Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Howard’s Inner Circle, No. 6: As Revenue Sources Dry Up, Experiment

In New York City there is a plethora of unused offices and underutilized event spaces which is resulting in a great deal of creativity. As to the empty offices, they are being rented out in a temporary, as-needed basis. The address is usually a prime one such as Midtown. The interesting thing is what is being rented out. You get the use of an office in a suite of offices under a plan such as one that offers office space for 12 hours a month. There is a receptionist to answer the telephone and welcome visitors, Internet access, a telephone number, and the ability to rent out conference rooms by the hour. You share the suite with a multitude of businesses and individuals.

Companies, especially those with salespersons, are renting out these offices as a cheap, cost-efficient way to have suitable locations for their representatives to meet clients. Consultants also take advantage of these rentals. Building owners are very happy as the office space would otherwise remain vacant.

With regard to event places, rather then relying on corporate parties etc., the event place owners are working out deals with networking groups. The bulk of their revenue doesn’t come from rental and catering, but from what is earned by selling drinks to the attendees. The events usually occur at off times such as Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday. I was recently at a free rooftop networking event with great views of the Empire State and the Chrysler buildings. The idea is if the networking group can get a couple hundred of attendees, it will be well worth it for the event place owners. I am sure many of those owners are trolling sites like which contains lists of these networking groups.

These techniques and many others are successful in these tough economic times because suppliers understand it’s no longer business as usual and creative marketing and advertising aren’t the keys. The idea is to minimize expenses for potential customers while still meeting their basic needs. This requires creativity and a willingness to question a business model that might have worked very successfully for many years.
© 2010
The above is from the sixth issue of the newsletter, Howard’s Inner Circle, which periodically appears on the blog, “Instigator” at It may be reproduced in full if that fact is stated and Howard Wolosky is credited as the author.

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