When Chattanooga businesswoman Denise Reed started working at The Concierge Office Suites in 1999, she quickly fell in love with the business and its services.
She knew then that she wanted to someday lead the company.
“We may type a letter, we may organize an event, we may help somebody do research on the Web, but every company has their own culture,” she said. “Everything is always different. I get to be a voyeur in all these different types of industries, but yet I don’t have to own them.”
The Concierge Office Suites is a business office center that provides private office space, virtual office space, and administrative and technical support from the Republic Centre downtown.
The company’s mission is to support clients and their clients' guests with “impeccable, courteous, highly skilled business and personal support services,” according to the company’s Facebook page.
Clients can rent office space by the hour, half-day, full day or from month-to-month.
The business’ name is a reference to concierge services at hotels.
Reed bought the company in October 2006, for an amount she said she’d rather not disclose.
Now Reed and her staff—which includes two other full-time employees and contract staffers that may be used for specific projects—support about 75 clients who work both locally and across the country, she said.
The recent economic downturn had a positive effect on Reed’s business, she said.
As companies looked to save money, some leaders had employees work from home.
“When I bought the business, I knew it was a viable business because I worked in it for so long,” she said. “It seems like even though the economy has been in the toilet, people have sought out our services because we’ve been able to help them cut overhead expenses.”
And technology has changed the way Reed’s company works.
When Reed first came to the business, employees used floppy disks.
“At that time, we didn’t have W-Fi access,” she said. “Now, things are 12,000 times easier, and the work pace is multiplied 10-fold for clients' expectations."
Strat Parrott, 27, who runs two local businesses, uses the office space at The Concierge Office Suites. He said the company’s services are very helpful, and he likes that the employees are local. It makes their work more efficient and friendly, he said.
The company also helps local startups appear more professional because they provide a legitimate business address.
And Reed said that paying attention to the tiniest element—such as what kind of candy clients like to have in a bowl—makes her company stand out.
“If you’re [a business person] wondering, ‘Does anybody care that I’m struggling with this?,’ Yes, it’s me,” Reed said. “I’m looking at ways to meet that market’s needs. I’m not just a real estate broker, I’m not just a temp service, I’m not a P.O. box with no personal interaction. If you want us to be, we truly want to become an integrated part of your business.”