Fighting for Survival

In November, 2008 I launched my current venture, 401 Bay Centre. We have 45 furnished offices available for rent on a short term basis.  In addition, we provide internet, telephone, reception, meeting rooms, café, business centre as well as a broad range of administrative and professional services.  Virtual office plans are provided for those who need an address, mail, delivery service and phone, but only need an office or meeting rooms on a part time basis.

Instead of riding the growth wave of new business ventures and high commercial real estate prices, I opened to face the worst financial crisis in 40 years and a surplus of sublet space.

My initial target market was entrepreneurs and professionals. With the financial meltdown, entrepreneurs and professionals were fighting for survival, not looking for an office.

Fighting for survival, I refocused on established companies and organizations who were looking to downsize, didn’t want to make a long term commitment or needed short term space due to a disaster.

My channel to these large clients was the commercial realtors in downtown Toronto.  It took almost a year, but I built relationships and they have sent me a lot of business.

Rather than discount my price, which would have long term implications for profitability, I maintained my price points, but offer one free month as a signing bonuses and offered volume discounts for services used.

Lead generation became the priority.

I found that once people saw 401 Bay Centre and understood how it would work for them, I had a sale.   So the priority became to find interested people and built traffic through the Centre.

We looked after our existing customers.  This led to referrals and testimonials which is always the best growth strategy.

Our response to client requests was ‘no problem’.  This built our service portfolio which became a differentiator, made existing clients happy and generated add-on revenue.  A win / win.

Today, 401 Bay Centre is fully occupied and profitable.

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401 Bay Street, Suite 1600, Toronto