Business: Expectations vs. Reality

Our Next Steps as Business Owners

Businesses have been swept up in a whirlwind these last few months, some still in a holding pattern, some barely surviving and others, well….thriving.

Let’s step back for a moment. Think about when you decided to start your business. Remember the vision that seemed like it was “placed” in your brain? Whether you used vision boards or something as simple as graphing paper and #2 pencil, it flowed out of you because you saw something, you knew something, you put it together in your mind and it came out as a plan which then became framework, which became a business model, then business plan and so on and so forth and the rest is history, right?

Now, let’s step into the here and now once again. Here we are, fellow business owner, in the middle of a pandemic and newly evolving guidelines presented to you practically every morning. You are meeting with your management team via zoom or spread out in your conference room awkwardly, observing social distancing requirements. Finances, Human Resources, Safety Committees, Operations on “high alert”…so many factors, so many things to manage. Is there light at the end of the tunnel, or is this more like a cyclone?

America has experienced catastrophic situations since its inception. Through each tumultuous trial that we have faced as a nation, one thing has been a constant. Americans are resilient. American business owners are fierce. We are innovators, inventors, and imaginations run wild, even when chaos is all around us.

From what I am observing, the businesses that are “thriving” have taken a moment, poured a cup of coffee or tea, turned off the noise and had a reality check of their own. You’re sitting there in your quiet place, probably holding your head, saying to yourself, “I had a plan, I have expectations…now what?!?”

Don’t forget every expectation that you had coming into 2020, however, you are going to need a reset mentally and operationally because as with all of the aspects of life, we have to adjust our expectations to meet our current circumstances. Some businesses are still rolling along because they’ve made “adjustments”. They didn’t loose their identity nor did they throw their vision in file 13. They did re-envision their business models and came up with ways to continue to offer their services, manufacture and sell their products in innovative ways that worked in a COVID-19 environment.

So, a word of encouragement to business owners who feel like they are in the cyclone rather than a brief stint in the tunnel: You were visionary and innovative and creative and clever when you started this business of yours. You still ARE! Gather your team and have brainstorming, collaborative sessions. Make ways in the desert. Focus on the positive. In 2020, you have so many different internet/digital avenues to keep your message, your brand, even your new offerings out in front of your potential client base. Make your name known. Provide special offers to potential clients. Create community by making a concerted effort to build a “fan base” within your social media channels. Make friends with other local business owners and give them props on your channels. Feed the unity and draw the community closer together in this time “apart”, and thrive in this season of uncertainty. Your new normal, your new reality might be your next favorite vision.

The Connective Art & Music Festival is this weekend

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This Saturday in Oxford is the place to be as three stages of bands, lots of great artwork, and fun and games for all ages converge throughout “Main Street” Oxford. HERR’S is hosting this event and WXPN is providing radio sponsorship for the event. This year’s headliner will be the 90’s band, Blind Melon. Oxford Borough is offering free parking. Come join your local community for all of this, plus food trucks, street performers, cold craft brews and wine from our local vineyards. For tickets and information, visit http://www.connectivefestival.org

(8.2.19 ~ tickettoentertainment.com)

 

Contentions Heighten between Aqua PA and Chester Water

drops-of-water-578897_1920Aqua Pennsylvania and Chester Water are apparently not playing nicely together. According to the Daily Local News, Aqua PA has filed suit against CWA over their agreement with the city of Chester. Because Aqua has an existing agreement with CWA which constitutes four system connections, any rate change that is approved trickles downstream, literally. (pardon the pun)

Marc Lucca, President of Aqua Pennsylvania has expressed his serious concerns over the 10% rate hike due to a settlement with the city of Chester which tops off over $60 million dollars.  The trickle is actually an understatement. This action produces approximately $75,000 of additional pass-through costs to current Aqua customers with no perks whatsoever.

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Aqua has already begun efforts to build their own pipelines in Ridley Township and Nether Providence, putting CWA on notice that they’re terminating their contracts for those municipalities.

Can this partnership be mended back together? According to Mr. Lucca, these irresponsible rate hikes are causing huge trust issues. Because CWA is not governed by PUC, they have the capacity to bump up their rates whenever they feel like it. We’ll see what the Delaware County Common Pleas Court ruling determines.

(References: Daily Local News ~ dailylocal.com)

 

 

New Garden has a New Tool in their Conservation Tool Belt

field-1285991_1920Eighteen municipalities in Chester County have embraced the “Official Map” measure. Our neighboring township of New Garden has jumped on the bandwagon recently.

These Official Maps are projected to be useful tool to protect open spaces. However, there is a catch. The end game is for the municipality to amass land. If you, Mr. or Mrs. Property owner decide to construct on your existing parcel or choose to subdivide, you must notify the township. The clock starts ticking at that point and the township has a defined time frame to negotiate a “fair market price” for the parcel.

Note that this is not eminent domain or condemnation of property. This tool basically gives them right of first refusal for your property. If they have no interest in purchasing your property, then you are permitted to proceed with your plans within the township’s navigational beacons.

Reference: Daily Local News ~ dailylocal.com

 

 

 

Then You Crash Into Me: The Commercial Real Estate Industry after Legalized Marijuana

herb-2915337The love/hate relationship that seems to be forming between the Commercial Real Estate industry and Marijuana may or may not be on your radar, but it is reality.

Fully legal in nine states, one inhabited territory, three native-American reservations, not to mention Washington D.C., it’s impact has been felt across multiple industries. Some cheer, others protest, but regardless, we in the commercial real estate industry need to be educated on the basic legalities as it has become commonplace for medical use and in some areas, recreationally acceptable as well. The federal law mandates that it be grown and manufactured in the state in which it is sold/consumed.

