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Why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Austin

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Amazon HQ2

Amazon had made October a busy month for city officials. The bid for Amazon HQ2 had a deadline of Oct. 19, 2017. The city to make the top 20 list featured Austin, Texas. The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce had presented the city’s proposal for Amazon’s HQ2 on Wednesday, a day ahead of the deadline. Austin officials confirmed that there were no local financial incentives included in the proposal for Amazon HQ2. Despite the bid, this does not eliminate Austin from the competition. Instead, this forces companies to focus on the great surroundings of Austin and of what the community has to offer.

The city of Austin is the fastest growing city in the United States with an economic growth rate of 6.1% from 2011-2016. This is due to their status of being the next Silicon Valley. Austin is gradually morphing their city into a tech hub. This version of Silicon Valley offers high affordability to Austin investors, which is unlike the original hub. The community preserves a young, educated population and is surrounded by Venture Capitals. The living factors include a thriving restaurant and music culture. The city of Austin is an attraction to young techies and entrepreneurs.

“Texas is a hotbed for the tech industry, and both Austin and Dallas have proven themselves to be among the most sought after locations for companies looking to grow and thrive,” Governor Abbott said. “… I am confident that the economic advantages of an Amazon expansion in Texas speak for themselves, and make either Austin or Dallas an ideal fit for Amazon’s HQ2.”

Amazon HQ2

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The job growth for Austin predicted a production of 9,000 new tech jobs in 2017. Professional engineers, researchers, and etc were already flooding the city. When Amazon decides to pick Austin as their new home for HQ2, it won’t be difficult to search for employment. Perhaps Amazon will relocate to the next Silicon Valley.

“Austin, for several years, has been getting global recognition as a great place to work with. When you look at South by Southwest (festival) … the (Formula) 1 race, (Austin City Limits) festival … that certainly puts Austin on the map for not only Amazon, but other companies that may decide this is the right place for them.” told Mike Berman of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce.

The tech company will announce the winning city later in 2018. Meanwhile, small businesses and agencies within Austin are able share their professional insight to Amazon also. This is why Amazon HQ2 Should Choose Austin:

How will Amazon HQ2 affect the economy of the city?

‘With Amazon HQ2 in Austin, we will see the opening of 50,000 new direct and indirect jobs, most of which will north of six figures, not at all surprising given the nature of the business and the high demand for tech professionals in the area’. Told Ricardo Casas of Fahrenheit.io.

‘It will obviously have a big boost, especially if it landed in one of our suburban communities. When you talk about each job equaling more than one person entering the community, and all the rest of the jobs created in the community because of it, it becomes a tremendous addition’. Redroc Austin spoke from Redroc Advertising.

“The impact on Amazon HQ2 to the Austin Metropolitan area would be significant. As a city Austin has a thriving tech and startup scene, one of the best in the country; but when you look at the list of publicly traded companies with headquarters in Austin it is extremely minimal compared to other cities of our size. Amazon building their new HQ2 in Austin would impact infrastructure, urban growth, tech talent pool and countless other aspects similar to what has happened in Seattle”. -Darryl Stevens of DIGITECH Web Design.

“With intentions to invest $5 billion into new construction and create 50,000 new jobs, the Amazon HQ2 will undoubtedly boost the local economy through the tax roll alone. The ripple effects of the HQ2 will also give the economy an added boost. More companies will follow suit and set up their headquarters in the same city, more jobs will be created, trade activity will increase, then the population and house prices will rise….  all of which will keep generating more and more tax revenue”. -James Trumbly of HMG Creative.

Amazon HQ2

Image From Austin Economic Development

Amazon is searching for talent in software development and related fields. What is your city’s tech scene like?

‘Austin has one of the most vibrant tech communities in the country boasting of a strong higher education system and a strong pull from other tech hubs, offering relatively affordable housing, high culture, and growth potential to newcomers’ – Ricardo Casas of Fahrenheit.io.

