Thanks Fredericksburg for making us a Google Favorite Place!

We are but days away from finishing up our first “Full” year in business. What a treat when I received a letter with a sticker for the front door of Business Playce listing us as a “Favorite Place”. For those of you that don’t know what it means…. here’s a little background on it.
1. How did Google decide which businesses would receive the decal? The list was determined based on the popularity of a business’ Local Business Center listing, as determined by how many times Google users looked for more information about a business, requested driving directions to get there, and more. Google users “decided” based on their actions, and we sent the decals.
2. How selective was Google in selecting the businesses to receive the decal? Over 100,000 businesses were identified as Favorite Places, representing less than 1% of the 28 million U.S. businesses. We believe that our standards for selecting businesses are as selective or more selective than other companies which have run similar initiatives.
3. Is this a one time initiative or will Google continue to send more decals? We may decide to periodically send out more decals to businesses that meet our criteria. We have not determined specific dates for additional mailings.
4. Can a business which didn’t receive a decal request one? No, it is not possible for a business to request becoming a Favorite Place. Businesses can sign up for Local Business Center to become eligible and if they meet our criteria, they may receive a decal in the next wave.
5. Is this only for businesses in the big cities? More than 100,000 businesses in over 5,000 towns and cities in the U.S. will receive a decal from Google that they can place in their store or restaurant window. This represents nearly 50% of all the towns and cities in the U.S.

I’d be curious to hear from other local business’s that received a “Google Favorite Place” Sticker.

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Business Playce Open House and Holiday Party

Come join us next week December 9th at Business Playce for an open house and networking event. Over the last year our members have established countless new business relationships, friendships and exchanged marketing and promotion ideas.

Now it’s time to celebrate the end of what some consider a dismal year and hopefully the beginning of a new and successful year.

Please join us at Business Playce for refreshments, light hor’dourves, and networking of the best kind!

Please plan on bringing an unwrapped toy and/or canned goods for donation to local charities and food banks. Also if you have unused hotel sized bottles of shampoo/conditioner/soap, please bring those as they are in great demand by our local homeless shelter.

If you haven’t made it to one of our evening meetings yet, this is your chance to meet the group! If you know of others who would benefit from free, local marketing and networking opportunities encourage them to join the group and attend the open house.

Please email me at, post a comment below or Tweet me @businessplayce and let me know how many people will be attending!

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Business Playce Celebrates it’s first year of business

It’s been a little more then a year since we opened our doors to serve the small business, solopreneur, web developer, open source, and everyone else who doesn’t fit into a ready made made mold/label. During that year we grew from our initial 1250 square feet to 2500 square feet, have made some changes and learned a lot of lessons.

Over the past year we have hosted conferences that ranged from multi-level marketing, open source hack fests, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Professional Firefighters Unions, Safety Seminars, CPR Classes, Lactation Seminars, Landscaping Seminar’s, Art Classes, History Classes. As I write this there is a town hall/political action committee meeting of Bail Bondsman taking place!

We’ve had drop-ins and members that included; Attorney’s, Capital Asset Manager’s, Landscape architects, IT architects, web developers, graphic artists, film makers, property managers, pool company managers, independent writers, tutors, firemen, printers, multi-level marketers, sales people, event planners, telecom consultants, and many more!

We’ve had numerous open houses that have connected business with business that resulted in jobs that stayed local and may otherwise have never happened. We started and sponsored a meetup called Business in the Burg that has grown to 70 members. That’s 70 creative local business owners who may otherwise have never connected. We allow non-profits free access to our spaces for board meetings to further promote the sense of community that we are striving to create.

We’ve sponsored, Pink Slip Specials (and still do) which allow laid off workers 1 month of free 9-5 access to hang out and have some place to focus and figure out what the next step in their life is. (Maybe they will end up starting their own company)

We’ve offered numerous free work days (every day it snows, it’s free to work here), Inauguration Day was a free day, among others.

