Blog : virtual

Launch RGV: Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

Launch RGV: Get Your Ideas Off the Ground

You have a great idea, but how can you make it come alive?

If you’re planning on doing business in the Rio Grande Valley, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the expansive amount of resources available to help people just like you. There’s a wide scope of assistance available, but in this booming metropolis — where do you even start?

We are excited to announce our new blog series, called “Launch RGV”

This blog series will guide you through the maze of resources you’ll find spread out throughout the Rio Grande Valley. From chambers to local business grants and some marketing tips in between, this is your one-stop shop for all things RGV Biz.

Grindstone Coworking has given us an opportunity to meet and work with a variety of people and organizations throughout the Rio Grande Valley whose passion is to help small business owners. We feel obligated to pass that information on to as many people as possible.

We look forward to sharing our curated list of resources and hearing about how else we can add value to our startup ecosystem in the valley.

 

Do you have an idea? Do you have a small business? Tell us what your favorite resource is so we can add it to our list.

 

Rise & Grind,

Daniel Rivera

Grindstone Coworking Announces New McAllen Location

Grindstone Coworking Announces New McAllen Location

Grindstone Coworking Announces New McAllen Location

Grindstone Coworking is excited to announce the opening of its new McAllen office space this September. Located at the intersection of 10th street and Trenton Rd. at Trenton View Plaza, the new communal office space is now accepting membership applications and pre-leasing for private office suites.

As the Rio Grande Valley’s first coworking space, Grindstone Coworking and its dual locations are expected to bring new opportunities to remote workers, freelancers and small business owners in the Rio Grande Valley. To kick things off, the space is offering an Early Bird Special, now available exclusively to the first 20 members to sign up.

“The success we’ve seen with our first location in Edinburg is testament to the growth and acceptance of the coworking culture in the RGV. Gone are the days where you need huge desks, cords, and phone lines to work. Laptops, tablets, and cell phones are now powerful enough to run businesses from, and our location offers a go-to spot to get it all done productively, with a more social environment than the coffee shop or home office,” said Daniel Rivera, founder of Grindstone Coworking.

Grindstone Coworking is expanding to the McAllen area to offer additional flexibility for existing members, as well as new members located in the McAllen and Mission areas. The new office provides members a vibrant communal space to work from, while there are also several newly remodeled private office suites for lease.

“We’re excited for our new location for a number of reasons. Our proximity to some of McAllen’s most booming businesses offers more benefits and convenience for our members, and with two locations now, our members get to experience the flexibility and additional business opportunities that come with workspaces across two different cities.”

Monthly Grindstone coworking memberships, which start at $149, include access to networking mixers, small business education classes, marketing seminars and other events. With Grindstone McAllen’s office suites, you’ll receive all the benefits of coworking with the privacy you need for optimal productivity.

Grindstone Coworking was established in 2015. The coworking space’s first location, situated in Edinburg’s downtown area, is open to freelancers, remote workers and a variety of other professionals such as attorneys, accountants, tech professionals and real estate agents, among many others.

Monthly coworking memberships and private office leases provide access to a variety of amenities including a shared kitchen and café area, limitless Moonbeans coffee, a conference room, classroom and other features beneficial to small businesses and independent workers.

If you’re interested in joining a community of fellow remote workers, freelancers and entrepreneurs with a common goal of success, don’t hesitate. Contact Renee at 956.900.2190, send us a message on Facebook, or visit www.thegrindstone.co/mcallen to schedule a tour and learn more information about office leasing and coworking membership plans.

 

Summer Time Hustle

Summer Time Hustle

We’ve reached the midpoint of 2017. How’s it going so far? With half of the year already spent, it’s great timing to evaluate where you are, and whether or not you’re where you want to be.

Sure, those New Year’s resolutions you made are all well and good, but if you’re like 99% of us, you forgot all about those by mid-February. If you find you’re falling behind in any of the following areas, it may be time to step up your game. You’ve still got the second half of 2017 to turn things around. What are you waiting for?

Health/Wellness

So that no bread/no dairy/no gluten diet you intended to stick to suddenly fell through. But just because you fell off the wagon doesn’t mean you have to give up entirely. The second half of the year is a great time to get fit. Commit to that healthy eating plan, and get yourself to the gym or park for a run at least three times per week. If you’re in need of some extra motivation, convince another unmotivated friend to join you and tackle your fitness journey together. Being your best, most creative and productive self is most possible when the other aspects of your life are running smoothly, including your health. 

