Authentic Style moves into office space

About 3 weeks ago I made the decision to finally move out from my home office and into some rented office space. In this post I’ll explain why I made that decision, how its going and post up some pictures too. Before I begin, the images here were taken with my iPhone, so please excuse that the quality isn’t top notch. Last Wednesday I was finally able to move into the new Authentic Style HQ, conveniently situated in the Wincombe Business Centre, just 1.5 miles from my house in Shaftesbury. What wasn’t so convenient however was the time it took BT to set up my broadband. Having had an engineer come out the previous Tuesday and tell the business centre manager that the installation of both my broadband and phone line was successful, I moved all my stuff in and tried to get online. Needless to say, you guessed it, no internet connection had been set up, and I only found out after paying for a networking guy to help me get online and him suggesting I call BT just to double check they’d installed everything. Anyhow, a week later I was in the office and online.

So why move out from the home office and spend money renting a room somewhere else?

After working from home for just over 2 years I felt like it was time for a change. Authentic Style has been doing great over the last two years and turnover this year is up on last year by 23% if my calculations are correct. Whilst working from home does have its perks, it also has some downsides which I felt were getting to me a little after 2 years of doing it. My main reason for getting some office space was that I don’t want to be a solo freelancer the rest of my career. I want to eventually take on staff and try and build Authentic Style into a small design and development outfit, so why not take the leap now and take on the extra overhead whilst its just me, continue to build the business and then look at maybe taking someone on in the next year. The second big reason was having a place to leave the laptop, and work in general behind for the evening and also the weekend. When you work from home you have to be so disciplined to stop work at 6pm and not just sneak back to respond to that email or tweak that design later that evening. Whilst its convinient and nice in the beginning to be able to do that, after a while I was finding it increasingly hard to switch off. I’ve only been in the new office for about a week now, but I’m already enjoying being able to leave work behind in the evenings and having a place to go each day. After all I’ve still got my iPhone if I really need to check my mails or respond to an inquiry quickly after hours. The room I’m renting is a good size and would definitely accommodate another desk and possibly a third at a push (there’s more space to the right of this shot). There is also a lovely meeting room available for use at the business centre and I can’t wait to use it for the first time next week with a potential new prospect. For now its time to continue working hard and seeing where that takes me in my third year freelancing!

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