This week was a milestone for Weidert Group. For more than 12 years we've been the proud tenants of the second floor suite at 210 W. College Avenue in the heart of downtown Appleton, WI., during which time we've been very grateful neighbors of the best coffee shop in Northeast Wisconsin, Copper Rock, the first floor tenants. People have heard me refer to Copper Rock as our third conference room; I would be hard pressed (or French pressed?) to even guess how many coffee meetings I've had and cups of their wonderful hand-roasted coffee I've had. Enough for an endorsement deal, maybe?
Our Options as a Growing Inbound Marketing Agency
All good things come to an end, and in this case the beginning of the end of this era started when we had 6 months left on our lease (last November) and we started looking at our options.
Stay where we are. Low odds of this. While we loved the location and the physical space, we never utilized even half of the space we occupied. So we knew there would be lots of opportunities to make a move that would benefit the business.
Find another great space to rent. Here in Northeastern Wisconsin it's still a bona fide renter's market, with lots of vacancies. We knew there would be lots of potentially good options available, and figured this was the likeliest path for us. That's where our efforts for a new home would primarily focus.
Buy a building. With commercial real estate still pretty soft, we considered this might be an option as well. But we were also realistic that it had been a while (before the Great Recession!) since any bank had come close to courting our business. We weren't too confident that banks would be real interested in lending us money to buy commercial real estate. Until we could prove otherwise, this didn't feel like a realistic possibility.
Work from home. Michelle, our business manager, actually suggested this option because she understands that much of what we do can be done virtually, so investing in physical overhead is something she'll always ask us to validate. My judgment has always been that we're a lot better when we're physically together during our working hours. I know for me, face-to-face with co-workers, clients, vendors, peers, partners and coaches gives me so much more energy than any other means of connecting. So becoming a virtual business would only be a last resort.
How We Found Our New Home
We set off on our search, with our primary focus on option #2. However, in the span just a couple of weeks a few interesting things happened:
We found a great building for rent, beautifully finished, designed as a creative professional services space, big enough to allow for growth and priced to be a significant saving versus our current triple net lease
Turns out the building was for sale, the sellers were motivated, and at current interest rates our cash flow as owners of the building would be virtually the same as if we rented
After making calls to a few friendly contacts at area banks we made the best discovery of all: the impressive revenue growth and profitability improvement we experienced over the past 2+ years as a direct result of our focused commitment on inbound marketing made us a lot more attractive to bankers than we had been since before the Great Recession
You can see how this story ends. Two days ago we moved into our new headquarters building as owners, something we were only able to do because of what inbound marketing has done for our business, and because of what it's doing for our clients' businesses. Thanks to inbound marketing, and our talented team we have that's dedicated and committed to making it work, we're living the American Dream 2.0.
Want to start achieving your version of the American Dream 2.0? If you live within a convenient drive of Appleton, register for Inbound Marketing Bootcamp 2014 now, before it sells out. It's less than 5 weeks away, and you don't want to miss this fantastic opportunity to drink deeply from the well of inbound knowledge and experience.
And if you're not close enough to attend? Dive into the resources available here on our blog and start learning on your own. The dream can be yours.
Posted by Greg Linnemanstons With 18+ years in senior management roles at Fortune 500® and medium-sized companies, Greg has deep marketing and sales experience with CPGs and manufacturing. He leads strategic initiatives with clients and is involved in developing client inbound marketing plans. Greg holds an M.B.A. from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a B.A. in Economics from Lawrence University.