In 1999, Denise Reed became an employee of The Concierge Office Suites.
Little did she know that seven years later she would own the business and, 10 years after that, the company would be flourishing under her leadership.
The company offers already-established businesses the support they may need after exiting the startup stage.
Reed’s inspiration for wanting to own a business came from her father, who was an entrepreneur and was constantly flying for business meetings. Being around business sparked an interest that has followed Reed since.
"I’ve always been interested and curious about business itself," she said.
Businesses can rent out office space on a lease or a month-to-month basis.
Conference rooms, a vlogging office and other private offices are also available for rent by the hour.
The virtual staff provides a wide range of services, such as administrative support, project management, event planning and copy making. This means businesses don't have to worry about providing office space, payroll or employee benefits.
"The intention ... is to give our clients a place to focus on their business," Reed said.
Building up the business
Linda Chaff originally founded The Concierge Office Suites in 1995 and ran the business until 2006. That's when Chaff was given an opportunity to follow her other passions and Reed took over.
Reed purchased the business with what she described as a "perfect storm" of angel investors and her own funds.
Because of The Concierge Office Suites' success, Reed was able to pay back her angel investors within five years.
And now, at Reed’s 10th anniversary since buying the business, she feels stronger than ever, especially considering that only 4 percent of businesses make it to 10 years old.
"It’s something you want to have a street party about," Reed said.
Looking into the future, Reed wants to help other women achieve what she has been able to, because although Chattanooga was ranked as the second-best place for women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses, she still feels like some bias exists.
"Look in the paper—all the top earners are men," Reed said. "My personal mission is to help a woman get there."
For more about The Concierge Office Suites, click here.
Alina Hunter-Grah is a contributing writer. She is also currently attending UTC, where she is the news editor for the school newspaper, The University Echo.