Interview with Christian Schmidt, executive director

Christian Schmidt

For years, Christian Schmidt has gained valuable experience as a manager for a world leader in the business center industry and now he would like to present his own business center in the HafenCity to you.

Mr. Schmidt, in regard to the competitive situation you have not hesitated to change from a hired manager to a business owner?

CS: Probably every aspiring entrepreneur does some last soft consideration. But for me it ended at the moment when I had entered the premises on the 6th floor Kaiserkai 69 and took a close look at the offices that all offer an impressive view on the river Elbe. Including three conference or event locations with direct view and nearly all-round view on the Elbe and the harbor.
The perfect infrastructure for businessmen was to come in addition: The Carls Restaurant right in the center, more dining options within walking distance, parking with direct access and a perfect business address. The property has inspired me from the beginning and, motivated me even more in my decision to become active as an entrepreneur.

Mr. Schmidt, the CS in the company name CS Business Center corresponds to your initials Christian Schmidt. Quite unusual in the industry, right?

CS: I have been strongly inspired by works of the author Anja Förster (“Anything but ordinary”, “Stop working!”) and Bobby Dekeyser (“Not for sale”). Both speak of absolute passion, the sparkle in the eyes, doing something with deep conviction, being enthusiastic and implementing things with energy. I as an entrepreneur try to set an example. Therefore, the company name was deliberately chosen. And is to be understood symbolically. I want my clients and partners to be able to rely on the fact that I as the owner personally vouch for that the claims, requests, questions and challenges my clients face will be approached with personal commitment, put into practice and get solved in a professional way. By myself and my staff.

You get to work with industry experienced staff that you know for a long time. What can the client expect?

CS: I’m very pleased to have won two experts, Kim Levendal and Stefan Bentlin from the industry for CSBC. I’ve witnessed the expertise of both for years in practice. In addition to the proven expertise I am particularly in high spirits because both bring the mentality and are eager to provide services to our clients and partners, and find solutions as soon as possible. Mr. Bentlin acts as a prudent Center Manager with absolute focus on giving our clients and partners in the truest sense of the word space and making room for enthusiasm in their professional work.
Kim Levendal will give the service voice and face. As the director of the secretary’s office, she is on the phone to make the contact, and also live in the center at the reception. This is especially important to me because our clients and partners will not have to content themselves with anonymous call centers. Here, customers of my clients meet the voices that have already welcomed them on the phone. Moreover, both are excellent characters and have the ‘services gen’.

As we heard, you are not satisfied with standard solutions, but rather favor a so-called 5-minute-solution-aim.

CS: We have made it our goal to solve all the challenges our clients face in 5 minutes. In meetings, the first question always is: “What have we done for our clients today”? The second question is: “What can we do better?” The bar is deliberately set so high, because I am convinced that the highly motivated commitment in the workplace primarily depends on how comfortable someone feels in his environment. And the ones that pursue their professional interests and activities here on Kaiserkai 69 in the tastefully furnished facilities with the evocative panoramic ambience of the Elbe, port and more, benefit from a healthy and allowed ‘doping’. This applies to my staff as well as our clients and partners who rent workspace hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or over several years. We have no complex structures and processes, but ad hoc solutions for our clients so they can concentrate on their core business. It’s that simple!

Nearly two-thirds of all employees in Germany stated that they are working more often on the move than before. However, the business center model in general public is not well known.

CS: It is also related to the fact that to this day business centers are hardly visible in advertisements and almost do not occur in the public discourse. Just ask one of your friends or acquaintances who knows the value of a business center. The very term “business center” is interpreted differently. And yet the demand and benefits are very high. What is often lacking are the appropriate options to get a small office unit in top locations. In HafenCity it is virtually impossible to rent an area of ​​less than 400 square meters. We close this gap with our fully equipped units.
We realize the booking of meeting rooms or conference offices for a few hours or even entire days, realize meetings with business partners in a confidential environment, offer an area where you can answer emails undisturbed, make copies, or the like. A cost-effective and prestigious business address, personal telephone service or a single workstation, definitely represent a great benefit to clients. Both for clients who travel a lot, cannot always be reached by phone or for those who long to work in a grand and impressive surrounding for a longer period of time.

Especially the variety of freelancers could benefit from the improved image of the HafenCity address. Does your center on Kaiserkai 69 aim at this group?

CS: That’s a very substantial target group for which we give our best. Our address, along with our truly professional and personalized service, makes it even more suitable.
Whether you just want to book a business address, send your mail to the center, use the phone service or benefit from any other service provided by us – all this is connected with the possibility, e.g. to book for just 60 minutes one of the three sensational meeting rooms directly overlooking the Elbe and the harbor.
The view of the big wide world of the bustling harbor is thus also available for a micro-entrepreneur. And all this at affordable prices.

Interested parties will compare the conditions of all competitors in Hamburg. To what extent does this affect or even influence your pricing policy?

CS: As I am well up to date from my many years of management experience in this market segment, I can honestly declare that the most important components as for instance the center’s equipment, the location and unparalleled service, for almost every entrepreneur is well served by us. Meaning: The extraordinary circumstance that all rooms are endowed with river view and some even additionally with impressive views of the Elbe Philharmonic Hall, is a unique feature of the highest value. This also has a very postive effect on customers and partners of our clients.
The value is crucial. In addition, with us clients will find affordable prices for the entire spectrum.
The balance between value and price must be right, this is definitely the case with us! Nearly every budget can be adequately served. The question of location is one of the top 3 choices for all types of businesses and here with us you are on the safe side.

Business centers are often simple centres with secrterary’s office. Meanwhile providers have settled in the best locations and offer a complete service with reception, IT support, printer / fax, telephone service, postal service, office and meeting rooms and can be booked on an hourly or monthly basis.
What are in your opinion the benefits and advantages?

CS: First of all I want to reiterate that I do not like the hallmark of simplicity and uniformity. Therefore, for the conception of our CSBC I have attached great value to the design and hired Frank Theuerkauf, a renowned designer to plan and realize the interior furnishings. It is close to my heart to offer people in their workplaces not only professionalism, but also a good feeling of comfort. At last, we spend much of our time in our offices and workplaces, and the working environment should be as pleasant as possible.
Big companies like Google and Apple set an example. They have implemented impressive job concepts for their employees as they have realized that the performance increases.
I have planned from the customer’s perspective, not from an efficiency point of view. A significant advantage on a contractual level includes the possibility of short-term terminability. Business centers also facilitate market entry for start-ups AND already etablished companies because companies can immediately start their activities, and also benefit from the image gain of our address HafenCity Hamburg, Kaiserkai 69 (6th floor) – and all of that impressively upgraded with the omnipresent view of the Elbe.

Mr. Schmidt, just one last sentence please.

CS: My team and I cordially invite all interested parties to have a look at the beautiful premises and the River Elbe from every room and step on the balcony which all clients have access to. The Elbe offers a different picture every day. It never gets boring. In such an atmosphere you will enjoy working and holding conferences. True to the motto: Here you don’t have to work, here your are allowed to work!

Thanks for the friendly conversation!

Copyright © 2023 | All rights reserved.