Last month I was so excited to announce the plans for 3 Sided Cube USA that have been a long time coming! Read that big announcement here.
Well, this time, I wanted to bring you on the journey (all those long months ago) when we landed across the pond for a recon mission. By the end of our trip we hoped to have a clear idea where we wanted the agency to be based but really didn’t know what to expect.
So, one frigidly cold day in January, we arrived with four potential locations in mind and the hope that one would tick all of the boxes. We were ready and raring to scour the East Coast until we found that ideal location…and hopefully become the best thing to come from the UK since Harry Potter?!
Why the East Coast?!
Back in January, we flew to the US to do a planned whirlwind tour of several US states to determine where we wanted to set up in The US. We knew we wanted to be East Coast or Mid as we wanted to ensure strong ties with the UK office, and managed to narrow our research down to a list of 4 cities that we had thoroughly researched beforehand.
Out hotlist included:
We visited each city and benchmarked them using a variety of different criteria, from both a business and personal perspective. From the research, we’d completed it would have been easy to omit the personal elements, but actually, that was super important to me because I was planning on relocating my husband and kids. For this to work and be successful I needed my husband and kids to be happy and to thrive, so opportunities for my husband, the kid’s schools, safe neighbourhoods and easy access to travel were all high priority and essential for this to work.
From a business perspective, we had to be mindful that actually around 60% of our revenue comes from The US, and has done for many years so we wanted to ensure we were within easy travel distance to our existing US clients. In addition, there had to be enough opportunities and an established business network that we could leverage.
In all, we had a list of around 12 criteria that we used to benchmark the cities so we could make an informed decision on where we’d like to base the US office and my family.
Thousands of miles, an eventful reunion in NYC with the one and only Phillip Caudell, 4 flights and countless car journeys listening to Duncan’s interesting taste in music we were confident we’d explored what we needed to, to ensure I could make a decision.
I came home and shared the photos, and talked everything through with William and on the 26th January 2020 we made the decision as a family we would move to Chicago and set up shop there.
I’d never been to Chicago before January but had heard many wonderful things. I’d also heard bad things…and will be honest and tell you I was nervous arriving into Chicago, exploring new neighbourhoods. But I totally and utterly fell in love with the city, the people and the surrounding areas.
The city was beautiful (and obviously freezing cold at that time of year) and as we explored the city we were stopped several times by friendly people enquiring about our accents, and wanting to know why we were here exploring (and also what we thought of Harry & Meghan).
We explored offices of all kinds whilst out there and there were obvious existing business networks that excited us and confirmed our research. It was also an easy commute to our existing clients and had great transport links around the US and to The UK.
The neighbourhoods by the lake were enchanting and I could picture us as a family taking strolls by the lake and enjoying all the new opportunities in the surrounding areas.
We were excited to have made a decision and to have a plan.
Then COVID happened.
And obviously, it has delayed our visa application somewhat so we can’t physically move at the moment, but we still have a strategy, just the plan needs tweaking! While the plan has not gone exactly as planned, it hasn’t abated my excitement to bring the magic of Cube to America and finally get to begin this new adventure.