Heckenkemper is similar to so many other small businesses, in that it started at my kitchen table in 2012. I spent so many late nights working on business plans, marketing plans, looking up all the logistical things to make this dream come to life. So many late nights spent at that kitchen table long after the kids were asleep and my work for my media job in corporate America were checked off. It wasn’t long until that kitchen table was abandoned and I claimed a spare bedroom as my office and jumped in with both feet. Bless my husband, family and friends for their faith and encouragement. For over a year that spare bedroom was central command for my growing agency and when we moved a few blocks this summer I claimed a corner of the den but the writing was on the wall.
I’m not sure if it was the sales calls while my puppy was going crazy barking in the background, or stacking client binders on my children’s play tables while having brainstorming conferences in my dining room but I realized the day had come that it was time to kick my business out of the house.
The last few years of this economy I believe have taught us all the lesson to be conservative and responsible with financial choices, this was no different. I knew to trust the numbers, I had been smart and had a business savings to invest in moving to a commercial site but I knew I wanted to be selective about where to move my office. When you have a business from home, you make do with what you have and that’s part of your image – I took pride in being the little scrappy agency but when I made the decision to “get out there” then it was suddenly rethinking the shift in my image.
I toured a few dozen buildings, I’m impressed with the great commercial office options that Tulsa has to offer. I looked primarily downtown and midtown and appreciate the crash course in commercial real estate from the leasing agents. After a few weeks of looking, I chose to lease an office in midtown. After a fresh coat of paint, new carpet and a few dozen trips to Staples, Ikea and Kirklands I’m so pleased to announce that Heckenkemper is unpacked and settled into the aptly named Commerce Tower at 5801 E. 41st Street Suite 103.
Moving into an office is a big step and has been an experience that I’ve enjoyed. It’s hectic, messy and a little bit scary but most things that are worth it usually are.
My advice for anyone following in my footsteps would be to plan, plan, plan. Plan your budget, your wish list, and your resources. Just like every business decision I have, I saved where I could and invest in the technology and people that make my business stand out.
* Lease options, learn the terms and what’s included
* Have a technology plan, and a priority list of how to build your tech infrastructure for future expansion
* Shop around for furniture and décor that fits your budget and your design
* Plan your grand opening/ribbon cutting announcements
* The details, update your address everywhere!
I am such an advocate for small business and would love to hear your story, are you a small business or dreaming of becoming one? When did you make the move?
Good luck! ~Stephanie