Behind the most successful business centers can be found exceptional individuals with a vision, who have learned the business from the ground up and are able to pinpoint exactly what is needed to make their centers thrive and grow.
Executive Suite Professionals or ‘ESP’ is no exception, and the Jacksonville-based serviced office center bears Linda Gufford’s indelible stamp of professionalism and integrity.
With over twenty years in the serviced office industry under her belt, there is little that she has not experienced and much that she has sought to change about the way serviced office space works.
Gufford’s sense of style and instinct for quality brings a breath of fresh air into an atmosphere where many independents live in the shadow of Regus. “We don’t compete with Regus,” proclaims Gufford, who has been approached by the office space giant to buy ESP more than once.
“We take a different approach, focusing 100% of our efforts on anticipating and delivering to exceed the expectations of our clients,” she said. As for the specter of Regus, Lisa Gufford remains unruffled. “We consider ourselves THEIR competition,” she states with confidence.
Part of what makes ESP a formidable competitor to Regus is their attention to detail and an essence of ‘class’ that goes above and beyond most centers.
Here is a taste of what a visit from a potential ESP client looks like:
One walks through the doors of ESP and is greeted by well-dressed front desk receptionists who stand and greet them with a handshake. Language is rarely a barrier, as ESP front office personnel are well-versed in various languages, including Mandarin.
And, they don’t stop there. As the office manager, or Lisa herself, takes the visitor on a tour, the front desk does a bit of online research about the company and is well prepared upon the visitor’s exit to pay a compliment on a recent milestone reached, or comment upon a specific news item particular to their industry. [As a side note, their research once exposed an ‘undercover’ Regus employee posing as a lawyer!]
Of course, once ESP has a prospect within their doors, it is almost a fait accompli that they will become clients. The space itself is an impressive 35,000 square feet of modern, well-appointed suites, a luxurious central lounge area and 5 spacious meeting rooms, located within the prestigious EverBank Center building in downtown Jacksonville.
ESP is all about accommodating a range of needs — Lisa likes to say that she has taken the word ‘no’ out of her vocabulary — providing suites of all sizes, ranging from single spaces to mini-suites, serving from one to four people. ESP also provides day offices and virtual offices. Pricing plans offer monthly, weekly and daily space rental. Over 100 small businesses have come on board with ESP in the last 17 months.
Another Regus-busting move made by ESP was to provide all-inclusive pricing. Everything is included from limitless gourmet coffee to automatic membership in the fitness center, conveniently located within ESP. “No nickel and diming” is the philosophy in direct contrast to Regus’ reputation for a low ‘in-the-door’ cost, followed by multiple costs added on downstream.
Moving outside their spaces, ESP supports the community by partnering with local businesses including Downtown Vision, CSX, and Riverclub, providing ESP tenants with complimentary memberships. ESP has even arranged special discounts with a local Omni Hotel, which they pass along to their clients.
The result of Lisa Gufford’s uncompromising efforts? A polished and thriving serviced office center that continues to attract the best and brightest of Jacksonville’s professional small business community.
ABCN is proud to welcome ESP into the ABCN community. “We are excited about working with Lisa Gufford and introducing ESP into our network,” said ABCN Chairman, Frank Cottle. “We are very much looking forward to a solid and mutually rewarding relationship.”