Design and creative agency made move during recession

Manjit Loi at Red 207 birthday celebration
Manjit Loi at Red 207 birthday celebration

A business that moved to Milton Keynes during the height of the recession survived to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Design and creative agency Red 207 moved from Southampton to the Regus offices in Atterbury when business founder Manjit Loi’s husband’s job was transferred to the new city.

She said: “On the one hand, I was worried about leaving the area because my clients were in Hampshire, but on the other I was really excited because Milton Keynes is such a thriving place.”

But she found she was able to keep her Hampshire clients happy whilst building a new network of contacts in Milton Keynes.

She credits her survival as a micro-business to taking a flexible approach to ‘the office’.

“When I started out, I leased my own office but quickly realised that it wasn’t financially viable,” said Manjit.

“The design and creative services sector was badly hit in the recession and having high overheads was an immense burden.”

She started using flexible workspace at Regus and found that keeping overheads low wasn’t the only benefit.

“What started as a financial necessity opened my eyes to a better way of working,” said Manjit. “I didn’t have to worry about the day-to-day running of the office and answering phones. Plus, the prestige of the centres gave me an instantly credible image, which is invaluable for a micro business.”

She now co-works in a shared office, in order to make contacts with other businesses, and uses meeting rooms at the Regus centres in Southampton – or video conferencing – to retain her presence there.

“Taking a flexible approach to ‘the office’ has helped me keep costs down and remain geographically agile. If you have a strong personal relationship with clients, they don’t care where you are based as long as you are contactable, provide an excellent service and have somewhere professional to meet when necessary.”