New Orleans Business Growth and Solutions for Office Expansion

Over the past few years, New Orleans-based companies have made strong showings the annual Inc. 5,000 List, a collection of the country’s fastest-growing companies based on year-on-year revenue.

In 2017, 16 companies placed in the Inc. 5,000, with two companies—Palmisano and Revelry Labs—placing in the top 500 of the fastest-growing companies in America.

In this post, we’ll talk a little bit about each company and then provide examples of how The Office Planning Group can help you plan an office expansion as your company grows.

#241: Palmisano, 1,779.35% growth over 2016

Palmisano is a construction company whose projects include hotels and restaurants. Besides being No. 241 on Inc.’s list, they also made the cut for Inc.’s Best Workplaces 2018, further strengthening their position as one of New Orleans’ most exciting companies.

The company’s roots, according to their website, go back to 1950 when Warren Palmisano Jr. started the company after returning from World War II.

“Today, his unparalleled reputation for giving 110% until the job is done still drives our growth, and his common-sense approach steers our judgment,” their website says.

In addition to their top-500 ranking, Inc. named them the No. 13 top construction company and the No. 4 company in Louisiana.

#375: Revelry Labs, 1,155.85% growth over 2016

While Palmisano is building things with brick and mortar, Revelry Labs is doing it with cloud-based custom software solutions. Their list of clients is impressive: Amazon Web Services, Strype, Facebook, Ruby and more.

In addition to their software services, they also help entrepreneurs turn concepts into companies through innovation sprints and a studio startup.

The company was founded in 2013 and their current CEO is Gerard Ramos, a web developer and entrepreneur who, according to his Revelry bio, likes to farm and fish.

The New Orleans native made history in April 2017 when he became the first Louisiana-based tech CEO to join the Forbes Technology Council.

“As a New Orleans native, it’s exciting to become the first official Louisiana member of the Forbes Technology Council, and to be granted the privilege to advocate for our vibrant tech community on a larger stage,” Ramos said in a Revelry press release about the achievement. “We believe Louisiana has a lot to offer, not only to our local communities, but to the broader technology industry. We look forward to shining a light on the great work being done by the talented and passionate people who live here.”

In addition to their inclusion in the top 500, Inc. also ranked them as the No. 8 fastest-growing company in Louisiana.

The Best of the Rest

The other 14 New Orleans-based companies that placed in the top 5,000 included:

  • Three in advertising/marketing.
  • Two in government services
  • Two in construction.
  • Two in media.
  • Two in travel and hospitality.
  • One each in food/beverage, government services and IT services.

Among the interesting companies included in the above list are a trio of companies who’ve made the top-5,000 more than once: Hernandez Consulting (five times), Civic Source (five times) and Search Influence (seven times).

Inc. will release their 2018 list of top-5000 companies in August.

Managing a Growing Labor Force

Growth in company revenue brings an inevitable growth in your workforces. As companies expand, they face many challenges, including how to expand or reorganize their current office to accommodate new employees who will help continue the growth.

While the prospects of expanding your workspace and adding more individual workstations may seem overwhelming, we make the process simple and straightforward.

Every project we approach follows a three-step progression:

  • Free space plan and design consultation.
  • Design your office based on the first step.
  • Installation and maintenance.

We’ve served the New Orleans and Baton Rouge areas, as well as the rest of Louisiana, for nearly four decades. Along the way, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. We’ve seen trends come and go. And, amid all that change and discovery, we’ve been able to provide solutions for companies big and small that empower them and fit the concepts they have for their office space.

Our catalog of office furniture features more than 300 manufacturers, ensuring that you can find a solution that’s tailored to your company’s space and style.

If you’d like to learn more about what we do and what we offer, give us a call at 504-267-1731 or send us a message through our contact page.

Five Tips for Improving Teamwork in the Workplace

There are few things more frustrating for employees than being in a workplace devoid of collaboration and connection.

This past year, Financial Times reporter Emma Jacobs noted the importance of identifying loneliness in the workplace.

Her article referenced a joint study by California State University and the Wharton School of Business that noted, “management should not treat loneliness as a private problem but rather one that affects the business.”

With that in mind, we reached out to various experts to get their advice on how individuals and management teams can foster an environment of teamwork.

Be Intentional About Building Friends

Many of us have become accustomed to keeping our work life separate from our private lives. But, according to Shawn D. Madden, CEO of corporate events company FunCorp, building those connections improves your frame of mind and strengthens the workplace.

“Friends will do more for another friend in a week than they will do for a co-worker in a month, so your teamwork and productivity will improve as you build social connections,” Madden said.

See Yourself as Bigger Than Your Job Description

Harvey Deutschendorf, an emotional intelligence expert and a regular contributor to Fast Company, said part of building a team is having employees who look beyond themselves when they walk into the office every day.

