Amber: Hi I’m Amber Ambrose and this is BusinessMakers USA, brought to you by Insperity, inspiring business performance. And today we’re in a totally different place, Milwaukee, Wisconsin – so hello Milwaukee – and specifically we’re in the Hudson Business and Lounge and today my guest is actually Scott Lorenz, who is the Business Development Manager of the Hudson Business and Lounge. So welcome to the show.
Scott: Great to be here Amber, thanks a lot.
Amber: So first off, for people that don’t know and aren’t privy to getting to hang out in your conference room, what is Hudson business and Lounge?
Scott: It’s a dedicated, shared workspace/meeting space/event space. So you can perform pretty much all business functions out of here and we like to boast that we are extremely cost effective and really our motto is that we’re going to make you the most productive you that you can be and try to buy back one of the greatest assets that people want is time.
Amber: Right, and a way that you do that is you also combine a hospitality element that is I guess the lounge area.
Scott: Right, so a quick backstory we’ll be on our 5th year anniversary, we’ll be turning 5 in October.
Amber: Happy Birthday.
Scott: Thank you. The first couple of years here we were still a shared workspace; we had a café out front. We were still tweaking things to find the right business model for us to really succeed and push forward. A couple of years ago we decided to change over to more of a hospitality setting; really figured out that we are here to make our members the most productive people that they can be. And however we can do that, whether it’s through the meeting space, through that conference space, hosting events, networking or just coming in and getting work done we’re here to help. And a big piece of that is our café out front. It allows people onsite here the opportunity to not leave the building and go get some fantastic food.
Amber: And just a hop, skip and a jump.
Scott: That’s exactly right, that’s all it is.
Amber: And I would imagine that you have also some people coming in from the café side that are just hanging out and getting lunch or coffee or breakfast and they’re like oh, what’s over there?
Scott: It’s definitely a two-way street. So it’s great for the members to be able to go over and get some food, but it’s also nice people coming in off the street that are just there for the café perspective and grabbing a cup of coffee in the morning to poke their head around the corner and say what is that place? They see the space and people’s curiosity peeks and that’s really where my role starts is to show them around. Show them what we do and how we drive that value to all shapes and sizes of businesses.
Amber: So you guys just had a rebrand.
Scott: We had our grand reopening.
Amber: We just happen to be here for the soirée.
Scott: You guys timed it just perfectly. You guys caught the back end of it and it was great to have you in here and really show you guys all the different things we can do in terms of hosting events and how the space below that you guys are walking through today can really change from the co-working space and shared workspace gallery that it is to an event gallery where you can perform workshops. And even on Sundays there’s a church that functions out of here, so really all shapes and sizes of businesses are able to utilize that.
Amber: Yeah that makes sense. It’s like they call the mullet business in the front, party in the back – it’s kind of like business in the day, party in the night.
Scott: That’s exactly right.
Amber: Not to compare you guys to a mullet.
Scott: You know what, there are a few around Wisconsin.
Amber: And Texas too.
Scott: And Texas too, there you go.
Amber: And some of them are on purpose.
Scott: Some of them mean it.
Amber: Going beyond the mullet approach to business during the day, party at night what are some of the most innovative things that you guys are doing?
Scott: Well part of our rebrand is to really get ourselves out into the Milwaukee marketspace showing people that we are more than just a café and that we are more than just that co-working and shared workspace; we can be both. So from an innovation standpoint the events that we host after work are all able to be catered. We can perform in-house catering here.
Amber: Because it’s built in.
Scott: It’s built in. It doesn’t even go outside before it comes to you; it’s served, it can be made to order.
Amber: Sure, and I imagine even the liquor license situation makes it…
Scott: It makes it very easy for people to say yes, we want to host an event there because it’s all built in.
Amber: It’s turnkey.
Scott: It’s very, very turnkey. Our bar staff does a great job with getting everything ready from a drink perspective. Our kitchen staff does a great job of making sure the food is fresh and made to order, it’s ordered correctly. And then our operations staff in the back here makes sure that everything for an event or meeting space is ready to go, whether it’s just even as simple as having a clean and ready room to go to catering and whatever is needed or helping a meeting group with something in particular that they need.
Amber: So if I were in Milwaukee and I wanted a space how much would it cost?
Scott: Well it depends on how much you use the space. Our memberships start part time and they go all the way through full time and even as large as team memberships where you designate a team leader that can work underneath you. Everything is month to month and it’s very deliberate that we are very flexible. We know the modern work world is something that changes very quickly and whether you’re consulting on contractual projects things change overnight and we want to meet you in that flexible space because we are that flexible space. SO for us to meet people halfway is a great value add for the employee, for the employer that may be paying on behalf of the employee; just really offering that great, flexible work model.
Amber: I’ve worked out of the home for so long and I was just thinking it would be nice to just be away from those distractions and then also have a place to meet clients. I’m imagining that’s another niche that you fill.
Scott: Absolutely and with your example you may only need to get out of the house once or twice a week and we can fulfill that for you. Our memberships part time start at just once a week, $79 a month; that gets you access to our space, that gets you member rate on all the private rooms which is the real benefit.
Amber: So you get added benefits on top of just renting?
Scott: Correct. So on top of the membership – which is a great way to become a part of our member community and really tap into that network which is in itself very valuable just because it’s putting yourself with coworkers that aren’t coworkers. These are people in different industries, different sizes of businesses, consultants from all across that can really help you and you can bounce ideas off of them if needed. So we have social events every month for just our members; we really like to encourage that.
Amber: So you have a networking element of all of this.
Scott: We do. We think it’s very important that the members get to know each other, someone walking by that you see a couple times a week, we want you to get to know that person.
Amber: Well that’s great. Well I’m glad I got to know you Scott and got to know Hudson Business and Lounge because it’s been very comfortable and accommodating so thank you so much.
Scott: Thanks Amber.
Amber: Once again this is BusinessMakers USA, I’m Amber Ambrose. This is Scott Lorenz and we’re coming to you from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Hudson Business and Lounge, thanks for watching.
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