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Going backwards to going forwards...

27/07/17

Marks Sattin opened the Reading office in 2008 and made good strides into the Thames Valley region. Headcount grew and things were going well. My predecessor was the driving force in the office for a number of years, holding the majority of relationships and contributing the lion's share of the revenue. When he moved into a new business, the Reading office was left exposed and fortunes started to decline. In 2014, 6 months after he left, I took the plunge and went about rebuilding the office. As I walked up to the large glass fronted building through a grassy courtyard, it was clear that the setting was rather grandiose. In the office itself, I was surprised to see with space for 16 heads, only 4 of the stations were occupied! Morale was low, something which is a killer to any sales focused business and there was a considerable lack of belief. 

The first priority was to restore confidence in the team, office and market – along with adding a few new faces. We had our ups and downs, however finishing H2 14 in the green and I made the decision to downscale the office. The reason behind this, to ensure costs were lowered and pressure lifted from the team. Targets and KPIs are rife in the industry and pressure is part and parcel of the trade. With 80% lower rent costs, we were able to invest in a TV, XBOX, putting machine, remote controlled car and enjoy more team activities as a result. 2015 was a fantastic year, with revenues far exceeding expectations.  At the end of 2015, the option was given to extend for another year – I gladly took this to ensure we continued building the team and culture of the office. This was a fortuitous decision as Brexit hit the region hard, far harder than I anticipated/ budgeted and revenues in the Reading office were well below all of our expectations in H1. Thankfully 2016 finished with a solid yet unspectacular number thanks to a very strong H2, momentum was good going into the current year. 

Now in 2017, we have recorded our best half, quarter and month since the office’s inception.  After 2.5 years, we finally have an office to be proud of with free meeting rooms to host interviews (sorry Costa), a roof terrace to hold networking events and a raft of perks to entice new recruits. 

We are looking forward to celebrating 10 years in the region as of next year, please pop in and say hi, as we’d welcome a chance to (re)connect.

You can find us in The White Building, 33 King's Road, Reading, RG1 3AR.

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