Unless you’re a tech company, it’s unlikely that you’ll be in swanky Google-esque palatial offices (where gourmet food is free to all your staff), within your first 18 months of trading.
Here’s our journey from a damp basement office space, to a private (yes private) office with natural daylight (that it’s taken 3 years to earn).
1st year of Shout About London
Our first office was in Mayfair (we thought we HAD to have a W1 postcode) however, in reality we rented a small amount of desk space, at the back of a music PR companies office – and it wasn’t very rock and roll. We would never dream of meeting clients there, as even with our enthusiastic and positive attitude on life, it would be a tough sell to explain to clients why the pipes smelt so bad, or why the walls were damp. It probably wasn’t asbestos free and definitely had that haunted house feel – not the most relaxing backdrop for any meeting. We were flooded their twice during the year and once had to replace all our desktop computers (of course we didn’t have it covered by insurance at that point!). We were forced to move out of there when the landlord wanted to ‘Mayfair-fy it’ (as in, keep the front facade and complete rebuild the actual house and turn it into luxury flats). Our damp corner of the basement is probably the bottom of a Jacuzzi by now, which kind of makes sense and in hindsight it was a good thing that we left there – for our health if nothing else.
2nd & 3rd year of Shout About London
The founders of Shout About are (currently) in our late 20’s and thus setting ourselves up as the disruptors in the events industry – Shoreditch was the only logical place we could think of to move to next. We rented 3 huge desks in a shared office and it worked! We could utilise the meeting rooms (if we had to) and being a stone’s throw from the city meant we could be at our clients beck and call (a lot of them are around the Liverpool Street area). We made some great contacts there (chiefly the guys at Backyard Cinema and Hardens Restaurant guide) and we will always #ShoutAbout the co-working model. We saw many start-ups, start and fail here and it hits home how tough it is to run a business in this climate; especially in London.
There was actually no catalyst for leaving here, other than us consciously not wanting to get too comfortable and to push the boundaries of what we could achieve.
Whilst it was difficult to say goodbye to the other co-workers and the staff at The Brew, we felt the time was right to set up our own little empire with our own name above the door, from which we hope; will always be the case.
So after exactly 2 years in Shoreditch, we are ready for our next move.
It was a time for a change (change is good right?) and we found a private office (first time we’ve ever had a private office), with natural daylight (first time we’ve ever had natural daylight), next to the Camden Roundhouse (of which it’s impressive exterior fills our windows – appropriately inspiring for an events company).
So, on our 3rd year anniversary of Shout About London, we are now moving to Chalk Farm and we’re excited – give us a shout if you want to come and check it out!
West, East, now North London, maybe we’ll be moving south of the river for a larger office in 3 years’ time?
We’re interested to hear other start-ups journeys and how the ‘location of their office’ (if you have one), may (or may not) have played a role in the growth of the business.