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Words of Wisdom for NJ Businesses from Our All-Star Panel

Nov 1, 2018

Our distinguished panel offers some tips for companies doing, or considering doing, business in the Garden State. Their recipe for success includes leading by example, understanding the environment and its challenges, taking advantage of the state’s many development programs, broadening your networking horizons and more.     


Colin Newman: Well, I would tell businesses in New Jersey to lead by example, especially when you're interacting with the government and you're trying to get policy makers to institute policies that help your business and help the business landscape in New Jersey—to show a government what you're trying to get at and work closely with them to lead by example. Audible has shown that by moving to Newark. Our headquarters is now in Newark and we've been there for about 10 years. And by being a company that means more than just what we do, we've shown by example what it's like for a company to leverage its economic way to help turn around an urban city, and we institute policies that help our employees. We have incentives to live local, incentives to go out in the community. And we work with government to encourage it to institute policies that help incentivize companies to do similar things.

Brian Sabina: I would give businesses in New Jersey two pieces of advice. One, come and talk to us. It is really open season for new ideas and for engagement with the business community as we start to roll out Governor Murphy's new vision and new plan for innovation in the state of New Jersey. Folks will be surprised by how many different programs we have that can really accelerate the growth of businesses here in the state. Whether that is through workforce programs, incentive programs, and some of the other investments that we're making in our communities. The second is they'll be surprised by how receptive we are to hearing new ideas. We're really trying to transform the way we work to be more nimble, more pilot oriented. Let's test, learn and scale great ideas. So we want to hear from the business community what they need so we can provide a better, more comprehensive service.
Thomas Bracken: It's tough for businesses in New Jersey right now. My best advice is to really understand the environment you're in. Understand where you can go for assistance, because there's a lot of different mazes you have to navigate through New Jersey to be successful. Get a good accountant, get a good lawyer, and do a lot of networking. In New Jersey—even with the electronic age of Twitter and email and Instagram and whatever else there is—the best way to do business is to have face-to-face networking, like this event today. It's a great way to meet people, make connections, and save a lot of time. So the whole purpose, I would say, is to really broaden your horizons by getting to know exactly the environment you're dealing in, understand what the challenges are, find people who can help you with those challenges, and if you have a good game plan, I think it will be very successful.
Gary Bingel: Take advantage all the things New Jersey has to offer and forget about a lot of the stereotypes you'd probably heard. A lot of places, like Newark and some of the other areas, are really revitalizing. You might not realize that or think about it until you actually go there and visit. But they've had a lot of resurgence and a lot of vibrancy—a lot of the downtown areas that people don't realize. I would also say to take advantage of what I'll call diamonds in the rough and a lot of the outer areas. There's more than just the Parkway and the Turnpike areas. You move west, there's a lot of beautiful areas depending on what kind of business you want to start. Also, take advantage of a lot of the benefits we have as far as the workforce and the education levels. We've got some of the best education institutions in the country, and we've got a very motivated and educated workforce that you can take advantage of. A lot of the community colleges are doing really great and educating a lot of the folks for more trade level, high-tech jobs and such. So, take advantage of all of those things that the state has to offer. Geographically, you've got the shore, we're close to the mountains, and we don't have any tornadoes, tsunamis or major forest fires. So, there are a lot of great things take advantage of. You can be close enough to the big cities like Philadelphia and New York, but still have a real farm or country feel close by.


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