Research and development. Trial and error. Risk and reward. They’re all a part of doing business, no matter what business you happen to be in. Our commitment to learning at Fahrenheit Creative Group stems from that reality. We invest in new ideas and opportunities, always seeking to increase value for our clients, sharpen our professional skills, and grow our business. Sometimes all three of those things happen. Sometimes only one of them does. But whatever the outcome, we recognize this is a necessary process that allows us continually improve our internal processes and move the business forward.
About a year ago, we decided to expand our operations by opening an office in Atlanta. We had a few clients in and around the Metro Atlanta area, and we identified several opportunities we could pursue if we had a physical presence in the market. We also recognized it as an ideal professional development and growth opportunity for one of our team members, which is an important factor in our business decisions.
To assist with the transition into a new market, we brought on a business development consultant to assist with securing new clients and a part-time former creative executive to support operations. We found a small office near the heart of downtown, and the first satellite office of Fahrenheit Creative Group was open for business.
Less than a year later, we’ve decided to close the Atlanta office. As is true with any business decision, several factors influenced the decision—staffing, revenue, projections. And as is true with any decision, we also wondered should we give it a little longer? What could we have done better? How does this impact our future investments?
Those questions are good questions—that should be asked regardless of what business decision is made. Another critical question to ask is: what did we learn? And the answer is a quite a lot.
Having to communicate with remote team members forced us to improve how we communicate across all platforms. We had to evaluate all of our internal communications systems and determine what was working and what wasn’t. The changes we introduced have improved the way we communicate about projects across the agency.
We also learned to quickly pivot when we noticed misalignment. If things aren’t working, you have to quickly figure out why they’re not working or if they ever will work. You can’t identify misalignment if you haven’t taken the time to develop an organizational culture based on a clear vision, mission, and values. Do the hard work first, and the hard decisions will be a lot easier to make later on.
Finally, I also learned something through this process. A leader has to be very intimately involved whenever these types of activities are launched. Whether it’s giving a team member new responsibilities or opening a new office, leadership has to be supportive and available to provide the resources needed to make the transition work.