How Maidstone’s Business Terrace helped us to grow – Rise Communications

Rise Communications was the first tenant at The Business Terrace back when it opened its doors in 2015. In this Q&A, co-founder Jo Hage tells us why they chose the location, how shared office space helped the business go from strength to strength and gives her advice to others thinking of making the leap from working from home.

1. Tell us a bit about Rise Communications.
Rise Communications is a full-service marketing, PR and events agency based South of Maidstone. My business partner, Sarah Macdonald and I set Rise up seven years ago.  We look after all aspects of traditional and digital marketing for a wide range of B2B and B2C clients, often acting as an extension to their in-house teams or, as is often the case, becoming their entire marketing department if they don’t have any in-house resource. 

2. When did you make the move from homeworking to an office and why?
Rise began in the basement of Sarah’s home in Maidstone and nine months later, when one of her sons left home to go to Uni, we came blinking into the light and moved upstairs into his now empty room!  18 months later, after a period of rapid expansion, we heard about The Business Terrace and went along to look at the hot desking options on offer.  Our plan was to spend one or two days a week there and the rest in the home office. 

3. You were the first business to move into The Business Terrace - what made you choose it?
From the minute we walked into the Terrace it just felt right.  We liked the idea of working alongside other businesses, and the potential for collaboration that doing so presented.  The onsite business advisers, parking, meeting rooms and event spaces to use, and the central location were a big draw for us.  After our visit we left, not with a hot desk reservation, but with a contract to take the very first of the state-of-the-art pods on the Terrace!

4. How did The Business Terrace help Rise Communications to grow/succeed?Having a solid base to operate from enabled us to continue on our growth trajectory.  It gave use a highly professional outlook and we developed some excellent relationships with our fellow Terrace businesses; many of which are still maintained today.   We moved around the Terrace as we grew!  From our first two desk pod, we upscaled to a three-desk pod and our designer friend and colleague, Erica from Bella Creative joined us, we then moved to a third, larger three desk office.  Erica has been with us ever since, and when we eventually flew the nest and moved into our own office, she came with us!

5. What advice would you give to other businesses thinking of making the leap from home working to an office?
Do it!  It can seem daunting, and it obviously brings with it a financial commitment, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.  If you are in a position to take an office, or even just spend a couple of days a week hot desking I would highly recommend doing so.  The contacts you make, and the opportunities that present themselves to you when you are in an environment like that are so good for any business.  A casual chat with a fellow business owner in the shared kitchen could lead to your next new client - especially if you provide the biscuits!

6. Why is Maidstone the right location for your business?
Maidstone has great infrastructure and the central location in the heart of the County means easy access to all corners of the Garden of England.  With the expansion and development of business parks in the area it is a real hub for business development.

7. What does the business look like today? What are some of your proudest achievements?
We are extremely proud to have founded the Kent Charity Awards in 2014; the awards have gone from strength to strength and have become the highlight of the third sector calendar in Kent.  We are the PR Agency behind the biggest food awareness day of the year, National Fish and Chip Day.  It’s extremely hard work, but the results are phenomenal.  Last year, despite the restrictions, over 50 million people would have read, heard or seen a mention of the day….and that doesn’t include our hashtag taking over Twitter and trending at number 1 from 8am until 9pm!  Never a dull moment at Rise!

To find out more about Rise Communications, visit https://risecommunications.co.uk/