Martini Shot – Kathy Sacks

If you’re in the local-Arizona startup world, then you probably know this week’s guest: founder of COLEAP and Sacks Ventures, board member of multiple startups, and a woman with a resume as impressive as her work-ethic. Kathy Sacks joins Noah in this week’s “The Martini Shot” to tell her story. Watch as the two talk family and work history, how to become a successful entrepreneur, and even share some (kind of crazy) stories over some funky cocktails at Phoenix’s Farm and Craft.

Tour de Tech: Casual Astronaut

They originally started in cafes (and anywhere else they could find space), but after two offices and upping their employee count significantly Casual Astronaut has found their office home. Founder Kyle Crafton explains how Casual Astronaut’s layout attempts to foster collaboration and camaraderie and create a space that is creative but accommodating. If that doesn’t grab your attention, the story behind this content agency’s memorable name is well worth the watch. Does your company’s name create a buzz or have a cool story behind it? Let us know in the comments below with #uniquenames

Martini Shot: Brad Jannenga

After developing programs that were making other people millionaires, Brad Jannenga decided it was time to do something for himself. Watch as Brad explains the twists and turns of his ride in the business world and how a project that started while trying to impress a girl (aw) turned into a program that launched to the public market in 2008. Plus, great drinks, the Gumball 3000 race, and so much more.

Tour de Tech: Scientific Technologies Corporation

STC moved their HQ from Tucson, AZ to downtown PHX for practical purposes and gained so much more. With a cafe that clients prefer to meet in over the boardroom, ghosts of companies past, and a beer tap that had HR a little uneasy at first, this immunization and public health company has transformed their industrial warehouse into a space that fits their needs. Ghosts, you ask? Watch to learn more with owner and president Mike Popovich.

Are you superstitious or just a little stitious? Tell us your favorite ghost story (real or made up) below with #myfriendcasper

Tour de Tech: Healthiest You

Healthiest You wants their office to be “as fun and as close to home as possible.” How did this flip-flops and shorts healthcare company turn their space into a bright (and not stuffy) collaborative area that promotes collaborative work? Watch and learn.  

Tell me about the personality of your company below with #companyculture!

Grow Your Business Like a Houseplant; Don’t Drown It

What do houseplants, hip hop, and small businesses have in common? Timing.

“Your best work involves timing. If someone wrote the best hip hop song of all time in the Middle Ages, he had bad timing.” ― Scott Adams

By now it’s pretty common knowledge that 9 out of 10 startups will fail. With this ever-present black cloud above each new company’s head, it’s time to have a candid conversation about how real estate plays a role in a company’s success or failure.

This advice comes from years of working with successful and unsuccessful companies—ones of all sizes and in all stages of development.

Here are the first three vital do’s and don’ts to choose and grow your space the right way.

Do trust the process. Don’t assume you’ll be an overnight success.

One big mistake young companies make is to rush to buy or lease a space. But the most important thing is to not be afraid to grow slowly. Every “overnight success” has taken a lot of work—blood, sweat, tears, beers— and time to get to where they are. Trust the process; it’s good to have goals or the “carrot” in front of you for that dream office space but don’t rush it.

Do stay away from busier areas. Don’t be afraid of locations not labeled as a “tech hub.”

Location, location, location. It’s all anyone talks about. But as long as the space accommodates your talent, location shouldn’t be the main focus in the beginning years. Be open to other locales. A large number of new companies follow the trends and flock to popular areas, often labeled “tech hubs.”

Location is important for recruiting and commuting, but it is not as critical in the beginning as focusing on the business at hand. One alternative is industrial parks, as industrial spaces tend to be cheaper. Another option is old retail locations off the beaten path. Remember, these spaces don’t have to be forever—they are just for now.

Hip and trendy blocks are nice in theory, but with an increased demand comes a limited supply, thus raising the cost for rent and putting a large dent in your budget. Let the business side drive the real estate not the other way around.

Do remain humble. Don’t let your competitors get between your ears.

You don’t need to appear as a sexy business at first. Staying lean—and keeping expenses low— especially when you’re just starting out will pay off huge dividends in the future.

Just because Johnny-from-high-school’s company only took “x” amount of months to get into their permanent space, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you and yours.

Remember, it’s a long term game and investing all your money back into your business is much more important than being flashy. Heck…if your parents are letting you use their basement, use their freaking basement.

If you want to learn more about real estate and choosing the right space, feel free to reach out to me.

Be sure to check back for the other three top Do’s and Don’ts.  

Martini Shot: Coming Soon

The Martini Shot, named after the film industry’s post-wrap drink of the same name, is a video series featuring conversations with local entrepreneurs and business owners and their insights in the business world. Over craft beers and cocktails (of course).

Tour de Tech: Lucid Agency

Lucid Agency takes their business philosophy to the next level by applying it directly to their space. With tons of windows, open areas, and features selected by the employees themselves (via a shared Pinterest board) this company emulates transparency, honesty, and ownership. They also MIGHT have the coolest conference table you’ve ever seen. Don’t believe us? Watch and comment below.

Does your conference table rival or beat Lucid Agency’s custom piece? Comment below with #officeenvy

Tour de Tech: Ipro Tech

Scavenger hunts during training, department wars over a Tonka truck (FILLED WITH CANDY), and very few right angles in the entire building. Ipro Tech strives to keep their space whimsical and promote creative thinking. Watch CEO/President Kim Taylor and CFO Brett Lawson explain how their technology company for the litigation industry is able to keep the creativity flowing by utilizing their space.

Who doesn’t love a little healthy competition? Tell me about your experiences below with #departmentwars!