‘The Austin area is about as good as you can get for tech. Lots of universities. A great environment for you people. SXSW. The list goes on and on’, Redroc Austin spoke from Redroc Advertising.

“Austin has one of the best tech scenes in the country outside of Silicon Valley according to most major editorial reports and industry research, what we are missing is a stable presence of large publicly traded companies”. -Darryl Stevens of DIGITECH Web Design.

“The tech scene in the capital of Texas is thriving. Tech giants such as IBM and Dell have their headquarters in Austin. Facebook, Amazon, and Apple also have offices here. This is just to name a few. SXSW alone attracts thousands of influential people in tech every year”. -James Trumbly of HMG Creative.

Amazon HQ2

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How will the community welcome Amazon HQ2?

‘Austin will benefit tremendously from this new investment. Our roads and developments, however, will suffer with the inflow of new workers. Higher real estate prices and more congested roads will be the most obvious immediate changes’, told Ricardo Casas of Fahrenheit.io.

‘It would be mixed. Everyone knows the boost it could bring, but one of our biggest issues in this town is transportation. No one can fathom how rough this could be on our already saturated freeways. We also don’t seem to have a local government that interested on making transportation better as it is, much less with the addition of Amazon. The HQ2 would certainly need to be on the fringes of town where there would be more room for development’, Redroc Austin spoke from Redroc Advertising.

“Austin is known as a forward thinking city that thinks outside the box, but we are still in the south. We will welcome Amazon with open arms and roll out the red carpet to make HQ2 a success”. -Darryl Stevens of DIGITECH Web Design.

“I think there will be a mixed reaction. I think some members of the community will be excited about the employment opportunities and the value of their property increasing, whereas others will be angry about the growing population. Many feel that Austin is already too overcrowded and traffic is definitely a problem here”. -James Trumbly of HMG Creative.

Amazon HQ2

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Do you support the major’s proposal? Why, or why not?

‘As a tech professional myself, I do support the proposal and hope we follow this major investment with substantial investment in infrastructure and high density urban living…and please…lots of parking!’ told Ricardo Casas of Fahrenheit.io.

“We support the major’s proposal because we feel that it will be a benefit to the economy and culture of the city as a whole”. -Darryl Stevens of DIGITECH Web Design.

“I support the proposal because of the tremendous amount of capital this will bring to the city. It will help develop the infrastructure, provide employment opportunities for local talent (at all skill levels) and it will ultimately catapult the growth of the city. I think it will be a big win, not just for Austin, but for all of Texas”. -James Trumbly of HMG Creative.

Amazon HQ2

Image From Patch

Besides financial incentives, what does your city offer?

‘Austin offers a vibrant culture, young demographics, buzzing music scene and great night life. It also offers relatively inexpensive housing and a growing pool of qualified workers’, told Ricardo Casas of Fahrenheit.io.

“Austin. Everyone wants to be here these days to be a part of the city and the energy. People want to move here. That makes it so much easier to hire and bring people in’, Redroc Austin spoke from Redroc Advertising.

“While not all details have been disclosed, our cities offers one of the largest university campuses in the nation; The University of Texas. This would provide a constant stream of new talent for the brand including other major institutions in the area such as St. Edwards University, Texas State University and Texas A&M”. -Darryl Stevens of DIGITECH Web Design.

“A business-friendly environment, an exciting networking scene, a well-educated recruitment base, an international airport, plenty of culture and great weather. Amazon wouldn’t have to worry about regular snowstorms disrupting business”. -James Trumbly of HMG Creative.

Amazon HQ2

Image From Austin.com

What is in your city that isn’t found anywhere else?

‘Austin has a very unique vibe and a culture that is only found in much larger centers. It is fun, it’s smart, it’s fit and healthy, it’s outdoors and it’s inclusive’. – Ricardo Casas of Fahrenheit.io.

‘SXSW. ACL Fest. “Live Music Capital of the World” Texas state capitol. Willie Nelson’, Redroc Austin spoke from Redroc Advertising.

