Until relatively recently, Michon was based in the city. Traditionally, that’s where you’d probably expect agencies to be, and it was certainly the case back in the Eighties and Nineties. To some, not being on the doorstep of everything might, in the days before easy internet access, have been seen as a risky move.
In 2008 though, we took the plunge and moved out to Radcliffe on Trent – a village, not too far from the city but surrounded by some beautiful countryside.
We bought an historic old school building and completely transformed the interior into a modern design office and studio. It’s the sort of place where staff enjoy coming into, and it seems to impress our clients with its juxtaposition of old and new.
So what made us decide to move?
Aside from the charm of the building itself, having a rural location frees us from many constraints of modern business. As every city centre worker will know, parking can be a nightmare – and, for those in Nottingham, a costly one. We never have an issue with it, thanks to the free car parks in the village and our own schoolyard.
Rush hour traffic is also a thing of the past. It’s a pleasant journey, and I can even do it without passing a single traffic light! We also don’t rely on passing trade, so it doesn’t affect new business, and the internet is just as fast as in the city.
Far from being disconnected, Radcliffe on Trent has proved to be the perfect location for an agency like ours to be based. Somehow the rural location seems to be great for creativity, perhaps because it helps to keep everyone relaxed and happy, even on the busiest days.
We have 30 employees now (and an office dog), and they all use the shops and pubs. Even for a village there’s a huge range of local businesses to supply everything that we need. 20% of our team even moved here, they liked it so much.
In terms of business, though, it gives us a more unique character when clients visit us. Think how many design agencies are based in the city centre, in similar buildings, with the same constraints and stresses.
Even for clients visiting from further afield, we’re still easily reached from Nottingham rail station, M1 and A1. When they arrive, it’s a bit of a pleasant surprise to find we’ve taken a different approach to most.
The success of our move has been greater than I ever hoped for and the business is going from strength to strength.