Organization

The first step toward productivity is organization, and no one knows the ins and outs of multi-tasking quite like the entrepreneur.  If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve currently got about a thousand (give or take) things on your plate. Organizational apps are ideal for keeping your thoughts and tasks uncomplicated. Download an app like Trello or Asana on your phone and laptop to keep you on track when your work piles up. Set deadlines, communicate freely with coworkers, and keep files all in one place. Productivity takes a major nosedive when your universe is in disarray. Don’t fall into the trap this summer!

Goals

Are you following your passion? I mean, really following your passion? If not, there’s no better time than now. Whether you’re a painter, a photographer or a web designer, it’s never too late to begin your journey to entrepreneurship. With the laid-back vibe of summer comes renewed opportunity to truly explore your talents. Don’t waste your days being unproductive. With great hustle, comes great rewards!

Don’t put off until tomorrow what can be done today. Call us to schedule a tour of Grindstone Coworking!

5 Easy Apps for DIY Content for Your Small Business

5 Easy Apps for DIY Content for Your Small Business

Create DIY Content for Your Small Business with Five Easy-To-Use Apps

In the small business world, content creation is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, good content can powerfully impact your sales, your brand image, and your overall reputation. On the other hand, good content comes at a price, whether it be monetary, time consumption, or mental effort. Great content doesn’t always come easy, but as a business owner, you already know that great things rarely come easy. These easy-to-use apps, however, can help you on your path to kick-ass content creation in no time.

Trello

The MAOA (Mother of All Organizational Apps), Trello, is one of the single best tools you can use to get your thoughts, projects and assignments organized. Many people are visual learners by nature, and Trello’s easy-to-use, image-centered set-up makes organizing ideas easier than ever before. Create cards for different ideas and arrange them by column, color or project. Drag and drop to suit your needs, and tag team members on each card to communicate ideas freely and in real time. Notifications are sent straight to your phone, so if you’re on a deadline, you can be sure you’re not losing precious time. If you’ve got a big project coming up, and you don’t know where to start, Trello is a safe bet.

Canva

Not everyone is gifted in graphic design. Don’t beat yourself up about it. For the design-challenged among us, there’s Canva. This must-have app is a Godsend for small business owners who don’t have the funds to outsource graphic design projects, big or small. Don’t waste time searching job boards and paying big bucks for simple projects like newsletter design or social media design work. Instead, download Canva, create your own graphics using their easy lay-out and current selection of images and fonts, then carry on with your day as the adaptable boss that you are.

Pexels

Image selection often goes hand-in-hand with creating your own graphics. For this, there’s Pexels.com. A round-up of all the internet’s best free stock photos, there are thousands of high-quality images to choose from, so you’re bound to find the perfect picture to represent your brand and target audience. Whether for Facebook ads, social media memes or websites, Pexels.com is a stellar source for imagery.

Grammar.ly

While a good copywriter can be a great asset for your business, there are plenty of writing tasks you can tackle all on your own, with the right app, of course. Grammar.ly is a fantastic resource if easy-to-read, mistake-free content is what you’re going for – and you should be. Cut down on embarrassing typos and take your overall writing style to the next level with this easy-to-use program.

Wordswag

So you’ve got the right words, but how do you present them in the right way? Wordswag is the answer. With the popularity of social media at an all-time high, meme creation is basically a necessity. Spice up your brand’s images with Wordswag, then sit back as they spread like wildfire across your favorite channels. It’s really that simple.

Have any questions or other apps you want to share? Message us on Facebook or drop us a line at [email protected]

Freelancing Your Way to Freedom in the RGV

Freelancing Your Way to Freedom in the RGV

Freelancing in the RGV

Owning a business can be intimidating. If the prospect of diving head first into owning a business fills you with a sense of dread, you may not be entirely ready for such a huge undertaking. And that’s OK. It may take months, even years, to find the confidence to start your business. In this case, the phrase, “don’t quit your day job” is well intentioned. Instead of quitting your 9-to-5 job on a whim, there are other ways to truly explore the concept of entrepreneurship before commitment.

