Let's go back to the start...
If we skip a few years too the point when MadeByShape was born, our thought process was different. We had to create awareness of our new brand to bigger companies and attract new clients. We could no longer rely on network connections to give constant work for a growing agency. To create a successful agency, our thought process was the following:
- We need a studio where we can work, and where clients can come too meet us.
- It needs to be in Manchester, so we can connect with our businesses in the city, and people can walk past and see our studio.
- We need a space we can grow into when we hire more staff.
- A studio makes us look bigger, better and more professional.
Which out of the above do you think caused us problems? It was the fact that we ‘thought’ we needed to be in Manchester city centre. When in fact, we didn’t, and we still don’t.
Some people could argue for the benefits, and I understand some of them. But for us as a company, and how we operate - it simply doesn’t work. For starters, the commute wastes at least 3 hours of time for each member per day. 3 hours stuck in traffic every day is not good for anybody. Getting into work feeling stressed before opening a computer is also not good for anybody. We didn’t want staff to be stressed and on edge. So now that we are in a convenient location - all my staff drive away from traffic and feel fresh on arrival at work. The maximum commute takes 30 minutes.
Our clients are all over the world, but some are in the North West of England, and further afield that needs travel organising. If I was in Manchester, these local commutes would be much harder - getting out of Manchester in traffic sometimes takes 1 hour to do just that. If a meeting was needed at short notice, we are now in a much more convenient and flexible location. We also have an onsite car park which is free of charge which is a bonus.
When we lose client pitches, I always ask why. And nobody has ever said that we lost a pitch because we weren’t in the city centre of Manchester. And as we have grown over the years, we have clients all over the world. From clients in Australia, China, Miami, London, Dublin, Paris, Manchester, Cheshire etc. and most of the communication is done via email or phone.