deal with it when it happens and a plan to keep moving forward.
  • What is your end result? A panelist said that that he asked this question to many new business owners and they didn’t have a clue. Are you trying to eventually sell it? Have it acquired?  There are only a few options, so pick one for now and work it.
  • Understand  the legalities of your business, this can help you avoid a lot of future headaches.
  • Have an operating agreement with your co-owners. Get it out of the way in the beginning and this will also help you avoid more potential future headaches.
  • One of the panelists invests in new businesses, when asked what he looks for in a person to invest with, he responded: “Does this person have passion, optimism, and character? Do I trust you as a business person, and do I believe in the value you are bringing to the customer?”
  • Learn profit and loss statements. Even if you are not dealing with lots of the financial statements, you should know when and how you are making money within your business.

Whatever you are doing to start/grow your business just know you are not alone, and there are countless resources for you. Stop by The Work Spot and find out how you can tap into some our resources to help you accelerate your business. We have a lot of exciting things happening and we want to collaborate with you!

Peanut Butter Jelly Time!

 OK guys, it’s Jelly time. No it’s not that jiggly stuff you put on your toast.  Here’s how the experts explain it:

“Jelly is a casual working event. It’s taken place in over a hundred cities where people have come together (in a person’s home, a coffee shop, or an office) to work for the day. We provide chairs and sofas, wireless internet, and interesting people to talk to, collaborate with, and bounce ideas off of. You bring a laptop (or whatever you need to get your work done) and a friendly disposition.”

So I know what you’re thinking… isn’t this basically coworking? Kinda, yeah…but the best part is that you can try out our space for free and come back if you like us! Jelly is not networking, let us repeat, Jelly is not networking. Some people will come for a little socializing, while others will come with their headphones on.  Whatever your reason, we want you to come and be a part of this fun and productive environment.

Jelly in Gwinnett is held at The Work Spot and we had our first Jelly meet-up November 8th. It was a good first time turnout and we would love to see you there at the next one. Oh… did we mention it’s FREE?

Jelly in Gwinnett is held every second Thursday of every month with two sessions; first in the morning, 9:00 am-1:00 pm and again in the afternoon, 4:00 pm-8:00 pm.

Eventbrite - Jelly in Gwinnett- Morning Session

Eventbrite - JellyinGwinnett Afternoons

Check out our Jelly in Gwinnett Wiki Page :)

Want even more info?

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Atlanta Coworking Alliance

After attending the 2012 Global Coworking Unconference Conference, I left with an overwhelming desire to unite our own Atlanta coworking community. Generally in coworking, we talk so much about collaboration and communication within our spaces, but rarely do we discuss what is happening outside of them. While in Austin, I learned that many of the Seattle coworking owners formed a group called the Seattle Collaborative Space Alliance and had been casually meeting to discuss issues and celebrate successes. These get-togethers were used to bring about best practices in the Seattle coworking community. I sat in my chair listening to them, having the urge to jump and scream, “I want that!” I wanted someone to talk to who knew exactly what I was going through.

Upon my return back to Atlanta, the first item on my to-do list was to send an email to everyone considered within the Atlanta coworking community that I knew. We had our 1st meeting at 151 Locust. For most people in the room, it was the first time meeting one another. Ignition Alley, Hub, 200 Peachtree, Bean Work Play Café, and The Fusebox were all in attendance (Strongbox West and the Venture Spot had previous commitments, but it wouldn’t be right not to mention them~).

That first meeting was unstructured, casual, and with no agenda. It took us only a few minutes to realize that we were not there as competition, but as associates to help each other out. Expectations and boundaries were hashed out; friendships were formed.

The main objective on all of our minds was to raise the awareness of coworking in Atlanta, in turn, hoping to build sustainment within in our spaces. I look forward to what will come.

You can follow the Atlanta Coworking Alliance on Twitter (@ATLcoworking)

Also! Checkout the 2013 Global Coworking Unconference Conference; I’m going to be there, are you?

