Information for the Innovative, Enterprising and Brave 

June 2012

Top Five Apps for Entrepreneurs

Ask startup owners which mobile apps help them the most, and you're likely to hear rave reviews about Evernote, DropBox and Dragon Dictation. Others are fans of time-tracking apps like TimeClockPlus, or receipt-management apps like Lemon. Depending on the type of business, apps that enable credit card payments on mobile phones also get two thumbs up. Learn how these (mostly) free apps for iPhones and Androids can help you save time and money, and increase your productivity.

People You Should Know 

This month: Erica Pristas, Business Retention/Expansion Manager

Erica specializes in existing business retention and expansion for companies leasing 5,000 or more square feet. We put Erica on the hot seat this month with these questions:


What are the key issues you've identified in business relocation?

"All businesses evolve, and as they do their needs change. They may need more office space or increased storage, or more room for R&D. We're fortunate in Loudoun to have a wide variety of commercial space, and it's my job to help find the perfect place at the right price for our businesses."


How can you help Loudoun's existing businesses?

"I'm able to best assist with strategic introductions to partners, vendors and clients; finding options for different business locations within Loudoun; and helping them get through any county-related projects."


What made the difference for a company you've assisted recently?

"I just worked with a company that was looking to relocate their business and decided to stay in Loudoun because of the great community feel, the amazing school system, and access to all of the amenities the county has to offer."


If your lease expires in the next two years, call Erica at the Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development at 703-777-0479.


Understanding Commercial Leases 101

Knowing which property type you need -- and the specifics of the lease --are key to a successful business location:

  • Office leases may be full service, triple net, modified gross, or percentage -- each conveys a unique pricing structure and includes different inclusions for taxes, insurance, utilities and maintenance.
  • Industrial and flex leases cover several types of space, including warehouse and distribution, light manufacturing, biotech, research and development, and other "flex" spaces that combine multiple uses in one structure.I

Information on lease types and considerations is available in the "CRE Information" center of CoStar Showcase. This free product may also be accessed from the Site Selection portion of the Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development website.

Read It and Reap

Rework authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson run, and have been writing about business processes and designing workplace tools for more than a decade. They believe we make workplaces overly complicated. Examples of Rework advice includes:

  • Say no first. It's too easy to say yes to a partner/product/idea to the point that you are no longer focused on your true mission.
  • Decisions are temporary and should be made quickly. Don't waste too much time pondering endless outcomes. If you make a bad decision, react quickly and change it. 
  • Send people home at 5 p.m. Don't let them burn out. This especially applies to employees who willingly work longer hours.  
  • Marketing is not a department. It's something you do every time you pick up the phone, answer an email, invoice a customer, or write on your website.  

This book is a quick read full of pragmatic advice, and you can check it out for free from the Loudoun County Public Library.


The Northern Virginia Tech Council's Entrepreneurship Center is hosting a networking happy hour June 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. to unite the region's emerging business and entrepreneur community. This event is a great opportunity to discover your future business partners and grow your company in a relaxed atmosphere -- the Hooked restaurant in Sterling. Sign up now!

Be a Winner

Be the first reader to correctly answer this question and win five thumb drives from the Loudoun Virgina Department of Economic Development. Only one guess per reader; email your answer to [email protected].


The commercial real estate industry's largest property database is called ____? (Hint, you can find a link to a version of it in the Site Selection portion of our website.)
Gut-Check From a Guru
"To guarantee success, act as if it were impossible to fail." -- Dorothea Brande


Pay It Forward

This monthly email newsletter is published by the Loudoun Virginia Department of Economic Development to inform and connect Loudoun's thriving entrepreneurial community. As a leader with influence, please help our community by forwarding this newsletter to your business colleagues. Thanks!

Quick Links





Debi Roder   
Loudoun Virginia
Economic Development Entrepreneurship
Manager Debi Roder

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