NYC Office Space & Entrepreneurs Stories
4/5/10 6:00 PM:
Cheni introduces himself and explains his insight into the small business process. His office space has seen 6,000 companies from a unique perspective. He gets to see to see companies before they’re in a position that even VC’s will ever see. At the point a VC gets involved the company has success. Sunshine helps these companies achieve that success.
Cheni takes some time to examine how has the office evolved. After WWII, there was a strong corporate unity. The goal of students at the time was to achieve high paying, “successful” jobs such as becoming a lawyer, doctor, etc. These careers come with a tremendous trade off. The bring in plenty of money, but don’t give you any time to enjoy it. At this point in history, entrepreneurship wasn’t a common notion. At this point in history, your office space was determined by your position on the corporate ladder. The higher you were on the food chain, the more impressive the office space you worked in. For example, if you were high on the ladder you would receive the benefits of a windowed office. Going higher than that could result in a corner window office. However, at the end of the day you were still spending 8+ hours at this office and the highlight of your day consisted of conversations around the water cooler discussing soap operas.
Enter the economic downturn. As corporate revenues begin to drop they begin to seek cheaper sources of labor. Most corporations in this position relocated countless jobs overseas, resulting in a heavy blow to the overall US workforce. Enter the vision of entrepreneurship.
Cheni describes entrepreneurs as “alphas.” These individuals have the ability to take who they are and create a brand new start for themselves if need be. If someone is in a bad predicament, they can exercise their ability to leave that situation and start fresh from scratch. The key to this process is convincing yourself that you CAN accomplish what you are setting out to do.
Cheni takes a moment to describe a job he held at the Hyatt hotel. He maintained the job for 2 years but wasn’t satisfied with the monotony of the daily agenda. He proceeded to leave and start his own venture. Certainly, some ventures were more successful than others and he admits that the first one didn’t work out as projected. Cheni emphasized that these failures need to be acknowledged, analyzed to determine what went wrong, and learned from. New York City is a place with tremendous opportunity and if something doesn’t immediately work out, gears can be shifted a lot more rapidly than in a rural environment.
A primary talking point becomes the importance of interaction. Cheni discusses how tremendous social media has become and how many new opportunities it can help erupt since it simplifies the communication process. However, nothing in the world has, can, or ever will replace face-to-face human interaction. That being said, if an entrepreneur decides to leave their home to move into an office space alone, how is this any different from working from home? The same can be said about the notion of working and running a company from a coffee shop like Starbucks. ”People are there to drink coffee and unwind, not hear your ideas,” Cheni explains. A much more ideal environment would be where entrepreneurs could network and exchange ideas, as well as services, with other entrepreneurs. It was on this concept that Sunshine Suites was formed.
At this time, Cheni begins to provide insight into how Sunshine was physically started. Himself, along with his partner Joe Raby, leased some office space, ran all the wiring, painted the walls, etc. in hopes that if they could provide a solution to the aforementioned dilemma, people would want in. Moving forward with the goals of changing the focus of office space from where you’re located in the office, to what the office can provide YOU has helped them attract initial tenants.
Ten years and over 6,000 companies later Cheni realized that clear patterns emerge in successful small businesses. He spent the remainder of the talk outlining some of these patterns that he oversaw. In addition, he gave insight into a lot of his thought process when making decisions about his own company.
Start a company, at the end. “When you start a company, the first question you need to ask yourself is ‘where and when does this end?’” Cheni insisted that without determining a clear ending, planning any other time frame for the company would become exceedingly difficult, if at all possible.
Choosing a partner: When choosing a partner, find someone who has strengths in places where you have weaknesses. Play off of each other’s talents and this can help facilitate a powerful, long term relationship. The first step in choosing a partner would be to identify your own weaknesses. Cheni suggests drawing out a “T Chart” that lists what strong points you have, and which you lack.
