Weekly business rail, with tech gifts, BBB tips on leasing an office, and more.
Tip of the Week
Digital lifestyle expert and TV personality Mario Armstrong suggests making the shopping experience easy by finding one place shoppers can turn to for all their technology-gift-shopping needs. Here are some of Mario's must-have picks for this holiday season:
- Tablets and e-readers: Smaller and more portable than a laptop, the tablet has become the ultimate tool for anyone who wants the functionality of a computer on the go. It can serve any purpose, whether you need an easy alternative for a business presentation, a great tool to play games or a movie-player to keep your kids busy when you're traveling. Depending on what feature you're looking for there is a wide range of models and accessories to meet almost any price point. With another great portable device that is all the rage this year, e-readers, paper books are a thing of the past. Now, the best way to get into your favorite book is to download it, the new Kindle Fire has a seven inch color touch screen that can download countless books in addition to movies and TV shows!
- Stocking stuffers: There are some fun tech items that make great stocking stuffers. These days everyone has multiple flash drives in their life, but they don't need to be those basic, boring black cubes. Now, drives come in fun shapes, colors and themes such as animals and even Looney Tunes characters.
If your small business is starting to take up more room than your home office has to offer, it's time to think about moving your business out of your house. Taking the leap and leasing a commercial office space can be a frightening prospect, but if you ask the right questions and take the time to do your research, you'll avoid the common pitfalls. The Better Business Bureau offers tips to business owners on how to land the right space for the best price.
- What are your needs? Before you start your search, spend some time thinking about what you need in an office space. Don't just consider how many employees you currently have; seriously consider your company's growth and estimate how many employees you'll gain over the course of a lease. The general rule for allotting space is 175 to 250 square feet of usable area per person. Also consider the common areas such as break rooms, reception area, and conference rooms you and your employees will need.
- Get professional help. Finding the right commercial office space isn't as easy as finding residential property. Chances are you'll need a realtor to navigate you through the process of finding that perfect office space. Before you select your Realtor, check out their free BBB Business Review at www.bbb.org.
- Location, location, location. The perfect location can often depend on what kind of business you run. If you regularly expect clients in your office you'll need a convenient, safe, location.
- Consider safety and accessibility. Look for parking, public transportation as well as the condition of the building and the neighborhood. Also ask if your employees with be able to easily get to work.
- Go ahead, kick the tires. Take a long hard look at the office space and assess the condition of the building. Ask the landlord about recent improvements and upgrades as well as the condition of the air conditioning and heating units. Also, discuss with your landlord how much remodeling needs to be done to the office space and determine who will foot the bill. You may need to consider the basics such as new carpet, fixtures, and fresh paint as well as major interior renovations such as constructing new walls.
- Review the lease carefully. Read all of the fine print of your lease. If you need help deciphering the legalese of your lease, an attorney who specializes in lease agreements can help negotiate the terms. Don't be shy about negotiating; this is a major investment and a big step for your company and you don't want to get locked into a bad deal.
For more tips, visit www.bbb.org.
According to Yahoo Sports, here are four professional sports teams in financial trouble:
1. Phoenix Coyotes
2. Minnesota Timberwolves
3. Sacramento Kings
4. Indiana Pacers
Number to Know
$1,210: Average cost of computers on Mondays, according to Extrabux, the day when computers are cheapest. On Fridays, computers costs $1,256.
According to a survey by ChangeWave Research, 26 percent of people were holding off purchasing an iPad before the Kindle Fire came out.
GateHouse News Service