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What does your landscaping say about your business?

what does your landscpaing say about your business

Poor landscaping reflects on your business.

We’ve all heard the adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover,” but that’s not entirely true. When you pull up to a business with an overgrown lawn, damaged pavement or unruly shrubs strewn with litter, you’ve judged…and you’ve likely judged correctly.

When you own or run a business, first impressions go far beyond a friendly receptionist and professional décor. They start the minute your customers drive up to your building and get out of their cars—or the minute potential customers drive past and notice your building. What does your building say to visitors and passers-by? If you’re on top of your commercial landscaping, it says “professional,” “doing well,” and “proud.” If landscaping and property maintenance aren’t on your radar, you might be telling customers all the wrong things.

“Your customers’ first impression of your business can also be their last,” says Dave Eck, maintenance manager at The Anderson Group. “Nice landscaping and clean grounds can be an indirect statement about your company’s attention to detail,” says Eck.

External Affairs

Property maintenance is more than running a vacuum and repairing a leaky roof. It’s also taking care of your property on the outside…year round. It can be a full-time job, as each season brings its own challenges. In the winter, you need to be sure your walkways and parking lots are clear of ice and snow. In the spring, you’ll be cleaning up sticks, leaves and other debris, as well as weeding, planting, and mulching. Summer brings endless outdoor responsibilities, from fertilization and irrigation, to weeding, pruning and insect and disease control. And fall? That means cutting back perennials, raking and preparing your landscaping for winter.

An attractive landscape plan doesn’t need to involve a truckload of gardeners and a bottomless bank account, but it will be a labor of love well worth the time and investment. A neat landscape not only beautifies your business, but it can also contribute to employee and visitor safety when it comes to nicely paved surfaces and proper lighting.

Think Outside the Box

Own your own building? If you have the time to install and maintain your commercial landscaping yourself, great! Many landscaping professionals do, however, recommend investing in a professional plan to ensure that the selected plants, shrubs, trees and flowers work with your soil type and sun/shade ratio. A professional plan can also help you figure out which plant types and colors complement your building, signage, and desired maintenance schedule.

Don’t have time to handle landscaping plans and maintenance yourself? Source qualified landscapers with commercial landscaping experience from local nurseries and garden centers. Most offer weekly, bi-weekly or monthly maintenance plans as well as landscape planning and installation.

Last but not least, if you rent or lease space in a commercial building, talk to your landlord or property management company if your building’s landscaping isn’t up to par. but also attract more tenants to their buildings.

“Good property management companies and building owners recognize that first impressions make for happy tenants, not only in terms of tenant morale, but also in terms of attracting customers to their businesses,” Eck says. “Those first impressions also attract new tenants to the building. Attractive and well-maintained landscaping is a win for everyone involved.”

 


 

The Anderson Group helps keep your small business in great shape. For information about available commercial properties in our portfolio, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Albany Pine Bush Properties, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, Commercial Property Management, Managing Your Business, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

What Are People Saying About Your Company’s Restroom?

Maintaining Your Company’s Restroom.

It’s everyone’s business.

Let’s say your family is expecting company. You’ve probably cleaned the living room and kitchen. Maybe you’ve even asked the kids to tidy their bedrooms. But there’s no doubt you spent a lot of time scrubbing the bathroom—from floor-to-nearly-ceiling. After all, the state of your bathroom leaves a lasting impression on your guests and, like it or not, says a lot about you as a person.

But many business owners don’t pay attention to their company’s restrooms. They fuss over the reception area, the office layout, and the artwork on the walls. But the restroom doesn’t hit their radar unless, well, unless they’re in it.

Here’s the thing: The state of your corporate bathroom leaves a lasting impression on your customers and says a lot about you as a company.

The Problem

Had a bad experience in a public restroom? You’re not alone. According to this year’s Healthy Hand Washing
Survey, conducted by Bradley Corporation, almost 70% of Americans say they’ve had “a particularly unpleasant experience in a public restroom due to the condition of the facilities.” Oft cited complaints included clogged toilets, bad ventilation, dirty and/or old appearance, and partition doors that don’t latch. The survey also confirmed what most of us already know: Consumers equate dirty restrooms with poor management.