The Intern at The Work Spot

Hello everybody, my name is Constance and I’m a junior at the Gwinnett School of Math, Science and Technology. Like your typical, geeky teenager, I enjoy anything relating to computers, like videogames and programming, but I also have an artistic streak in me. Going to a school that focuses on math and engineering, my goal appears to get a degree in computer engineering. However, that artsy side of me wants to be a freelance digital artist, so I’m unsure of what to do in the future.

How I ended up interning for The Work Spot is a simple story. In order to graduate, every junior has to do an internship, called the “Junior Fellowship Experience” and this is the internship I got placed at. My JFE coordinator thought that I would be a good match since I was independent, strong working women and already knew a thing or two about web design and coding. Once every couple of weeks, a class of juniors will get together to share our experiences at our internships.

The question always comes up, “Hey Constance, where do you intern?” Of course I reply, “I intern at a coworking space, The Work Spot,” and then my friends get a funny look on their face. Not many people know what “coworking” actually means, or they guess it consists of people working together, which is kind of right. So to follow up with my reply, this is how I describe coworking:

“Coworking is when independent workers share a work space and exchange ideas as opposed to working at home alone. Unlike a regular office space, coworking is informal and open and focuses more on the community aspect. Like the ‘two brains are better than one’ idea.”

Some of them walk away satisfied, some with still with a confused look on their face, either way, I think to truly know what coworking is, you have to go out and try it for yourself and see what happens.

 

 

Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce Presentation: Meeting Rooms

I recently had the pleasure of presenting at the Gwinnett Chamber’s, Network Gwinnett and had so much fun!  Our 7-minute presentation highlighted our coworking video, but focused primarily on our meeting rooms.

First up was our Meeting Room.

This room is great for an important conference call, client meeting or 1-on-1 interview.  The Meeting Room is $20/hour and includes a white board.

Second up was our Conference Room.

 

This room works well for small gatherings or workshops.  The Conference Room is $30/hour and includes a full-wall white board and monitor.

Finally, we got to show off our Training Room.

 

This room can accommodate workshops, presentations, Meetups, and can accommodate 40-50 people, depending on the configuration.  This room is $50/hour and also includes a full-wall white board, projector and screen.

Our rooms can be reserved for 1 hour to all day, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm.  After hours and weekends are also available with a 2-hour minimum.

Reserving a room is simple, just a quick call to 770.330.1001 or an email to info@workatthespot.com with the date and time, will get you a quick response!

A huge thank you again to the Gwinnett Chamber, its Members and Visitors.  Other than the video looping over and over again at the beginning, I had a great time!  The upside is that everyone left, knowing my name. “Hey guys, it’s Rayann Larsen.  Hey guys, it’s Rayann….”

If you need a meeting, conference or training room, make sure you take the time to stop by and check us out.

Still want more info? Click here for even more information about our meeting rooms!

Why I started the Work Spot

Many people ask me why I started the Work Spot and I always tell them the same thing: a need.  A need to get out of my house, away from my kid, my cat and the loneliness therein.  But,  I quickly discovered that it wasn’t a need, but rather a passion.  A passion to meet the most amazing people and just be around them.  Listen to what they are doing, to who they are and what they need.  And if the Work Spot could facilitate that, then I wanted it.

My desire with coworking is to give someone access to it.  From there, it is up to them.

I have been in the corporate world for the last 20 years, but it wasn’t until the last few that I have truly found my passion.  Collaborating with women to embrace the weaknesses surrounding them and turning negativity into action orientated steps to success.  I’m not a certified coach or a mentor.  I have no specialized degrees.   I’m just a woman, a mom, an entrepreneur who has lived life.  Just like the rest of us.

I am addicted to the passion and energy surrounding women owned small businesses.  I thrive on finding points of connection, championing others and building trust and community by bringing out diverse points of view.

I enjoy encouraging women who want to take risks and move forward in their lives by transforming challenging circumstances into opportunity.

“Every obstacle that comes your way, every negative comment, take each one and use it as motivation.  Don’t drown in it. Listen. Consume. Extract all that you can to make you better.”

My passion for collaboration and community also pushed me to recently launch the Atlanta Coworking Alliance.  We [space owners] talk about collaboration within our spaces, but not enough outside them.  I’ve made it my goal to bring more awareness to coworking in Atlanta and in turn, provide greater sustainability to the spaces that serve the movement.