It’s just been our twenty year anniversary at Japanese Knotweed Solutions Ltd. This set me thinking about the momentous times in my business life – what are the main events that I can still remember?
My first office.
I can remember how proud I was with the small room at the back of the architecture practice on Wellington Road South in Stockport. I had my own desk, drawing board, coffee machine….and my own toilet and separate access from the rear of the property. I remember getting a brass plaque made with ‘Michael Clough Associates’ etched into the metal, the plaque was then wall mounted on the front of the building. I had my own car park space which made me feel pretty damn special.
My second office
The second office was basically a large shed in the rear of my garden on Sunlaws Street in Glossop. Two kids and a mortgage made keeping the Stockport Office a bit too expensive so it was working from home for a couple of years. I can clearly remember getting our first word processor and the relief at being able to correct and change specifications without having to re-type the whole document. It was here that we got our first fax machine – the miracle of the modern age – I sat for hours just waiting for the machine to spew forth documents and clapped every time it worked.
It was here that I got my first car phone. Again, I have memories of sitting in the car shouting ‘Hello’ so loudly that the phone was probably not needed for any local calls …as everybody could hear me anyway.
Didsbury – The Towers Business Park – I had designed the landscape around the buildings and had an office within a development that I had worked on. Great for business, great way to show clients my skills and the breadth of work that we could carry out. Many happy years working from the trendy Didsbury location.
Whitefield rented space …then finally purchasing the offices in Radcliffe. No more renting, I was now a business owner working from property that I owned.
Computers, dicta phones, answer phones, smaller computers, smaller phones, the cloud …all made huge changes to way the business worked.
However, to get to my point.
It’s not the location of the office or the gadgets that you remember, it’s the people.
Looking back, I have been lucky to have worked with some great people. When preparing for Japanese Knotweed Solutions 20th anniversary, I was amazed at the length of time that people have worked with the company.
Some people have worked for me from the days of Landmark and have 23 years’ service on their books, 21 years, 17 years, 10 years, 12 years – these are all people that have given a huge chunk of their working lives to the company and I am eternally grateful to each of them for their commitment.