The Solution

The good news is that better restrooms don’t have to be pipe dreams. A pleasant corporate restroom experience doesn’t have to be a luxury experience, and it doesn’t need to cost tens of thousands of dollars. In many cases, a good restroom experience comes down to simple things, like cleaning floors and surfaces, emptying wastebaskets, making sure hardware and fixtures are functioning, and restocking supplies on a daily basis. Adding small, inexpensive convenience features, such as full-length mirrors, hooks and shelves can also make a big difference.

Ty Woodard, who heads up The Anderson Group’s housekeeping department, says that continual maintenance of commercial restrooms isn’t just important for building aesthetics, but also for the health and wellbeing of tenants and their visitors.

“A routine restroom maintenance schedule is not just about germs, something we certainly try hard to eliminate as much as is possible, but keeping restrooms in good shape is also important to ensure that people don’t slip or get hurt in other ways,” Woodard says. “Well-maintained restrooms show that we care about our tenants and have the added benefit of helping make their businesses look as professional as possible.”

The Next Step

If your company owns the building and has authority to make changes to it, consider ramping up the quality of your restrooms. It will be well worth the investment. Don’t own your own building? Talk to your landlord or your building’s property management company about your concerns and wish list. Good landlords don’t let bad bathrooms happen to their tenants—or their tenants’ customers.

company's restroom
Infographic: Bradley Corporation
Posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, Managing Your Business, Office Housekeeping Services, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Happy Earth Day! 5 Ways to Green Your Small Business

Friday, April 22 is Earth Day, marking the 46th anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement. What used to be a day celebrated by a few fervent environmental groups and activists is now a worldwide call to action embraced by individuals and major corporations alike. Good environmental stewardship benefits us all.

How can your business do its part? We’ll give you five business-centric ways to green your workspace and protect our planet at the same time.

1. LEED by Example

The U.S. Green Building Council says the average person spends 90% of his/her time indoors. That means the air we breathe and the light we’re exposed to should keep us healthy, happy and productive. You might think LEED only applies to building construction, but LEED for Interior Design and Construction (LEED ID+C) helps businesses that don’t have control over building construction or operations (office building tenants, for example) develop healthier and greener workplaces. Learn more.

2. Increase Your Efficiency

Your company can realize big returns on investment when you reduce your energy usage—not only in terms of cost savings, but also greater comfort for and productivity of the people who work for you. Look for office buildings that have an energy efficiency program in place. These programs often reduce tenant occupancy costs and provide a high-functioning workspace—a win-win. Energy efficiency programs often include energy-efficient roofing systems, LED lighting, and HVAC, as well as in-house expertise capable of monitoring and maintaining NYSERDA’s energy-efficiency standards. To learn how your office can make simple changes that add up to big savings, sign up for a free Smart Office Audit.

3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

It’s an old—but relevant—reminder, and it means more than recycling paper in the bin next to the copy machine. Ask employees to bring reusable mugs and water bottles to the office and do away with the disposable ones. Ask employees to think before they print, and buy recycled-content products for your office (on average, they cost approximately 5% more, but help reduce waste and pollution. From recycled paper and refillable ink cartridges to cell phones and computers, almost everything in your office can be recycled for future reuse.

4. Buy second-hand office furniture

When shopping for furniture and furnishings for your office space, consider buying used or remanufactured furniture. You can find deals on used office furniture on eBay and Craigslist, and you can find like-new remanufactured furniture (often restored to the original equipment manufacturer’s specifications but at a fraction of the cost of new office furniture) through your local office furniture dealers and remanufacturers. A quick Google search in your area should lead you to a number of resources for both. You can also choose to donate your old office furniture to save it from the landfill. Check the donation rules and regulations for your local Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to give your old furniture a second life.

5. Soak up the sun.

Green power takes many forms, including solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower, but all come from renewable energy sources and not fossil fuels. If you’re looking for new office space, look for buildings that have invested in renewable energy. The savings, in terms of reduced electricity usage and heating and cooling costs, indirectly and positively impact your bottom line by offsetting a portion of the electricity your building owner purchases from the utility. In addition, when your business benefits from renewable energy, you’re telling your customers that clean, sustainable, cost-efficient energy is important to you—a powerful message in this day and age.


 

To learn how to make your office space more energy efficient and reduce your carbon footprint, contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Energy Efficiency, Managing Your Business, Office Productivity, Office Space Efficiency, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Meeting the Needs of the Millennial Workforce: A Primer

One in three American workers are Millennials (adults born between 1980 and 2000 and aged 19 to 35 in 2016). According to a Pew Research Center analysis, Millennials comprise the largest share of the American workforce.