“We offer a similar culture to San Diego and San Francisco in which the cost of living is still actually affordable. This is truly the only place in the country that can still be found”. -Darryl Stevens of DIGITECH Web Design.

“A unique kind of weirdness that everybody loves”. -James Trumbly of HMG Creative.

There are other agencies however who actually believe, ‘I’m not sure I do think Austin’s the best place for an Amazon headquarters. We’re already bursting at the seams with so many people and don’t have the infrastructure for the population we have’, told Kristen Hicks of Austin Copywriter. While the opportunity is at large, many other agencies do not see fit in this business deal.

Amazon HQ2

Image From Austin Music Source

If you are an agency from Austin, and wish to contribute, please fill out this form here: https://ownersmag.com/need-talk-marketing-pr-agencies-amazon/

*Sponsored by Penji*

 

Business

How Office Design Enhances Productivity

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Did you know that how your workplace design can impact the productivity of your employees? Aside from this, office design also affects employee safety and health. A study by international architectural firm Gensler in the US states that even small workplace designs such as lighting and spatial layout affects employee productivity. So how does environment impact the health, safety and productivity of employees?

Sitting Down

Our work has a big impact on your health. Most of the time employees spend a lot of time on their desks, so they are becoming sedentary. As we all know, sitting down for long periods of time has adverse affects on our health. It makes us gain weight, which in turn can lead to more problems like heart disease and obesity. Getting sick could lead to more days away from work or hospital stays, which could inhibit productivity of the employee.

Designing office spaces that encourages movement or walking can help curb these problems for employees and employers alike. There are workstations that are designed to be used in either sitting or standing position. An open space design also encourages employees to walk from one section of the office to another. Sometimes something as basic as an ergonomically correct chair can help prevent ailments like back aches.

Lighting

Good lighting can help people see details clearly and increased visibility can help increase productivity. But, this does not mean to say that you can skimp on lighting in the office because a 1983 study shows that poor lighting is connected to low production levels and social satisfaction among employees. Many offices are composed of cubicles to give employees privacy to do their work. However, the cubicle arrangement also blocks natural light, which means that some employees are not exposed to natural lighting during an entire work cycle.

Humans are wired to seek natural lighting. In fact, all office workers in Europe must have exposure to natural light. Employees who had the best views were the most productive and were most likely to describe themselves as healthy.

Noise

Acoustics is another key contributing factor to productivity. To achieve acoustic comfort, the office must have appropriate acoustic support that is conducive to interaction, confidentiality and concentrative work. If it is too noisy, workers will not be able to communicate with each other let alone concentrate.

Other Factors

Aside from these factors, employers should also provide workers with suitable ventilation, access to greenery and the gym to help encourage healthy lifestyle. Even something as basic as giving them access to increase or reduce temperature in the office can impact their productivity. Employers should also encourage employees to personalize their workstations so that employees are happier. Work space design should allow employees to socialize with each other easily while at the same time giving them access to views and privacy, so that they can work properly and productively.

Good lighting, comfortable furniture, pleasant color schemes, and access to views or natural lighting can help generate positive energy in the office and employee mood. 79% of UK based employees report that a good working environment is important to their sense of job satisfaction.

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Things To Think About Before Quitting Your Day Job

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If you’re thinking about quitting your day job to go full time as a businessman or freelancer, there are many things you need to consider first. First of all, your job is like a security blanket. Letting go of it might sound adventurous at first, but it also comes with certain risks. Before you result to flipping a coin or removing the petals of a flower, here are some things you need to think about before taking the plunge.

Flexibility

Going into business or freelancing will give you flexibility for better life-work balance. Going to business for yourself will allow you to adjust your schedule so that you don’t feel like you’re chained to your desk the whole day. This is very beneficial, because you can work out your own schedule to fit your lifestyle. If you have children for example, you can be home when they are sick or when they’re home from school. Going into business or freelancing is also a good option for people who like to travel.

