Trick or treat? BOO!
It is fitting that Arlington Strategy is moving into our new offices at Halloween time. And I’m not even talking about our pumpkin orange brand color! Taking office space is pragmatic, symbolic – and a wee bit scary. Arlington Strategy has been in business for six and a half years. We’ve run a small but mighty operation staffed by passionate and hard working professionals; developed strong business partnerships; and built a reputation in our community. We’ve earned the respect of our clients most often demonstrated through their referrals and repeat business. All of this was accomplished from a “home-based” infrastructure.
MOVING TO OFFICE SPACE IS PRAGMATIC
Let’s face it, having a home-based business has major perks. (Hello working in yoga pants!) Our team convened regularly in person, but as we grew, the physical space in our home-office became a barrier. Over the years we have learned the value of collaboration and that having our team face-to-face is when the best solutions, the most creative ideas, the light-bulb moments for our clients happened. Growing a business is hard, and takes time, and while Arlington Strategy has certainly grown over the years, we continued to be constrained by our capacity. Keeping the business home kept us from adding staff, and that meant we were too busy getting the work done to think bigger and invest our time into growth. Once we came to our own lightbulb realization that we need to be together more and we need more of us to grow, it was obvious that moving into a “real” office was the solution. In addition, our Founder derived significant inspiration from business friend Vicki Price of Complete Back Office, who credits her company’s growth in large part to their move from home-based to office.
(In case you’re wondering – we will mostly leave the yoga pants at home, but costumes are encouraged on Halloween.)
OUR NEW OFFICE IS SYMBOLIC
As we’ve grown, we wanted to create an environment where we had more visibility, a place to invite clients and future clients, a place where the purpose is business. Even though we’ve been around for a while now, having an office symbolizes an arrival, a permanency of sorts, that was missing from our home-based infrastructure. As simple as it seems, having our logo on our own front door has been a goal for a long time.
MOVING IS SCARY (BUT CHANGE IS GOOD!)
Even after consulting numerous small business friends, business partners and trusted advisors, we find that taking space is a scary idea. As more and more businesses become virtual “home based” enterprises, we are going the other way. We considered taking space at one of the many collaboration offices like MakeOffices, but we also did some soul searching and self-assessment – our Founder is an extrovert and would love being around dozens of other businesses all the time – but she’d be distracted. One business friend said “just don’t sign a lease!”; meaning, find something flexible that isn’t going to cost us dearly if we change course later. Others suggested we find an “empty office” in a bigger company. But that went counter to our firm’s commitment to our own brand and our identity. We really wanted (and found!) our very own office and signed a lease – and we get to put our logo on the door.
So why is this scary? Adding fixed costs to our business model after operating lean from the start is a biggie. This growth also assumes we’ll add staff and to support staff means we’ll have to grow our revenue. Putting a more public face to our company means being vulnerable – if things get bumpy, it’s more obvious. If things go well, well that could mean we expand offices. Of course we’ve mapped out the business model and know the numbers and we are confident in our own abilities – but it is still scary. But what part of growing a business isn’t, right?
We look forward to welcoming our clients, business partners, friends and potential clients to our new office at 5001-A Lee Highway, Suite 100, Arlington, VA.