We’ve been featured in the Free Lance Star twice, Commuter Connections News Letters (We are a much greener alternative then driving 48 miles North to DC) More Blogs then can be mentioned, a local radio program, and have been mentioned as an “Alternative Work Site” by the Washington Post.

There is much work left to do! I can’t thank each of you who have been involved in our success enough! We will continue to grow and serve the creative class of our small region!

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Rocket Science is Pretty Cool

Some of you know that besides nurturing and promoting Business Playce, I have a “real” job. As the co-owner of Arbotek Inc, I provide engineering sales and support to government agencies and OEMs from Virginia through New Jersey. One of my larger customers is NASA, yeah the NASA that makes rockets, satellites, etc..

In any case about 2 years ago I started working on a project with NASA called ELC (Express Logistics Carrier). It’s basically a chassis that is bolted outside of the Space Station that allows experiments and other “things” to remain outside of the Space Station but to get power and data to and from the interior of the station.

On Monday I got the following email from NASA. Pretty cool and thought I’d share.

From: XXXXX,]
Sent: Monday, November 16, 2009 4:46 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients:
Subject: FW: SHUTTLE LAUNCH STS-129- **ADDENDUM** Dateline for November 16


Just wanted to let you know we thank your efforts for the components your company has provided for the ELC Project.

Shuttle Launch (STS-129, ELC 1 and ELC2) had a successful launch at 2:28PM Eastern Time.

More info is at :

Best Regards,

ELC/Space Station EEE Component Engineer

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Business in the Burg

Last night we hosted our 5th “Meetup” called Business in the Burg. This group has proven to be quite dynamic, not to mention a worthy learning tool.

Last night we discussed various marketing trends, what works and what doesn’t. Although our members range from a semi-conductor sales guy, to a lawyer to a web developer we all have the same goal; Increase our business.

Hopefully more people will attend future meetings and provide their insight/input!

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It’s funny that before I opened Business Playce, I just kind of wandered through life, doing my job, selling semi-conductors, writing reports, dinners with clients, and then start over again the next day.

Since opening Business Playce it’s kind of changed my focus and the way that I interact with people. I have never really been a touchy/feely kind of guy, but it seems to be changing now.

I have gotten great joy over the last 8 months of seeing people at Business Playce work alone….but together. I have seen people who had no idea that they could help each other collaborate on a project and mutually benefit from the interaction.

I have let non-profits use our space for free, only to get a board member from the non-profit come back the next day and say “I love your space and want to have a seminar there” (For money of course)

Our community is growing and we have had 41 different and unique people come through the space. Some have stayed, some have tried and left, but we strive to make each of them feel welcome and a part of our community.

It’s a pretty great feeling to give with no expectations. It’s an even better feeling to “get” as a result of someone mentioning you, etc..

All in all Karma is a pretty cool thing and there’s definitely some good Karma at Business Playce!

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Coworking, Comarketing & Wii

Some of you are aware that thanks to Erin of Get Fresh Labs and Girls with Goals we are having a Wii tournament, Pizza Party, Idea Fest tomorrow around noon at Business Playce.  Read More »

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How’s your elevator pitch?

Do you have an elevator pitch?  Do you know what one is?  My definition of an elevator pitch is a quick 15-30 second overview of you, your business, your next great idea, the one thing you want someone to remember about you.

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Coworking in a Suburban Location. Can it work?

On some of the coworking message boards, there has been recent discussions on coworking in Suburbia vs: Urban settings.  Can coworking work in a bedroom community, or does it require the density offered by a city and enjoyed by spaces like Independents Hall and Citizen Space?

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AT & T Version of Motorola Q 9h global review

I am without a doubt a serious a slave to my mobile phone. I typically use in excess of 2000 minutes per month, I receive/reply to 150+ emails per day on my phone, post 10-30 times per day to Twitter, send 10-100 text messages, send receive 100s of AIM messages and do dozens of mobile searches on the Internet.

I recently purchased the Moto Q9H after my HTC Tilt was stolen. I chose the Q9 mainly because I wanted the QWERTY keyboard on the front of the phone vs: having slide the keyboard out. Totally a personal preference choice. Read More »

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