In one column, list out the crucial elements that you will need to succeed in business. Examples include:
- Accounting Skills
- Management Ability
In the right column, indicate whether you have the skill or not. If you find yourself lacking more than one of the above, find a partner who is able to compensate. However, partners can’t be selected on these criteria alone. If this is done, the partnership will likely turn sour and end in “divorce.” An ideal partnership will include the aforementioned traits, and your partner will have the same clear vision for the future of the company that you do.
Speaking of plans, Cheni strongly encourages businesses to set goals quarterly, or in three month chunks. This is why he feels so strongly against entrepreneurs seeking office environments that require one year minimum lease terms. A company’s needs can and should be changing over three month periods, not one year. When setting these goals you should look at WHO the target audience is, WHAT problems do they face, HOW can you help solve it and WHAT is missing from the equation that needs to be addressed.
When working with goals, the two most vital resources are time and money. The biggest goal should be to understand the VALUE of time. If dedicating time to an issue that you’re not familiar with how to address takes too long, it may be a much better investment to dedicate financial resources to this issue. This way, you can reach your goals on time which should be the most important aspect of the company. Decide who in your environment can handle a task that you don’t know much about and delegate accordingly.
Tomorrow, we will post more of the content from the presentation. Stay tuned!
By: Michael | Published: March 17, 2011 | Filed under: Events
Sunshine Suites recently had the absolute pleasure of hearing from one of the most prominent former Shiners, Gary Vaynerchuk.
For those of you who don’t know, Gary V is known for his tremendous success of taking Wine Library to the next level by making use of social media strategies, particularly video (like Wine Library TV.) Recently, Gary has become an outspoken advocate of businesses, small and large alike, making use of social media to connect with their audiences. In his book “Crush It!” Gary outlined a clear game plan for any person or business that wanted to step up their social media game.
In his newest book “The Thank You Economy,” Gary strongly emphasizes the crucial reasons why businesses need to live in gratitude to their customers and how to leverage social media to relay this “thank you.” Sunshine was THRILLED to have Gary come to speak to our community of small business owners about why this is so crucial, and bestow each of us with a signed copy of the book.
The community had an absolute blast and I’m sure I speak for every Shiner when I say that the value of hearing Gary speak in person is tremendous.
Below are some photos of the event:
Gary In Front CRUSHING It!
Gary Drawing the Audience Into His Dialogue
Shiners Cling on Gary's Words
Gary Signs for an Eager Fan.
Gary is Never Too Busy to Strike a Pose!
By: Russ | Published: December 20, 2010 | Filed under: Around Sunshine, Events
The Sunshine NY office community of small businesses, startups and entrepreneurs is thrilled to announce, in partnership with Baruch College and the NYCEDC, AROUND SUNSHINE: Sunshine’s calendar of entrepreneurial events, webinars, and classes.
These events are open to everyone, and we at Sunshine couldn’t be more proud of utilizing our network to continue to build an infrastructure of ideas!
By: Russ | Published: October 21, 2010 | Filed under: Around Sunshine, Events
Sunshine NY‘s community of small businesses and entrepreneurs is thrilled to announce the first-ever Sunshine NY Health Week! Event originator Jenna Edwards discusses “what” and “why” for Health Week.
As a nutrition coach, I experience confusion from many of my clients regarding basic health and food topics. The nutrition industry changes constantly and we are left to sift through conflicting information. In my business, I work with my clients to find the best nutrition approach for their individual situation. We are all different and that calls for different approaches. I decided to host Health Week at Sunshine to support fellow entrepreneurs who want to do better for themselves, but don’t know where to start.
The chosen topics are just the beginning for educating yourself on better health decisions. My hope is these seminars will jump-start your desire to pursue healthful living. It’s easy to figure out what NOT to do, but Health Week aims to fill in that knowledge gap of what to do instead. Find new foods, new techniques, new answers. Get tips for cooking, eating out, energy preservation, and physical movement.
