We’re pleased to introduce Stanford Scriven & Michael Goetz from NEWMARK as this week’s Sponsor Spotlight.
OEN: What’s your role in the entrepreneurial community?
SS: We consult with entrepreneurs on how to best utilize commercial real estate to grow their businesses.
MG: We also view our role as being a conduit for entrepreneurs. Our day jobs involve helping tenants find commercial real estate, but we are just as excited about the introductions we can make in the community, especially in the tech sector. The more we get involved, the more we realize just how interconnected the entrepreneurial community really is.
OEN: What are your most common recommendations to first-time entrepreneurs?
MG: For first-time entrepreneurs, keep your overhead as low as you possibly can. Form a good support team and prove your product or concept, and then – once growth begins to happen – that’s when we can start recommending commercial real estate options to support that growth.
SS: I would also recommend entrepreneurs start building a bench of trusted advisors now. You may not need advice on finance, legal matters, or commercial real estate now, but things will progress faster than you might think. Have your trusted advisors in place now before you need them.
OEN: What are the challenges for entrepreneurs looking for office space?
MG: We’ve seen clients having to deal with shifting priorities during COVID. Even established and successful companies have had to rethink how they conduct business, and how they operate. I think this has added to concerns about signing a long-term lease. But there are always options.
SS: Absolutely. For example, subleasing office space can create opportunities for clients who want to commit to a shorter term, at a cheaper rate, and without having to make an expensive investment in the workspace. Many subleases come fully furnished with high-end finishes already in place.
MG: The ‘plug-and-play’ flexibility of a sublease is one way to meet the challenge of finding commercial space. Another option to consider is coworking, which can provide even greater flexibility with almost no long-term commitment, albeit at a higher price-per-square foot rate.
OEN: How can an entrepreneur balance the need for working at home with the need for physical office space.
SS: Well, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ recommendation. Some entrepreneurs might not ever need to go into the office. But most companies benefit from building a strong connection within their teams and between employees and management, and most new team members need the sort of mentorship that only works when you’re face-to-face.
MG: One of the biggest challenges we’ve seen with entrepreneurs working remotely is the difficulty in creating and sustaining a creative culture through Zoom or Skype. Once you have an established team sharing conversation and ideas, strategic thinking will usually flow more organically in a physical space. It’s great to be around your coworkers and mentors, and other business owners, to bounce around ideas and network.
SS: We’re always happy to meet with entrepreneurs, and help them find that balance.
OEN: What do you think is an opportunity for this community to grow?
SS: Portland has proven time and time again that it’s in an amazing place to grow a business. We have the talent, the resources and the quality of life for our entrepreneurial community to produce world-class companies. All we need is to keep investing in what has proven to work here, and our community will thrive.
OEN: Why do you think OEN has an important role to play in this entrepreneurial ecosystem?
MG: Stanford and I are very active in networking events and the tech sector, and what we keep hearing is that OEN has been a landing-pad for entrepreneurs relocating to Oregon, and for first-time entrepreneurs trying to establish themselves here. OEN has been around for 30 years, and still plays a critical role in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It connects entrepreneurs to mentors, services, and like-minded individuals that share the same struggles that come with starting a new business.
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