I am a big fan of working out of my house and there are parts of it that I will never give up, no matter how busy or large my company was to become. Drinking coffee out of my own dishes is something I truly relish in and it just doesn’t taste the same out of a foam cup or chamber coffee mug. Also, jumping out of bed and in front of my laptop without the entire morning routine is awesome. The efficiencies of being able to knock out all the email and non selling tasks quickly without the headache of getting to an office as well as being able to do them at home in the evening is just part of the modern worker. But there are many things I am missing when working from home and there are many things I am missing if I have an office in the wrong place as well. I have an office. I have an office downtown Westfield. My office is not where the business is necessarily and it hurts. Here is why:
There are no business people around– This is kind of a lie but, I can step outside my office now and walk from block to block and see very few people in public looking for opportunities. There is no networking downtown. There are no coffee shops with people working and connecting downtown. There is no daytime events downtown. For instance this beautiful Monday morning I have yet to see a single human on a sidewalk entering a business from my Main St vantage point. This is not bad for the local businesses that do not rely on traffic but for people like me and most people in business development, a ghost town is not the place to create a strong lead gen program.
Like-minded people– Same ideas different business is a perfect group of people to put yourself in the middle of. If my office were in a building surrounded by lenders, investors, startups, developers or other trades that have a real estate relationship, I would be in great company. Finding a business district with great business associates is awesome whether its a co work space or an office building with numerous different tenants. I would suggest knowing this before knowing the price or availability of a space. We get great inspiration and drive from being around others that are doing what we are doing.
Accidental Referral Groups– I should locate my business somewhere that I will over time build relationships that will convert to referrals and leads. That is never going to happen as a home based business or locating on an island in a quiet office. There are rare new connections without intent and relying on the same faces is something that will tire soon. We have to locate ourselves in places that the business can be earned through coffee breaks, networking groups and random engagements. I know there are BNI’s and Rainmaker groups but these are not the organic relationships that grow from seeing each other regularly in the lobby or a random invite to lunch.
The reason I am typing about this is I am struggling to find a home in downtown Westfield for business. We created a co workspace, but we just had a terrible time connecting with the right members. I could go get an office in Carmel and be around lots of business people all day, but I can’t convince myself that’s the place to grow my core business in Westfield. I could plant myself in one of the buildings I manage in Westfield but then I just become to accessible for the buildings complaints. As I figure out how to go from WKRP Indy 2018 to WKRP Indy 2019 I need to take all of this into consideration and as someone that helps retailers figure out the best place to be, its been a real challenge for me and my business and I am learning many other professionals around me. I think this is becoming more of a problem for small businesses like myself looking for the right office to get to the next level and as disconnected as we become its harder and harder to find that perfect space. Its very important to take the time to recognize opportunity in my office space and where my desk is best serving my business. I would love to hear other thoughts on this.
Curt owns WKRP Indy Real Estate and has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years, spending his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage. He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments. Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area. Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.