At UrbanWorkSpace, we’re all about helping businesses to succeed – even if it sometimes means saying goodbye to tenants who grow big enough to need their own premises.
That’s exactly what happened with print management company, XBM. Back in 2016 when we discovered that XBM were looking to set up a new West Midlands branch of the business, we jumped at the chance to give them a flying start with our Steward Street office space.
Founded in 2008 and with an established presence over in Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle – Birmingham was an obvious choice for XBM’s next big move. Sales Manager, Dan Jones, quickly went from working from home on the budding Midlands side of the business to needing a central Birmingham office space due to high demand and a growing team. Two years later, and they’ve built up such an impressive customer base that they’ve gone on to secure their own unit over in Aston to house their expanding business.
We caught up with Dan to learn more about where they began, what their plans are for the future and the role that UrbanWorkSpace had to play in it all.
Hi Dan, congratulations on XBM’s Birmingham expansion. Tell us a little bit about what’s in store for you.
It’s all very exciting for us at the moment. We’re really behind growing our business in Birmingham and are looking forward to our future here. In fact, we’re making a total investment in Birmingham of £750,000 by year end. We’re also pleased to say we will be employing 10 new members of the team down here as well, it’s a thriving youthful city and it’s a really exciting place to be.
That’s great to hear! So tell us about your new office space.
We’ve just bought new premises in Aston. It’s a traditional 5000 square foot warehouse unit which will house our printing and copying equipment. With all that space, we’ll have full service departments and all of our deliveries and installations will take place there too.
I’ll also be running our large sales office upstairs which will house our new members of staff.
While we’re sad to see you leave us, we’re also really happy to hear we had a role to play in your success. What made you choose our Steward Street Lofts as XBM’s first Birmingham home?
We were looking to establish a presence in Birmingham without committing fully to a large space. You could say we wanted to test the local market – which is something we were able to do with UrbanWorkSpace’s help.
What really drew us in was the complete flexibility with contract length and cost, Matt and the team here really did everything they could to accommodate us in a way that suited our plans for the business. The downstairs meeting rooms are a great place to bring prospective clients – their in-house café, The Kitchen, is also a really handy facility for those all important caffeine fixes.
Having worked in XBM’s Leeds head office, how would you say renting an office space has compared?
When I came on board at XBM I was working from a home office and commuting back and forth between our head office and here. While shopping around, we had looked at larger facilities and we found that they were more expensive and a lot less flexible.
Making the leap from a home office to Steward Street was wonderful. As someone who works in sales, being around other likeminded tenants day to day presented great business development opportunities.
I’d say this place is ideal for anyone who is working from home but needs to start employing staff. It was perfect for us, we were able to use all the facilities that a larger office would get to enjoy without the long term commitment or cost associated.
What would you say to someone looking to grow their business from a home office setup?
If a business is looking to expand rapidly – they need to find an office partner who is flexible with contract length or they might find it difficult when they eventually want to buy their own unit.
You also really want to make sure you’re getting enough for your money, which for us is where UrbanWorkSpace stood out from the rest. The facilities have been second to none, we’re always able to book into the meeting rooms easily and everybody is always friendly and accommodating.
And lastly, don’t be afraid to network with your neighbours. When we first started at UrbanWorkSpace, we did a bit of door knocking and introduced ourselves and we ended up gaining some new clients as a result.
What will you miss most about being an UrbanWorkSpace tenant?
Probably the people. Although we do feel we’ve forged long lasting relationships with our fellow tenants which will continue after we leave. In fact, we’ve even welcomed on board 3 new clients from Steward Street and sold some printing equipment off the back of that.
First Leeds, then Manchester, Newcastle and Birmingham – what’s XBM’s next move?
We’ve been growing by 20 percent each year and we’re certainly looking to continue doing so across the UK. We see London as our next big venture and will be looking at expanding over there in the next couple of years.