Freelancing may be your best option for bringing in significant income without the pressure that comes with full-on entrepreneurship. Luckily, there is an ever-growing array of websites to help you on your path to freelance success, though not all are created equal. Upwork.com has proven inexplicably valuable in helping me establish my growing business. Here’s a breakdown of the internet’s most valuable website for freelancers.

Upwork Ecosystem

The largest of its kind on the web, Upwork.com is where a lot of freelancers go to jumpstart their careers. Born from a merger between freelance heavy-hitters Elance.com and Odesk.com, Upwork.com attracts millions of clients and freelancers, utilizing a comprehensive interview process to provide a perfect match.

With an almost-overwhelming amount of job prospects, the Upwork job board is easy to navigate. Whether you’re a graphic designer, a writer, photographer or accountant, Upwork may be just the avenue you need to gain the confidence to venture out on your own. There is absolutely no cost to set up and get started. Simply create your user profile, upload your resume, then begin bidding on projects based on your desired income and experience. A growing number of large companies are joining by the day, many recognizing the convenience that comes from employing remote workers on a contract basis.

The Upwork interview process showcases the very best of the internet’s potential. Skype calls with people from all over the world are not uncommon. I’ve encountered dozens of international clients throughout my time on Upwork.

While there is a fee to utilize Upwork’s services, they pale in comparison to the perks. Upwork guarantees payment on contract gigs, meaning if the client decides not to pay up, the website will have your back. As someone who has lost over $2,000 to unpaid invoices, the security that comes with Upwork is invaluable, and can save major headaches and heartaches along the way.

Like most things in life, true effort is your best bet for success. Whether it’s starting your own business, jumpstarting your freelance career, or even maintaining personal relationships, you’ll most likely get what you put in. Before you rule out launching your own business, experiment with Upwork.com to see if working on your own accord is right for you.

Sara Cantu is a freelance writer from Edinburg, Texas. Her work has appeared in Lifestyle for Men Magazine, Lady Couture Magazine, RGV Magazine and numerous lifestyle websites. Contact her at [email protected]

Grindstone Suites Now Open!

Grindstone Suites Now Open!

Grindstone Suites – Open for Business!

We’re excited to announce the opening of Grindstone Suites, Edinburg’s newest coworking space. With five private offices primed for productivity, the new space offers the perfect spot to take your business’s operations to new heights.

The coworking concept has revitalized the employment landscape in Edinburg. Grindstone Coworking is expanding its offices to accommodate a growing number of entrepreneurs and small businesses seeking space to call their own. The new office building, located adjacent to Grindstone Coworking’s first building, offers newly remodeled private offices suites to house companies of varying sizes.

Situated in one of Edinburg’s most bustling areas, across from the University of Texas – RGV and in close proximity to City Hall, Grindstone Suites’ offices offer a convenient location ideal for business.  The building, which combines classic components and an urban influence reminiscent of larger cities, offers a glimpse into the future of coworking in the RGV.

At Grindstone Suites’ new private offices, you’ll receive all the benefits of coworking with the privacy you need for optimal productivity. Five private offices, currently hosting JINKS Realty and Ben Briones Photography, provide a unique space to help your company’s vision come to life.

The first of its kind in the Rio Grande Valley, Grindstone Suites offers freelancers and entrepreneurs new opportunities to network. Available amenities include Moonbeans coffee, high-speed Wi-Fi and a clean, comfortable environment that promotes efficiency. With kitchen space, an updated interior and new appliances, the suites contain everything you need to effectively run your business. The space is even home to one of Edinburg’s oldest trees, visible from University Drive.

If you’re interested in making Grindstone Coworking your new office space, don’t wait. Three offices have already been leased. Contact us at 956.900.2190 or visit www.grindstonesuites.com for more information about leasing and how to integrate the coworking concept into your growing business.

Edinburg EDC and Grindstone Present: Beyond the Boost

Edinburg EDC and Grindstone Present: Beyond the Boost

Beyond the Boost at Grindstone Coworking

A room full of excited entrepreneurs and social media specialists got to take part in this exciting seminar. Beyond the Boost was a workshop sponsored by Hive Effect at Grindstone Coworking. Hive Effect, an entrepreneur development initiative, is in partnership with the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and Grindstone Coworking. The purpose of the class was to put an expert on Facebook marketing in front of local businesses. The class gave insights on how Facebook can boost their business. Our guest speaker Bobby Villarreal a digital & social media marketer at Triggers Media gave a insightful talk on the finer points of Facebook marketing.

