Whether your lease is up, or your current premises are no longer suitable, moving and renovating premises can be exciting, but can also put organisations under severe stress.
ESV moved to new premises on November 18, 2019 and we recently caught up with CEO Ashima Seth and Founding Partner Geoff Vince, the leaders of the relocation and refurbishment project, to gain an insight in the design, build and move processes.
The task – refurbish two floors of the York Street office and move 85 staff without interrupting business operations. The plan – stop work on Friday at 4pm and be fully operational on the following Monday at 8am.
When ESV outgrew their premises of over 25 years and began their search, the pair did not ask “Where do we go?” but rather “What space is right for us?”.
“The non-traditional space aligns with our brand and cultural values. We have young staff and partners with progressive values.” Ashima continued, “Our vision was to provide a turn-key solution for the business, where not only our brand came alive but we also created a unique space to interact with our clients and provided a home away from home for our staff”
Geoff nodded his head in agreement, “Our new space certainly had a different appeal, after all we don’t want to be boring old accountants.”
As we inspected the client lounge and Geoff explained the intricacies of the integrated coffee machine and the bespoke reception desk, we got to talking about the importance of detail and accountability.
“We really did embody a dog with a bone and dare to challenge mentality,” Geoff recalled, referencing two of ESV’s major culture principles.
“There was not one thing we just signed off on and said, ‘Oh that will do,’” Ashima agreed, “There is immense responsibility when singing off on plans. We thought of everything from how the brand would come to life, to providing an area for clients to relax, to the shade of paint, to where to put the milk crates! Our cultural values and our “Why” guided us when we were unsure.”
Key to balancing the big picture with vital minutiae detail is collaboration. This means building a winning team with players who can take care of finance, operations, marketing, IT, building management, design and trade.
However, collaboration, can also be extremely challenging without the right external partners. Both insisted that it is vital to choose the right builders and designers who understand your vision and your company’s unique DNA.
“Choose a fit-out company who wants to understand your brand and is hungry to translate and add value to the vision,” Ashima advised.
Geoff noted that a successful collaboration involves a relationship where parties are receptive to feedback, “We would push back against our designers and builders and ask, ‘Is there a way we can do this better?’. Sure enough, they would come back with a solution. That’s how our reality turned out better than our plans.”
When we asked about the biggest piece of advice to organisations undertaking a move or refurbishment, the pair offered different insights.
Ashima was focused on the team and the budget, “A business needs a passionate team to lead it. My passion helped me push my team to have the office pristine on the first day we moved in. Finally, budgets: every number has a story to tell, interrogate every quote.”
Geoff stressed the importance of a future facing business, “Ask yourself where your business will be in five or ten years and make sure your premises reflects this.”
With daily staff pool tournaments, a family and friends welcome to the office evening and many more events on the horizon, the thought and man-hours Ashima and Geoff put into ESV’s new home has certainly paid off. And the new office was fully operational at 8am on that Monday as planned.
The last take-away from this discussion is that ESV’s dedication to excellence does not stop at business advisory and accounting services but extends to everything we do.