They see their role as helping in any manner they are able to and are always willing to give of their time and knowledge. They view their role as larger than their job description and look for ways they can contribute to the organization,” Deutschendorf told us. “When they see something that needs to be done, they step up and help out.”

An employee who sees themselves as larger than their role should be handled with a genuine, positive spirit, though. Someone who becomes obsessed with overachieving for overachieving’s sake will most likely alienate their team instead of bringing them together.

Do Whatever It Takes to Arrive with a Positive Attitude

As we mentioned in the previous section, overachievers who push themselves for the wrong reasons will be a detriment to their team, not a benefit.

One of the best ways to avoid that is to come into work with a genuinely positive attitude; not a façade, but a genuine spirit of optimism, says Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com.

“Do whatever you need to before arriving — whether it’s exercise, grabbing a coffee, or meditating — so that when you arrive you’re in good spirits and ready to work with your team,” Sweeney said.

See Your Coworkers as Individuals, Not Roles

One of the quickest ways to turn your workplace into a purposeless void is to treat coworkers as roles and not as real people, workplace engagement strategist and coach Lisa Barrington told us.

“Employees should work to see their colleagues as individuals, with unique needs, not just as the person who does ‘xyz’ task,” Barrington said. “By humanizing their colleagues, they will be inclined to step up to help them, support them, find ways to enhance the team’s success over their own, individual needs/goals”

Know When You Need Help … and Ask for It

We often view success as something that happens when you accomplish your goals on your own. Asking for help is seen as a weakness.

However, says Dan Stones, a team dynamics and workplace culture specialist, asking for help is a crucial element to building a strong sense of teamwork among employees. Exactly why is asking for help so powerful?

Stones said it’s a matter of trust.

“The largest benefit that asking for help brings is actually tied to trust. As soon as the employee asks for help, they immediately put themselves in a position of vulnerability,” he said. “This sort of openness is what’s required for a higher level of trust to develop among team members.”

A Reminder What Can Happen When Teamwork is Devalued

There’s a lot of good sense in what the experts told us about teamwork. Some of it may seem idealistic and nearly impossible considering the environment in your workplace.

But, as Tephra Miriam, a communications expert and author, reminded us, the price of a fragmented workplace is dangerously high.

“Without true cohesion and unity, the system falls apart,” Miriam said. “This can literally kill an organization.”

TOPG Sellers of Used Furniture LA

Here’s the scenario: Your office is growing, your furniture is old and you want to buy or lease new office furniture.

What do you do? Are there buyers of used furniture in Louisiana? The answer to those pair of questions is straightforward.

You should sell your furniture to a used furniture buyer. Yes, there are plenty of ways to sell your used office systems in Louisiana.

In this post, we’re going to detail a few of the ways that you can make some quick cash selling your old furniture before bringing in your new desks, dividers and chairs.

The Time-Consuming Route: Craigslist

Believe it or not, Craigslist is a great site for selling office furniture (and just about anything else). You can browse through listings in nearly any city and find individuals or companies selling off cubicles, chairs and other equipment because of closure or relocation.

The reason we call this the time-consuming method is because you’ll have to devote a significant amount of time to cleaning and repairing your furniture if you want to get a fair price for what you’re selling.

Craigslist and similar websites are notorious for attracting low-ball offers and furniture that’s in disrepair, dirty or otherwise unattractive to the eyes will attract those low-ballers.

If you want to get top dollar, you’ll need to:

  • Give your furniture a thorough cleaning
  • Tighten up loose bolts and other hardware
  • Take professional-level pictures
  • Field phone calls and emails
  • Set-up viewings for potential buyers

The key to this entire process is time: Do you have enough of it to do an effective job of prepping your furniture to get top dollar?

The Charitable Route: Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity

Technically, this isn’t “selling” your office because you aren’t getting paid for what you donate.

However, the benefit of this method of getting rid of your used furniture is ease. All you have to do is call the local Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity and let them know you’re bringing in a formidable collection of office furniture.

There are two main drawbacks here. First, you obviously aren’t getting paid for your furniture, which means this may not be the best move if capital is an issue.

However, what you may not have thought about is how you’ll get your office furniture to the local Goodwill. If you’ve got a big office, then it may take more than one truck to get the equipment where it needs to go.

When you factor in the manpower and rental fees required to move an office full of furniture, the cost is quite high.

Consider that as you make your decision. Though selling your furniture on an online classified site like Craigslist may take a day or two of work to prep your furniture, the fact that you’re getting paid makes it far more worthwhile.

The Easiest Route: Sell to TOPG

We’ve been in the business of buying used furniture for decades and we find it’s a great way for us to augment our used inventory and help offices unload their used furniture as they try to upgrade, downsize or liquidate.

