Our growth as a company over the past few years has been exciting and a ton of fun.
During these years, we have had a plenty of moments and chances to learn, grow, expand, and at times change courses.
Probably the biggest change over the past few years has been our move into an office in 2012 and our move out of the office in 2014.
So, why did we get an office in the first place?
Our business started in 2010 and, at the time, it was just my brother and myself, working from an extra-room-turned office in our parents’ house.
Within our first year, we experienced growth and built a solid client base, which allowed us to bring on a teammate to help with projects.
As we continued to grow and get better at what we do, we believed that our next logical step was to get an office location to become an “official” business; one where clients come to our office to meet us and strategize, one where teammates all work together, and where we create a culture of who we are.
We were fortunate to find an awesome business office rental company in Lancaster and they showed us two properties – the second office was exactly what we were looking for, at the time.
We moved into our office July 2012.
Soon after, we had a talented young man stop by our office and apply for a position. He was hired and before we knew it we were growing a team.
During our two years at the office, we enjoyed it very much and had a lot of good times: growing our team from 2 to 6 people, office parties, bringing our dogs to the office, team fun days, and much more.
However, after deep thought/analysis and team conversations, as we approached renewing our office lease for a third year – we made the decision to not renew the lease and go back to working from different places; including our homes and each other’s homes, coffee shops, co-working spaces, and more.
Here are the reasons why we decided not to renew our office lease:
1. Street level distractions
It wasn’t until I talked to a fellow business owner in Lancaster that I consciously realized how having an office “on the street” where people randomly come in is not such a good thing for the business we are in.
So, turned out that people stopping by to “look around” and “see what we do” tends to be a distraction, an interruption of meetings or focused workflows. For some type of businesses – what a great thing to have happening, but for what we do, it proved to be unproductive and hindering.
2. Open floor plan
An open floor plan can work wonderfully for certain businesses, in certain situations; however, for us it did not.
Me taking a call in “my part” of the office meant the entire team having to hear the call and not be able to easily take or make their calls if need be. Having a meeting in a “certain part” of the office meant the entire team hearing the meeting.
While it can be advantageous to keep your small team close by, not everyone needs to be in the loop at all times, for all parts of the projects. Moreover, it does not always bode well to interrupt your team with conversations you are having, in person or on the phone, as they are working amongst themselves or deep in their own thought processes.
Many phone calls into the every day flow, and many attempts to organize daily tasks so that we are not in each other’s way, later – we realized we were not set up ideally from a strategic office layout standpoint.
3. Ongoing, increased expenses
Office insurance, rent + utilities, teammates and payrolls, office furniture; the list goes on.
As a “small” dynamic company, we thrive when we are actually working on projects and helping our clients succeed.
Our sense of pride and joy in our work is not derived from the size or location of our office, how many employees we have, or anything similar to those ideals.
Instead, we go to bed happy and wake up happy when we know our clients are getting real business results that positively impact their lives.
Also, more space means the desire/need for more teammates, which leads to more payroll and office furniture expenses, which leads to more maintenance, etc.
Instead, we have decided to go back to our roots, where we thrived and how we grew our company in the first place, which is to work from satellite locations, so we can 100% focus on the reason for our growth; which is results we deliver to our clients.
No need to think about things like “when we outgrow this office,” “where will we go next.” Now we can stay focused on what matters – delivering more results to our clients and how to better serve them.
Would we ever take back our time spent at the office? Absolutely not!
Our office allowed us to meet some great teammates, enjoy some great parties with family, friends and clients, have some productive client and team meetings, and more.
However, as we continue to grow and evolve and as we do our best to determine the “right course of action”, we decided we would provide an even better focus and service to our clients if we left our office.
So, that’s exactly what we did in July of 2014.
Have you made any major decisions for your business or personal life recently? What was your thought process behind the scenes? Share in the comments below.