The demand and, in turn, the value for warehouse and industrial properties has significantly increased in affected regions. Climate controlled warehouses and distressed properties including former storage, data, and manufacturing are all being acquistioned and repurposed. Even the limping retail sector has been affected as in those states where retail sales have been sanctioned, as marijuana retail shops have breathed life into some of those long-time vacancies.

Here’s a run down of the basics for our region:

Pennsylvania: Medical Marijuana approved by Governor Wolf in April of 2016

Maryland: Decriminalized and Medical Use/Manufacturing/Distribution approved

Delaware: Decriminalized and Medical Use/Manufacturing/Distribution approved

New Jersey: Governor Jon Corzine signed Medical Marijuana law in January of 2010

 

There are concerns that this may be another real estate bubble that eventually pops. Even though concerns remain, this industry has sparked new property interest and investment pursuits that we in the industry cannot deny. Both Brokers and Property Owners alike seem to be riding the wave while they can. Time will tell as always.

 

 

 

Population Increases in this Town that Started with a Tavern

WestchesterThis town that was originally granted to a a ship captain by William Penn himself. In  1762, Phineas Eachus and Chest Weaterson were given a license to construct a tavern in West Chester, PA.  This former “no-name” tavern operated for almost 200 years as a tavern/hotel and served as a pseudo-stock exchange platform (on its front porch) for the local banks in the town, where the public could purchase in an auction format.

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Known as the dining destination for the Brandywine Valley, West Chester has recently received new notariety as the fastest growing town in entire state of Pennsylvania. Why do newcomers flock to West Chester to do life?

Some suggest:

  • Walkability
  • Historic Location
  • Great Schools
  • Low Crime Rate
  • Diversity
  • West Chester University
  • Great Retail District
  • Festivals/Events/Things to Do/Parks & Recreation
  • Haute Restaurant Hub
(Photos courtesy of Wikipedia By Camerafiend – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58340546,Zoewscott at English Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

JUST SOLD – Courtesy of Penny Sarro

Aerial10 sold

 

SOLD! 952 E Baltimore Pike, Kennett Square, PA 19348

This approximately 2,500sf Commercial Building is seated on approximately on 0.5 acres. Highly visible location on a major route. Public Water & Sewer available. Zoning is Multi-Use. 102ft frontage on US1 – Traffic Counts are 37000+ AADT. Uses by right include: Multi-Family Dwelling, Cluster Development, Retail Store.

Our own Penny Sarro was the listing agent on this transaction. Penny lives in Kennett Square with her husband for 25 years. She went to Spring Garden College for Electronic Engineering, Marketing, and Drafting . She is a 24+ year business owner of a Commercial Fabricating Sign Company and has 30+ years in sales and marketing as well as experience in construction. These experiences and knowledge will bring her clientele a wide spectrum of information and potential deals. She has established a large client base and understands the needs of business owners.


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Contact Penny Sarro:

 

Office: (610) 444-7770 x134

Mobile: (484) 880-0154

Email: psarrocre@gmail.com

 

 


 

2018 – Startups Staying Power

Let’s explore why especially the technology startups have a true advantage in 2018.

  • The overall cost has dropped dramatically – 999900% from 1990 until today to be exact. It’s cheap to build a startup on the internet.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been implemented over most facets of the the lives of Americans and will continue to grow in uses with time and advances in tech. Any company involved in this has a clear advantage.
  • Transformative Techology

– Real-Time Example: Shotspotter, Inc.Shotspotter Stock(Courtesy of Google Finance 2018)

This technology features sensors that will notify local police of gun violence incidents only seconds are the trigger is pulled. The effectiveness of the technology provides widespread results that have a ripple effect in so many directions.

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A Sample of Tech Startups that hit the ground running:

 

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Wearable Technologies

A Salesforce Researchers survey found that 79 percent of early adopters think wearables will play a critical role their company’s future success. Forecasters say that service industries, retail, healthcare, sales and marketing will be the avenues that wearable tech will be in high demand.

 

Smart Technologies

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From smart homes and offices to smart cars, the future is bright in this arena. We speak to operating systems and tell them what we want. We are connected wherever we go. Property management automation options will play a big role in the future of office and retail especially.

 

Cybersecurity and Counter-Terrorismhacker-1872304_1920

Innovation is in demand to protect personal information, company records, government data and military infrastructure.

The greater the level of AI and wearable/mobile tech, the greater the need for protection and security from hackers. It’s a constant progression, with increasing need for monitoring and infiltrating tools.

 

Disruptive Technology

In one fell swoop, Berkshire Hathaway, Amazon and JPMC threw the healthcare stock market into a tailspin as they announced that they were joining forces to develop a solution to their company healthcare concerns. One press release caused investors to lose billions of dollars. Disruptive technology challenges the sustainability of old systems, causing companies to be acquired or just simply go out of business.

 

Information Technology has become a focused concern for commercial property owners and property managers. Keeping up with “the next” is a daunting task for many small to medium size companies, let alone the property owner who is faced with sustaining the viability of his multi-tenant office building. Commercial developers have become the researchers in order to stay abreast of the ever-changing landscape. Whether we like it or not, the future is now folks, so buckle up buttercups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Site for the Kennett Library

Weinstein LotThe Weinstein Lot has been sold to the Kennett Library for the proposed new site for the library. It is conveniently located just one block east, so it won’t affect walkability and accessibility for the residents of Kennett Borough.

In the meantime, the borough has received a $500,000 grant to fund a parking garage expansion, which should assist in relocating those who were utilizing the Weinstein lot.

Win win for everyone – talk about timing, right? The stars must’ve aligned just right. The Kennett Library has started a fundraising campaign for their new building and looks forward to construction of a huge auditorium inside the new to-be-built library, and underground parking.