 

To stay relevant, businesses need to be using Facebook to market themselves. This is where Mr. Villarreal was able to speak about the tools around Facebook marketing. Key points that the attendees walked away with were: always have a strategy, constantly evaluate your strategy, and know your audience. Mr. Villarreal was gracious enough to walk us through how Facebook provides tools that make it possible to achieve any of your marketing goals. With this new knowledge all the participants walked away with the fresh breath of confidence they needed to take their marketing strategy to the next level.

Food was graciously sponsored by the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation. I’d like to thank Bobby Villarreal of Triggers Media for giving a great talk on Facebook Marketing. Lastly, thanks to Hive Effect for hosting the class and being a great resource for entrepreneurs in the Rio Grande Valley. If you’d like to learn more about Hive Effect visit http://hiveeffeect.com for more information.

Eduardo Robles, IT & Web Services

Hive Effect Member

www.eduardorobles.com

 

But first, coffee..

But first, coffee..

We have big news coming soon! We know how important coffee is to you, so it’s important to us. Check out our teaser video here and stay tuned!

Our Furniture is here!

Our Furniture is here!

We are excited to announce that after a long journey…our furniture is here! We are looking forward to this milestone in the process of launching Grindstone Coworking.

What is Grindstone Coworking?

What is Grindstone Coworking?

What is Grindstone Coworking?

co-work·ing

ˌkōˈwərkiNG/

noun

  1. the use of an office or other working environment by people who are self-employed or working for different employers, typically so as to share equipment, ideas, and knowledge.

“The whole idea of coworking is to bring bright, creative people together and let the ideas collide”

Coworking is a new type of office space that is becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Grindstone Coworking is spearheading this movement in the Rio Grande Valley and will be the first space of its kind in the area.

 

With advances in technology and the ever-changing ways in which people make a living, there are many people who can choose where to work. Enter the home offices and coffee shop workers. These two have been around for quite some time.

 

The problem with the home office is in the name: it must function as both a home and an office, with little to no separation between the two. Two major reasons most mobile workers do not like to work from home are the distractions and the lack of social interaction.

Distractions can come in many forms while working in a home office including quick loads of laundry, the dirty dishes, kids, pets, or just the fact that your TV and bed are steps away. Furthermore, the home office lends itself to a co-mingling of personal and professional responsibilities. While this initially seems ideal, most “work-from-homers” tell you that this co-mingling of responsibilities can quickly lead to a nosedive in professional productivity.

 

To combat the distractions and lack of social interaction, many mobile workers take to coffee shops. From laptops with emails and spreadsheets to conversations about business proposals and contracts, the scene at your neighborhood coffee shop is certainly far from the midday hangout portrayed on sitcoms like “Friends.” At the end of the day, however, coffee shops were not made for work and do not fill the void of social interaction. Workers are likely not any closer to building meaningful relationships or creating that work environment they are seeking. Plus that unreliable Wi-Fi, high noise levels, and the constant need to buy more coffee in order to validate the space and or resources you’re using seem to work against you as a true office space. A coffee shop may seem like a better alternative to meeting a client at home, but what perception does that create? Does it honestly put you and your business in a professionally favorable light?

 

WORKING ALONE

Grindstone Coworking is the solution to these problems. Grindstone Coworking is more than just a virtual office or business center.  It is made up of 4000 square feet of private offices, communal work areas, work stations, high speed fiber internet, meeting rooms, writing walls, and community events to share ideas, interests, and have fun. Memberships to the Grindstone start at $49/month and are tailored to each individual’s need. Members will have access to free coffee, high-speed Wi-Fi, private mailboxes, an online and mobile reservation system for meeting rooms, and a copy center. Grindstone Coworking truly is a space designed for business and building relationships for the future workforce.

 

Interested in joining our growing community? Have any questions? Shoot us a message or schedule an appointment to tour the space before it opens.

Email: [email protected]