Commercial Real Estate: Building Ourselves Back?

by RaeAnne Marsh

The commercial real estate market was ravaged by the down economy, although it didn’t make disaster headlines like its residential counterpart. There was a day when the metropolitan Phoenix area was tops when it came to building companies expanding and actual construction of commercial projects here in the Valley. Office space, multi-tenant and industrial projects were at … [More]

J. Doug Pruitt, Sundt Companies

from J. Doug Pruitt

After a tumultuous past couple of years, commercial construction is beginning to make a comeback. So let’s look at what drives the construction market locally here in Arizona. The harsh reality we have had to deal with is that local construction starts collapsed from just over $20 billion back in 2006 to averaging less than $10 billion each of the last four years, including … [More]

Architecture: Design Plan Build for the Future

by Kathy A. McDonald

Cautious optimism is the mood today at Greater Phoenix’s leading architecture and design firms. Hard hit by the economic downturn and fallout in formerly readily available financing for commercial projects, firms have found varying ways to come to terms with the economy. Tightening staff numbers, focusing on new kinds of projects and teaming with other architectural businesses … [More]

Drive Business to Success with a Winning Marketing Concept

by Martha Guidry

Behind every successful product, service, or brand is a powerful concept. It is really that simple. Products and services that win in the marketplace are successful in presenting an idea that combines a clear benefit with invisible consumer logic. Whether the business is big or small, just started or in some stage of maturity, it needs a marketing concept. Surprisingly, many … [More]

Hiring Military in the Civilian Work Force

by RaeAnne Marsh

They come into the work force with a strong goal and task orientation, bringing an ethic of hard work, discipline and the ability to lead a team. This, explains Mike Hadley, financial advisor talent acquisition recruiter for Edward Jones, is why his company actively seeks out returning military men and women. “Edward Jones puts the needs of the client first, and where else but … [More]

Commercial Real Estate: Now is Choice Time for Purchase or Lease

by J. Rentilly

In today’s real estate market, there are bountiful reasons for a business to consider purchasing a property over leasing, especially for a stable company with a long-term growth plan. Says Kent Hanson, who fronts the Industrial Group at Cassidy Turley, “Leasing definitely gives you flexibility if you’re not sure what your next couple of years are going to look like, but a lease … [More]

Commercial Real Estate: Lows Make Highs for Investment

by J. Rentilly

The rebound of the Phoenix-area commercial real estate market remains a long, dark night, with sunnier skies forecast over the next three years, according to Mark Stapp of Arizona State University’s W. P. Carey School of Business. “The good news is that it appears the commercial market has reached its bottom and has stabilized,” says Stapp. “The bad news is we don’t know … [More]

Kristin Bloomquist: Harnessing the Power of Relationships

By Lauren Caggiano

To Kristin Bloomquist, general manager of Cramer-Krasselt’s Phoenix office, an advertising career is all about creating relationships. “I got into the work of advertising because I was fascinated by the creativity of it,” she says. “I also loved the business part of it … [the ability] to partner with clients to grow their business.” Examples across a multitude of clients … [More]

Bytes: September 2012

by Mike Hunter

Get a Free Website Google, SCORE, Arizona Small Business Development Centers Network and Intuit are behind the effort to get Arizona’s small businesses online. Free the first year, get a simple website to draw business. According to their website, 56 percent of small businesses in Arizona do not have a website yet 97 percent of Internet users look online for local products … [More]

Education Means Business at Grand Canyon University

by RaeAnne Marsh

Grand Canyon University’s recently completed campus expansion represents a new business model for educational institutions that its president Brian Mueller believes will help solve two challenges: “We’ve got to figure out a way to provide higher education for far less money than we’re asking students to pay without so much burden on the taxpayer.” Key was the university’s … [More]

Diverse Quarters Indicate Signs of Life for Housing Market

by RaeAnne Marsh

The foreclosure rate in the Phoenix-area housing market is dropping, with none of the shadow inventory (from anticipated foreclosures) in the wings, according to the latest report from Mike Orr, director of the Center for Real Estate Theory and Practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business. Investors are still driving the market, as the ordinary homebuyer who needs to secure … [More]

Touchscreen Innovation in Airport Dining

by RaeAnne Marsh

HMSHost debuted the latest innovation in its dining service — Presto tablet, a table-top touchscreen that lets diners order and pay for their meals quickly and conveniently — at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. “We wanted to test it out in an airport where management is open to new ideas. … Also, this is one of the busiest terminals,” says Paul Mamalian, chief … [More]

Thunderbird’s Student ‘Action Learning’ Serves Free Consulting to Businesses

by RaeAnne Marsh

Teams of students attending the world-renowned Thunderbird School of Global Management have, for years, been solidifying their classroom learning with “action learning” in the real world, working with businesses to consult on actual challenges. A new collaboration with Local First Arizona aims to encourage more local enterprises to get involved in this opportunity to gain … [More]

Minority Business Development Agency Breaks Records and Arizona Benefits

by Mike Hunter

In fiscal year 2011, Minority Business Development Center helped Arizona minority-owned businesses obtain 42 contracts totaling $134,721,609 and $171,426,324 in capital through 12 financial transactions. For clients assisted by the agency with gross annual revenues of $500,000 or more, MBDA Business Centers completed 41 transactions totaling $305,566,289. For clients with … [More]

Blue Hound: Lunch with a Bite

by Mike Hunter

Heavy meals seem to be OK for lunch in Manhattan or in Chicago, but lunch in the Valley is more palatable when it is light, refreshing and flavorful. That is the concept behind this contempo-American bistro, Blue Hound, located at the new Palomar Hotel in CityScape. Overwhelmingly urban and meant to be comfortable and “casually polished,” this recently opened eatery boasts … [More]

Meeting Mangia

by Mike Hunter

“Mangia” is Italian for “eats.” Here is a list of some of the Valley’s best Italian restaurants for lunch, where it is not all about pasta and heavy meals. Anzio Landing — Mesa This unique and quaint alternative to the usual big-box Italian has character and dishes that will entice a return visit. Salads, light fare and many of the Roman-inspired dishes make up this vast … [More]

Today’s Practical SUV: Ford Explorer Limited

by Mike Hunter

The grandfather of the SUV movement over the last 20 years, the Ford Explorer has evolved. In a market where gas mileage, eco-friendly options and technology are the attraction, the 2013 Ford Explorer Limited edition is a top option, exuding practicality, style, quality and comfort. Redesigned in 2012, the Explorer has some exciting new features by Ford that will make this … [More]

The Season Ticket

by Mike Hunter

Companies purchase season tickets and use them to please, impress or thank clients, associates, staff and/or family and friends. The season ticket is an asset that was once a standard option for a corporation and has quickly become an asset for small businesses as well — especially in the Valley. Supporting our local arts and cultural organizations and sports teams is a benefit … [More]

Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect

by Mike Hunter

Acclaimed speaker and consultant Terri Sjodin defines an elevator speech as a brief presentation that introduces a product, service or idea. Its purpose isn’t to say everything about the topic — just to intrigue and inspire the listener to want to hear more. And Sjodin suggests businesspeople expand their vision of what it can do. In this newly updated edition, Sjodin offers … [More]

The Referral Engine: Teaching Your Business to Market Itself

by Mike Hunter

The small-business guru behind Duct Tape Marketing shares his most valuable lesson: how to get your customers to do your best marketing for you. The power of glitzy advertising and elaborate marketing campaigns is on the wane; word- of-mouth referrals are what drive business today. People trust the recommendation of a friend, family member, colleague or even stranger with … [More]

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