Equip yourself to make it through the holiday season. Benefits from attending seminars include:
-Foods to add to holiday dinners (and incorporate all year round)
-Ideas for clean meals between holiday parties
-Detoxing (from all that sugar and alcohol)
-Fitness suggestions (for all that missed time at the gym)
-Which vitamins are good for what
-Techniques to strengthen the immunity system and deal with stress
-How to stop sugar overload before it happens
I am very proud to offer this experience to you. Some seminars will offer samples and handouts. The schedule, location, and seminar descriptions are posted on my website at JennaHealth.com. I hope to see you there! October 25-29 at both Tribeca and NoHo locations of Sunshine NY.
Find Jenna on Facebook or Twitter.
Last week’s Shatterbox Salon, featuring our very own Shatterbox and held at The Tank artspace in New York City, brought out the best in aspiring entrepreneurs and those look for Shatterbox’s unique form of career inspiration.
Shatterbox was kind enough to share a few photos from the evening.
One of the newest Shiners in our Tribeca West office community is Shatterbox, a new video-based social community targeted and students and young professionals. In their own words:
We are a video-based social community for students and young professionals to find inspiration and share ideas about innovative careers. Our films are 100% original, HD-quality, and free of charge to individuals all over the world who are hungry to make their mark.
We’ve found the most passionate, cutting edge young trailblazers we can get our camera on and asked them, simply, to share their stories. Our archive of fascinating shatterbox stories will grow as we seek new characters to feature across limitless industries. And we want you to join the conversation. Leave your comments, share your ideas and your stories, connect with other users, and find yourself a little closer to making your mark.
To bring Shatterbox’s mission of empowerment to the world, they’ll be hosting the first Shatterbox Salon, this Monday, July 19, at The Tank artspace in Manhattan. It’s a must-attend event for those looking for a little direction or a lot of inspiration in their careers.
By: Russ | Published: June 14, 2010 | Filed under: Events, Networking
Sunshine was thrilled to participate in the excellent “Social Networking Your Small Business” event during Internet Week, hosted by Ultra Light Startups and Brightmap. Here are some photos from the excellent evening, taken by Sunshine’s own Shiner David Tunstall.
Be sure to also check out our insightful and inspiring Q&A with Brightmap/Ultra Light startups head Graham Lawlor here.
During Social Media Week 2010, Sunshine NY was fortunate enough to get to host a panel on interactive social media for start-ups and small businesses featuring Vaynermedia, Yipit and Brightmap.
We at Sunshine have been excited about the launch of Brightmap for a while, as it serves an exciting and needed purpose in the landscape of social tools–to network businesses to one another. Launched by Ultra Light Startups’ Graham Lawlor, Brightmap is, company by company, connecting businesses, services and vendors in important and revolutionary ways.
On Tuesday June 8th, during Internet Week, Ultra Light Startups and Brightmap are hosting a discussion on “Social Networking Your Business”. Featuring Sunshine’s own Cheni Yerushalmi and one of our resident Shiners Sabir Semerkant, this event is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to learn how to unleash the power social tools like Brightmap truly hold for their businesses. We asked event coordinator and Brightmap/Ultra Light Startups’ own Graham Lawlor a few questions about his history in business, his work as an entrepreneur and the future of social media for small businesses.
By: Russ | Published: June 4, 2010 | Filed under: Events
The Sunshine crowd works hard and plays harder. Here are some pictures from a recent softball game which we ended up winning to put us at 5-0 on the season. We’ve got game #6 tonight, expect an update (hopefully a good one) next week!
You can check out the rest of the pictures here. Also, make sure to read the summaries of previous softball games here and here, they’re great.
By: Russ | Published: May 26, 2010 | Filed under: Events, Networking
Last Tuesday Sunshine Suites held a meet and greet for all the Shiners at our Noho location last Tuesday, May 18th. It was a great time, partially due to the pizza and Bud Light but mostly because of all the great people there.
To check out some more pictures you can view the photo album here.