Benefits

One of the many reasons why people stick to their day job is the health benefits. This is a big factor to consider should you decide to quit. Health, dental, and retirement benefits can be expensive to put up on your own. Before deciding to stop working, make sure that you can afford to pay for these on your freelancing or business income. Work up a number before you decide to see how many clients you need to sustain paying for insurance on your own. Knowing how much you need will also result in a smoother transition when you leave your job.

Nest Egg

It is also easier to leave your day job if you have your finances in order. If you’re not sure if you can afford it, try to figure out how much you need as an emergency fund to serve as a buffer. This isn’t strictly for emergencies like getting sick. This will serve as funding for daily expenses until your business becomes profitable. One of the best ways to figure this out is to write several business plans to flesh out your ideas. Not only will this allow you to strategize if plan A does not work, it also gives you an idea what you will do using different scenarios.

Your Job Is Failing You

Do you feel yourself stretched too thin or unfulfilled? This might be because your job is failing you and quitting might be the answer. A business or going freelance, on the other hand, will give you time to think about or try new ideas. It will be like breaking out of the 9-5 routine and going on an adventure on uncharted waters. If you feel trapped, quitting and starting a business might just be a good option for you.

Self-Starter

You also need to ask yourself if you’re a self-starter. When you’re in charge of your own schedule, it might be tempting to get up later or to procrastinate starting something. When you don’t have a boss looking down your shoulder, you need to be a self-starter and self-motivator to get yourself going.

Deciding to quit your job to start a business or to go freelance full time is a big decision. Considering the above factors will help you decide if striking it out on your own is a good fit for you. It is also best to remember that you can find another job if it does not work out for you.

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Make The Most Out Of Meetings

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Companies invest lots of time and energy to conduct business meetings. It can be frustrating if the meetings fail to bring the desired result. Meetings can be painfully boring and you may try to avoid it, but with proper steps, you can come out with a winning smile from the conference room.

Be prepared

You are invited to a meeting with a definite purpose. Be prepared to be an active participant in the discussions. Try to know the topic of discussion. Keep your notes ready. Plan how you want to execute your points. The more you do your homework, the more confident you feel about the proposed meeting.

Develop a plan and write a summary

Once you know what you want to accomplish in the meeting, you need to develop a plan to execute it. Write all the major points you want to communicate in the meeting on a paper. Avoid complex language. If you use lucid language, everyone can follow and understand you. If a written summary is ready in your hands, you feel more confident before entering the venue. Be prepared for the questions. Try to answer the questions patiently.

Network

Try to build a network for yourself when you participate in meetings. Arrive early and have some time to get to know the people. Mingle with all the participants of the meeting with some casual conversations. Building a good working relationship with the people outside your team can help you progress in your career.

Smart use of time

It is very important to finish your presentation within the time limit. Do not stretch the duration of the meeting with an unending series of questions and answers. People may not encouragingly listen to you if you extend it too long. Participants should not feel that their time is wasted.

Participate and encourage participation

Most people do not find meetings engaging enough. They either play with their phones or whisper within themselves. You can impress everyone with your listening skills. Do not distract yourself from the discussions. Ask appropriate questions after each of the presentations at the meeting. When you present, try to maintain eye contact with the participants. Appreciate when they ask you good questions. You can add some variety in the stiff environment of the meeting by arranging some creative games in-between.

Learn from the past

If you have been to business meetings before, you already have a clue how to go on with your idea. Learn from the mistakes you made before. If this the first time you are participating in a meeting, get some information from your team or review the past presentations made by your seniors.

Time to shine

When you are invited to an important meeting, make the most of it. Do not be apprehensive. Take it as a chance to show your potential as an employee. Your seniors will appreciate your efforts when you prepare yourself hard for the event. When you participate actively in the discussions and ask intelligent questions, you get a chance to impress your colleagues.

 

Meetings are a part of the modern corporate world. You cannot afford to miss all the meetings. If you can prepare yourself well for the meeting, you feel more positive and confident.

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