Interview with Christian Schmidt, Managing Partner

For years, Christian Schmidt gained valuable experience as a manager at the world market leader in the business center industry and would now like to introduce you to his own business center in Hafencity.

Mr. Schmidt, knowing the competitive situation, you did not hesitate for a second to make the switch from the
manager to an entrepreneur?

CS: Last quiet thoughts probably have every budding entrepreneur. But for me, these ended at the very latest the moment I entered the premises on the 6th floor at Kaiserkai 69 and took bill of the fact that all offices offer an impressive view of the Elbe. These include three conference or event locations with direct views and almost all-round views of the Elbe and harbor. The perfect infrastructure for business people was then added: Carls Restaurant directly in the building, other catering options within walking distance, parking with direct access and a perfect business address. The property excited me from the beginning and motivated me even more in my decision to become active as an entrepreneur myself.

Mr. Schmidt, the CS in the company name CS Business Center corresponds to your initials Christian Schmidt.
Quite unusual in the industry, isn’t it?

CS: I was greatly inspired by works by the author Anja Förster (“Alles außer gewöhnlich”, “Hört auf zu Arbeiten”) and Bobby Dekeyser (“Unverkäuflch”), among others. They both talk about absolute passion, the sparkle in the eye, doing something with deep conviction, being enthusiastic and making things happen with gusto.
As an entrepreneur, I exemplify this. Therefore, the naming of the company name is also deliberately chosen. And to be understood allegorically. Because customers and partners should be able to rely on the fact that I, as the owner, personally stand up for and am attentive to the fact that demands are lived, and that the wishes, questions and challenges of my customers are also approached, implemented and solved with personal commitment. From myself as well as from my employees.

You go to work with employees who have experience in the industry and have known you for a long time.
What can the customer expect?

CS: I am very happy to have gained two experts from the industry for CSBC, Kim Levendal and Stefan Bentlin. I have witnessed the competence of both in practice for many years. In addition to their proven expertise, however, I am particularly optimistic because they both have the mentality and are burning to provide services and find solutions for our customers and partners as quickly as possible. Mr. Bentlin acts as a prudent center manager with an absolute focus on giving our customers and partners space in the truest sense of the word and creating room for enthusiasm in professional activities.
Kim Levendal will give voice and face to the service. As head of the secretariat, she is the contact person on the phone and can also be found live at the reception desk in the center. This is particularly important to me, because our customers and partners should not have to settle for anonymous call centers. This is where my clients’ customers meet the voices that have already greeted them on the phone. In addition, the two are excellent characters and have the “service gene” in them.

As was heard, you are also not content with standard problem solutions, but rather favor a so-called 5-minute solution goal.
CS: Our goal is to solve all of our customers’ challenges in 5 minutes. In meetings, the first question is always, “What did we do for our customers today”? The second question is: “What can we do better”? The bar is deliberately set so high because I am convinced that people’s highly motivated commitment at work depends primarily on how comfortable they feel in their environment. And those who pursue their professional activities here at Kaiserkai 69 in the tastefully furnished premises with the atmospheric panoramic ambience of the Elbe, harbor and more, are given a healthy and permitted doping, so to speak. This applies to my employees as well as to our customers and partners who rent here hourly, daily, weekly, monthly or over several years. We do not have complex structures and processes, but ad hoc solutions for our customers so that they can concentrate on their core business. It’s that simple!

Almost two-thirds of all employees in Germany say they work on the road more often than they used to.
Nevertheless, the business center model is little known to the general public.

CS: This also has to do with the fact that business centers have so far had little visibility in advertising and are almost absent from public discourse. Ask around your circle of acquaintances or friends who knows the benefits of a business center. The term “business center” alone is interpreted differently. In this context, the need and benefit are very high. This is because there is often a lack of appropriate opportunities to obtain a small office unit in prime locations. In Hafencity, it is virtually impossible to rent a space smaller than 400 sqm. We close this gap with our fully equipped units.
Booking conference rooms or conference offices for a few hours or even whole days, meeting with business partners in a confidential environment, working on e-mails in peace, making copies or the like can be realized with us. An inexpensive and reputable business address, a personal phone service or a single workstation, definitely represent a high benefit for customers. Both for clients who travel a lot, can’t always be reached by phone, or for those who want to work in a great and impressive environment for a longer time.

The large number of freelancers in particular could benefit from the image gain of the Hafencity address.
Is your center at Kaiserkai 69 geared to this?

CS: That’s quite a weighty target group, and we’re going all out for them. Our address, coupled with our truly professional and personal service, is even particularly suitable for this. Simply book a business address, have your mail sent to the center, take your phone calls in your own company name, or have us take care of other services – all this is combined with the option of booking one of our three sensational conference rooms with a direct view of the Elbe and harbor for just 60 minutes, for example.
The view of the big wide world of the Elbehafen business is thus also available to a micro-entrepreneur.
And all this at affordable conditions.

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

CS: As I am very up-to-date from my many years of management activity in this market segment, I can say with confidence that the most important components, the equipment of the center, the location and the unparalleled service, are well served for almost every entrepreneur. In other words, the unusual circumstance of having all the rooms impressively equipped with a view of the Elbe and some even with a view of the Elbphilharmonie is of the highest value as a unique selling point. This also radiates autf the customers and partners of our customers.
The value is decisive. In addition, customers will find affordable prices for the entire spectrum with us. The balance between value and price must be right, this is definitely the case with us! Almost any budget can be adequately served. Location is one of the top 3 decisions for any type of business, and here with us, you’re on the safe side.

Business centers are often also plain rental offices with secretarial services. Meanwhile, providers have also set up in prime locations and offer a complete service with reception, IT assistance, printer/fax, telephone answering, mail service, office and conference rooms with hourly or multi-monthly booking.
What are the advantages from your point of view?

CS: First of all, I want to emphasize that it is precisely the characteristic of simplicity and uniformity that I do not like. That’s why, when designing our CSBC, I made a point of having Frank Theuerkauf, a renowned designer, plan and implement the interior design. It is close to my heart to offer people at their workplaces not only professionalism but also a sense of comfort. At the end of the day, we spend a lot of our time in our offices and workplaces.
This should then also be as pleasant as possible. Big companies like Google and Apple are living it.
They’ve implemented impressive work concepts for their employees, recognizing that it improves performance. I have planned here from the customer’s point of view, not from the efficiency point of view. A significant advantage at the contractual level includes the possibility of termination at short notice. Business centers also facilitate market entry for start-ups AND already renowned companies, because the companies can start their activities immediately, and this is also combined with the image enhancement of our address Hafencity Hamburg, at Kaiserkai 69 (6th floor) – and all this impressively upgraded with the omnipresent view of the Elbe.

Mr. Schmidt, one last sentence, please.
CS: My team and I cordially invite all interested parties to take a look at the beautiful premises and the view of the Elbe from every room and to make a detour to the balcony, which is accessible to all customers. The Elbe offers a different picture every day. It never gets boring. In such an atmosphere it is possible to work or hold conferences. True to the motto: You don’t have to work here, you can work here!

Thank you very much for the friendly conversation!

Christian Schmidt

Christian Schmidt has been working in the business centre industry since 2005 and is one of the most experienced protagonists in this business. Eight years in management positions at industry leader Regus have taught him all the facets of this business. The business administration graduate has been an entrepreneur since 2014 and has built up five top locations in Hamburg. His declared goal right from the start: To help companies and the self-employed find a location that suits their business. Where they can grow and possibly downsize. Where they can find a solution customised to their current business situation. To offer a great service that is unobtrusive but absolutely reliable.

// Are you also interested in the advantages & flexibility of a business centre?

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