All we require to move forward with the purchase is photos of the equipment you want to sell and an estimate of how many items you want to sell.

As for our purchase radius, we buy office furniture in the New Orleans metro area, Baton Rouge and all of Louisiana.

Here’s a list of what we typically buy:

  • Cubicles
  • Desks
  • Chairs
  • Filing equipment
  • Conference rooms

Our only caveat is that we don’t usually buy small quantities of furniture.

Wrapping It Up: A Quick Review of Finding Buyers of Used Office Furniture in Louisiana

We’ve presented the three different options you have for selling your used office furniture.

Using a classified site has the advantage of possibly getting a good payout for your equipment, but the man hours it takes to make the sale are a definite negative.

Giving your office furniture to non-profit stores like Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity is an altruistic endeavor with high costs for transporting your furniture.

The final option, selling your furniture to the Office Planning Group, doesn’t require much effort on your part and can garner a good payout pretty quickly.

If you want to know more about how we buy used office furniture in Louisiana, stop by our website or give us a call at 504-684-5244.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting to Start a Business: Part One

Whether it’s something you’ve dreamed of since childhood, or it came as a total surprise later in life, good business ideas happen.

They come in all shapes and sizes, with their own unique sets of needs and learning curves. There are a few things we can do to secure a business’ potential to grow and thrive, but they must happen in those pivotal early stages of development.

According to Chris Guillebeau, entrepreneur-turned-author of the best-selling $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, getting a new idea off the ground has never been easier.

Forbes interviewer Dan Schawbel got Guillebeau to elaborate on how today’s technology has presented vast and far-reaching platforms that allow shared ideas, goods and services to coalesce.

Coupled with consumers being more primed to make online purchases, this new landscape creates what Guillebeau refers to as “a perfect storm of economic convergence.”

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

There are many ways your business can fail before it’s standing on its own, and getting hung up on minor details is a sure-fire way to halt progress.

Many agonize over the catchiest name for their business or the cleverest URLs, getting caught in a viscous and unproductive cycle without achieving anything to make the stress worth it.

Set a short, definitive timeline for your startup, and don’t let worry over website layout or logo design keep your project from growing past its infancy.

Your business will change rapidly as you learn, and names or web domains are no exception. Leave room to grow!

Baby Steps

A lot of startups lose steam not out of lack of creativity or capability, but by pushing too hard or too fast at the start.

We want our business to mature by leaps and bounds from the very beginning. But as we have to crawl before we can walk, also must we stumble a bit in the learning process before it’s possible to run and sustain a successful business.

Set small, consistent goals. Pursuing a career of your own creation can be one of the most rewarding journeys, but it takes many small steps to get to there.

Moves like attaining your federal Employee Identification Number to protect your private identity, making sure the relevant permits and licenses are acquired, or setting up a business bank account to avoid unnecessary liability are more important than even a name.

Jeff Haden, contributing Editor for Inc. magazine, goes into more detail about the manifold, yet fairly easy to obtain prerequisites for legitimizing your business. Haden is a big proponent of laying the groundwork and economizing on time in the early stages of development to allow for greater pay off in the long run.

“Instead of spending hours playing with accounting software, dreaming up potential expense and income categories and creating fancy reports with no data, spend that time generating revenue,” he suggests.

Budgeting

As children, it is difficult to envision the end game of a project when there is an insurmountable obstacle in our way.

One such obstacle facing today’s entrepreneurs in their adult life is the ever-dreaded need for startup capital.

The good news is, you can do your business an overwhelming amount of good if you can budget carefully, be mindful of resources and perfect your pitch.

Here are a few ways to nurture your business that won’t break the bank:

Know where you can consolidate

Starting a business requires certain concessions be made to keep the venture afloat. This can mean cutting back on luxuries like additional employees, office space or an entire service or product until the revenue can support it.

Resources can come from anywhere

While raising capital is never fun, we live in a time where there are multiple ways to acquire funding: angel investors, government grants through the Small Business Administration, bank loans, even friends and family.

Crowdsource

Don’t forget crowdfunding. Social media makes it simple to raise startup cash and connect with like-minded individuals who want to contribute.

But remember, there are plenty of cautionary tales of high-profile startups that have crashed and burned, so be sure you can deliver. Nobody wants to be the next Plastc.

Keep Working Hard

The best part of all this work? You get to invest in your business with the capital you’ve raised.

“Once you start realizing some revenue, you can invest in yourself and build the business you imagined piece by piece rather than all at once,” adds Jayson Demers, a regular contributor for Entrepreneur.

You’re bound to break a sweat, but the journey is a rewarding one and can mean a lifetime of constant improvement and success.

Come back next month for part two of our series on crucial startup mindsets.