Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Scott Story’s latest story

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Greg Peck
Thursday, July 11, 2013

I caught wind of a new business named My Office-Jvl in an email exchange with Elizabeth Horvath, executive director of the Janesville Performing Arts Center (Read more about that in our editorial planned for Sunday.). The business is the subject of a story on Page 1A of today’s Gazette. On Wednesday, I found the business on Facebook and recognized the building as the historic one just up Milwaukee Street, a block from The Gazette. I’ve often admired the maple tree out front that creates a beautiful hue each fall.

So during lunchtime Wednesday, I walked up the street, saw the big “open” sign on a railing out front, and stepped inside, almost tripping on two workers installing a sign above the front door.

A gentleman at the desk, past the lobby, greeted me and offered to give me a tour. He explained the modest conference room and various offices for rent on hourly, daily or monthly bases. They’re well equipped with computers and other amenities. Both floors have snack rooms and rest rooms, and customers can grab from a small stash of office supplies if they need them.

I was at first skeptical about the endeavor until he told me his name—Scott Story. It rang a bell. He reminded me that he had created a pond installation business, and that’s why I remembered his recognizable name. It grew into a business doing work at Disney World and even internationally. He sold it to employees years ago and went on the road as a consultant, traveling from coast to coast to explain how he built a thriving business so quickly.

On these trips, he saw similar temporary office quarters. These were in high-rise buildings in larger cities, of course, and had bigger rental fees to match. Story believes his new venture, which opened its doors Tuesday, can succeed with affordable fees in a community known for spawning many home-based businesses. It’s a daunting prospect to take the plunge and sign a lease for office space and needed equipment. His business can be a bridge to such hopes, he said.

Story and his wife are buying the building, which has stood mostly empty for several years after other professional offices closed or moved elsewhere. I’ve driven by the building for years on my way to work and was delighted to see this reuse and the remodeling inside.

Story also offers virtual office services that provide a business address away from home, mail collection and forwarding and discounted office space when needed. His location near downtown and only a block from the courthouse has already encouraged an attorney and counselor to sign up for space to meet with clients. Other businesses have expressed interest in renting space for employees to study and further their education. Story says he can provide quiet spaces for students to study together. He’s open during regular business hours, but as a new business, he’s willing to accommodate most any schedule.

He also plans to let local artists use his office walls to display their work for a month at a time, then invite the artists to open houses at each month’s end.

The more he talked, the more impressed I was with Story and his latest venture. He has seen enough businesses to understand well what people want and need and how to market his product. Will his concept work in Janesville? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t bet against him.

To view a photo gallery of this new business, click here.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook

Last updated: 8:25 am Monday, July 29, 2013

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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