Haven’t noticed? You will. By 2030, Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce. And with them come some major changes to the workplace—both in terms of how an office looks and functions. Attending to these Millennials’ needs will be key to attracting and retaining them and ensuring your company’s future success.

Understanding Millennials: Not business as usual

Millennial

Millennial Entrepreneur –  Michael DiPiazza Founder and Owner of JAD95, LLC. Office located at 125 Wolf Rd., Albany, NY.

Gone are the days of hiring a young professional who retires from your company decades later. Millennials typically stay in job for two years. The reason is twofold: 1) Millennials are an entrepreneurial generation willing to build their own ladder if they can’t climb yours, and 2) Millennials simply won’t stay in a job that doesn’t meet their needs and expectations.

Bentley University’s Center for Women & Business conducted a survey of 1,000 college-educated Millennials and found that Millennials “want to work hard, but they also want to work different.”

Say Goodbye to the Corner Office

If you haven’t heard about Google’s and Facebook’s offices, let us fill you in: nap pods, game rooms, all-you-can-eat cafeterias, and climbing walls. If you’re running a small business, these perks may be out of the question.

But if you think a fancy corner office is going to inspire legions of Millennials to rise from the cube farm and sit behind a big oak desk, think again. Millennials view such office constructs as old fashioned, non-collaborative, and inhibitive to creativity and information sharing. One fix is open office space.

According to the International Facility Management Association, 70% of offices had open layouts in 2015. It’s not surprising. Studies show that Millennials feel most comfortable in collaborative, uncluttered environments where they aren’t tethered to desks by cords and hard drives. Jonathan Webb, workplace strategist and vice president of KI Furniture, says companies that attract the best and brightest Millennials design offices that “emphasize sharing ideas, socializing, and treating workers equally.”

That means the corner office—and the partitioned cubicles all around it—represent unapproachable management and a major impediment to the free flow of important information. Lindsey Pollak, a leading voice on Millennials in the workplace, says Millennials “don’t equate space with worth” but rather “value flexibility and common areas that are set up for specific tasks rather than specific people.” Studies also show that Millennials like casual workspaces that remind them of college or home.

Michael DiPiazza, founder and owner of JAD 95, LLC, a dotcom company with offices at 125 Wolf Road in Albany, says the first thing he did upon moving into his new office was to hang a 60-inch flat screen television on the wall.

Remote Control

Employee requests to work from home used to make managers cringe. But advances in mobile technology have made working from home—or the coffee shop, airport, or anyplace with Wi-Fi—mainstream. According to a study conducted by oDesk and Future Workplace, 92% of Millennials want to work remotely, and 87% don’t want a typical 9-to-5 workday.

“Many Millennials would rather work from home than receive higher salaries. They value work life integration, not separation like older generations,” says Dan Schawbel, partner and research director at Future Workplace, in an article for Forbes.

DiPiazza, who is on the cusp of the Millennial generation at age 36, agrees.

“In my line of work, I jump around a lot. Today’s jobs don’t necessarily fit into that old 9-to-5 lifestyle,” DiPiazza says. “I worked hard for years to never have to report to an office 40 hours a week again. My days of sitting in an office all day are over.

But this penchant for remote access doesn’t rule out the need for a brick-and-mortar office. This is, after all, a social generation. To Millennials, an office serves as a touchstone, a place to check in and be part of a “work family.” Your company may need to loosen the reins to show that you support this new workforce mobility in order to be more attractive to Millennial workers.

“I have a start-up, and I need a home base,” DiPiazza says. “I like to get up and go to the office. When I get to the office, I know it’s game time.”

Embrace Technology

Millennials never experienced professional life without the Internet. It bears repeating. Millennials never experienced professional life without the Internet.

A study conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Millennials at Work:

Reshaping the Workplace, states, “This is the first generation to enter the workplace with a better grasp of a key business tool than more senior workers.” That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because you and your company ultimately benefit.

The bad thing, notes the PricewaterhouseCoopers study, is that 46% of Millennials surveyed believe their bosses don’t understand the way they use technology in their work. It’s not entitlement; it’s that those clunky desktop monitors and pool of shared cell phones simply don’t cut it in this day and age. Today’s world is mobile, fueled by technology, and requires instant access to information for everybody. That translates into a heavy demand for technology—and employees who not only know how to use it, but how to harness its power for the good of your company.

