Small Business Q&A: Business On The Spot
This week a new East Cobb startup and collaborative work space is profiled.
In 1988, Ken Cook was working in marketing and sales in the car stereo industry when he first saw the potential role of computers in commerce.
At the time, the internet was a budding network connecting educational institutions and AOL was doing business as Control Video Corporation, providing a foundational form of online service, according to Hobbs Internet Timeline and WebHosting.com.
Cook focused his interest in the digital world into pioneering a career as online marketing consultant and search engine optimzation (SEO) architect.
Cook founded SocialMediaEdge.com in 2008 where he continues to host a weekly blog and talk radio show that features local and national on-line public relations and branding experts.
His hour-long program transmits live each Tuesday at noon EST and can also be heard on iTunes. Patch Editor-in-Chief Brian Farnham was a past guest.
He's also the owner of Business on the Spot, which provides low cost workspace rental and technology classes for entrepreneurs in East Cobb. It's located at 2501 East Piedmont Road, close to the intersection of Sandy Plains Road and just south of Sprayberry High School.
"I'm a facilitator for start-ups. We've got space to hold meetings, space for office set-up and we've got a video studio," Cook said. "I also offer online marketing consulting and web video services."
There are graphic designers, a professional still photographer and an expert Angel Fundraiser already renting offices in the building.
Every third Thursday of the month Social Media Breakfast Atlanta holds its regular meeting at the Spot.
Q. What's the best thing about your job?
A. I only have 10,000 bosses, I don't have to work for just one.
Being serious, meeting new people is good and having the autonomy of being freelance within a collaborative network of people is good.
I have friends, not clients.
And, I don't have to shave.
Q. What is the best thing about East Cobb?
A. The diversity. And, there are a lot of small business owners living here.
Everything I need is near. Sometimes I go into Atlanta. But, I live three-quarters of a mile away from here, I'm an East Cobb native. My family is in Cobb.
My goal in life is to get people outside of 285.
Q. Why did you choose to open your business in East Cobb?
A. I want to help local people get businesses started. I want to create a place to collaborate.
Q. Why did you pick this kind of business?
A. This place is an answer to things that I have needed many times over the years.
Q. What are some of the services you offer that people don't know about?
A. We have long term office rentals as low as $8 a day. A meeting room for 30 people that is $10 an hour.
My first client gave me a good way to explain what this place is. We were in the studio shooting video and he said, "This place is hang-outable."
That's what we've got. A cool place to be and learn.
I want to establish a sort of brain trust that is available for small businesses.
Q. How long have you been in business?
A. The doors are open, but we haven't officially opened.
February we'll offer sweetheart deals on space rentals and have a grand opening event.
Q. How did your business get started?
A. This space was available and I took it. I'm a partner in ownership of the building.
Q. Do you have advice for anyone who'd like to start a small business in this area?
A. Go for it. Get good advice from people who have already been there.
Don't try to do it by yourself. Islands are hard to get to and hard to get off of. Collaborate.
Q. Is there anything else you'd like our readers to know?
A. Start a business. I don't know when a bad time is to start a small business.
I'm not going to let who is president or my government representative on any level, or the economy, dictate my success.
Small business is not economy-driven.
Small companies are adaptable. They have ability for quick response to opportunity.
I've seen studies that show that the best time for start-ups is when the economy is at its worst.
Business On The Spot
2501 East Piedmont Road