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Building a Flexible and Connected Business: The Story of Essential Offices
Episode 73rd July 2024 • The Oklahoma Business Show • Chris Moroz
00:00:00 00:34:34

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Building a Flexible and Connected Business: The Story of Essential Offices

In this episode, I'm joined by Beth DeGraffenreid, owner of Essential Offices, which offers executive office spaces, virtual office services, and other services for business owners. Beth shares the fascinating story behind starting her company in 1989, initially providing shared office spaces and administrative support services at a time when personal computers were not ubiquitous.

She shares how her business has evolved over the past three decades to meet changing needs, from offering a professional community for solopreneurs and remote workers to providing flexible office solutions for larger corporations downsizing their real estate footprint. Beth provides insights into navigating the challenges of the pandemic, maintaining company culture across multiple locations, and her personal journey as an entrepreneur, including the times she considered quitting but persevered to see what was next.

Her story is an inspiring example of resilience, adaptability, and a passion for creating the ideal work environment.


[00:52] Beth DeGraffenreid’s personal and professional journey

[02:02] Beth's background in accounting and database management

[03:22] How Beth started the business and the concept of "executive suites"

[05:57] How the company has evolved to focus on creating community

[07:18] The average lifespan of companies and the need for flexibility

[09:23] How Beth helps clients grow and transition through different stages

[11:45] Challenges of starting a business during difficult economic times

[14:54] Adapting the business during the COVID-19 pandemic

[20:55] Maintaining company culture across multiple locations

[26:46] Beth's hobbies and ways she de-stresses

[31:38] One piece of technology Beth can’t live without


● I wanted to have more control over my time, and I wanted to have more control over my work environment, you know, and a lot of people are talking about culture right now.

● The one thing that has lasted throughout all this time was that people don't want to be alone. And I think the pandemic has really stressed that, that even if you are a solopreneur, you don't want necessarily want to do what you're doing alone in, in a space by yourself.

● Companies need to be more flexible than your average real estate lease. You don't know how many people you're gonna have at you. You, you might Want to ramp up for a little while and then, and then take it back down and then ramp up. So you need to be able to be nimble in your business.

● I have a tough time quitting when things are difficult. I just want, it's, it's my gut reaction to make it better. Yeah. And then when it's better, it's fun again.

● I really want someone to be able to take their business from any stage to any other stage within our space. Yeah. Whether they're just beginning and they're ramping up and growing, or if, you know, they're doing some kind of a transition and they need to downsize for a little while that they can find space with us and find what they need and have community and have all the infrastructure all set up and ready for them.


Essential Offices:

Beth DeGraffenreid's contact information:

Phone: (405) 848-8246







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