For his part, DiPiazza is scouting his company’s future talent through career development offices at local colleges and universities.

“The combination of youth and technology is key,” DiPiazza says. “Today’s college graduates have a passion and technical skills that are difficult to find elsewhere.”

Get on Board

By all accounts, Millennials are hard workers. If your company is willing to offer engaging, flexible, creative work environments that meet their needs, you can expect great things from them. But don’t get too comfortable…you’ll be hiring Generation Z before you know it.


 

Ready to find or create Millennial-friendly office space? Contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.

 

 

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, General News, Managing Your Business, Office Productivity, Office Space Efficiency, Small Business Articles, Tenant News | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments closed

Commercial Renters Insurance: Does Your Small Business Need It?

commercial renters insuranceWhen you rent or lease a commercial office, you’re responsible for the property you use or store in that space. Most commercial lease agreements will also hold you responsible for any damage caused to the property you rent.

If you operate your small business in leased office space, you may want to invest in commercial renters insurance (also known as business renters insurance or business owners policy) to protect you and your business from circumstances beyond your control.

While some landlords and property owners mandate that their tenants purchase renters insurance, others leave it to their tenants to decide. From a liability standpoint, commercial renters insurance is a worthwhile business expense that provides invaluable peace of mind.

What is commercial renters insurance?

Commercial renters insurance covers three primary areas: casualty, liability, and property (see sidebar for common definitions). And according to an article posted to the American Express Open Forum, “small business owners who forego renters insurance are leaving themselves vulnerable to theft, natural disasters, and ultimately – the loss of everything in [their office].”

The type and amount of insurance your business needs (or landlord requires) will depend upon several factors, including the number of people you employ and the equipment or assets you store onsite. Policy prices will vary depending on your insurance carrier and the coverage needs of your small business. While the cost will vary by insurance company, you should be able to find good coverage for under $1,000 a year.

But where do you start?

Step 1: Talk to your landlord

Find out what your landlord’s insurance policy covers in your office space and how that policy affects your liability and business assets. A well-drafted lease agreement will clearly state the type of insurance your landlord has, how or if it covers your business, and insurance requirements for tenants. Don’t assume that your landlord’s insurance will completely cover your business and property. If you have questions or concerns, get them answered before you sign a lease so you can make sure your policy covers anything your landlord’s policy doesn’t.

Step 2: Do your research

You can get a sense for policy types and costs by conducting your own research online can check with your insurance carrier for rates, but. A quick Google search will net dozens of potential carriers offering standard packaged policies, as well as policies that can be tailored to meet your specific business needs.

Step 3: Buy. Carefully.

What policy is best? Only you and your agent can determine that. Show your agent a copy of your lease, as well as a list of your coverage questions and concerns. Your agent should be well qualified to recommend the right policy for you and your business—whether it entails property coverage, liability coverage, commercial auto coverage, or anything and everything in between.

You worked hard to build your business; your commercial renters insurance should work hard to protect it.


Have questions about commercial renters insurance for your leased office space? The Anderson Group can help. Contact Susan Touhey at 518-458-7726 or stouhey@tagny.com.


Don’t let commercial insurance terms intimidate you. Here’s a quick guide to some of the most popular policy coverage.

  • Property and building coverage: Covers damage you, your guests or employees do to your business rental property. Also covers losses related to your belongings, land, and buildings and is often combined with casualty insurance.
  • General liability coverage: Protects your business if someone gets injured or experiences property damage in the course of doing business with you.
  • Casualty coverage: Protects you if someone gets injured on your business property and/or if there are crimes against your property.
  • Business asset and equipment coverage: Covers you if a piece of equipment you own causes damage to the business property you rent.
  • Loss of production coverage: Protects you in the event of a disaster that prohibits you from conducting business in your rental space, including equipment replacement/repair and relocation costs.
  • Crime and theft coverage: Protects you from damage or loss as a result of a break-in at your business.
  • “Valuable data” coverage: Covers data lost in fires, floods, or other disasters.

 

Posted in Albany NY Business, Ask The Expert, Commercial Office Space, Commercial Property Management, Executive Suites, Managing Your Business, Office Productivity, Small Business Articles | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments closed