It wasn’t an easy decision, and it seemed counter-intuitive to me to move back to a home office, when business was at it’s strongest. Right around the time that Growth Path celebrated a fifth anniversary, I came to the conclusion that I no longer needed the “professional image” projected by a decent office in a nice building and fine location.
So why? Well, it was time to practice what I preach about recognizing the evolution of your business – in this case mine. It started from a home office, which I’m quite comfortable with – I’ve always had the right discipline to work from home, some don’t. Little over a year later, business was strong enough to withstand the monthly hit of rent in the aforementioned office. And the office definitely had an effect. It made closing business easier, as it projected an image of success and establishment. It was a great move, and business continued to grow as a result.
As Growth Path has matured, we’ve come to focus on owner managers. They tend to be a roll-up-the-sleeves bunch, and appreciate a little informality. Many of them used to be “suits” (like me), and gave it up to follow their own dream. As a result, my own garb began to morph into a series of exquisite Hawaiian shirts. The image – or brand – was of confidence, and little need for formality. My clients found it both amusing, and reassuring that I didn’t ‘put on airs’ with them. And as we got more relaxed, most of my client base and collaborators became friends. And most of Growth Path’s business came through these friends – people who invited me into their homes, and who came to mine.
As the Growth Path team grew, I discovered that the huge benefit in working with people better at what they do than me, is that they are reliable and dedicated. The employment model quickly became on of a remote workforce who occasionally got together for meetings, but mostly worked from their own homes.
So Growth Path didn’t need the office to attract business, the employees didn’t need the space, and I didn’t need the discipline of heading to the office to work. So it was never a financial decision. In fact, as I am currently moving into a new home, the office space needs to be completely furnished, and I can guarantee there won’t be any savings involved. The key will be to create a professional work-space, where colleagues and clients can feel they are in an office, which just happens to be in a home. Then they can come out back for a BBQ.
So yeah, it’s going to be back to a home office. Move date is July 15, and the office is the top priority to be up & running by the following Monday. Will it be permanent? Who knows, but it’s what suits the business, my customers, colleagues and staff best for now.