– Hi, my name’s Danny Lacey. I’m the CEO and founder of Stada Media. We’re a content marketing
agency based in Wakefield, South Leeds in the north of England. And what you’re about
to watch is series one of the “Diary of an Entrepreneur.” For anybody who’s running a
business, set up a business, you’ll know that it’s
almost mission impossible to get a business off the ground. The statistics of businesses failing in the first few years is astonishing. There’s also the psychological
aspect of running a business that people
very rarely talk about. So I decided a couple of years ago, that I was gonna document the journey as we grow this incredibly
ambitious agency. With the end goal being one
of the top agencies in the UK and we may be a few years
away from that at the minute but what you’re gonna
watch is that journey as we head in that direction. So this was filmed over
the last couple years. The business has evolved
and changed since then. But at least it gives you some context of the fight that we’ve
actually been through to get to this moment in
time where we’ve survived all the ups and downs
and we’re still growing, now more than we’ve ever done before. So I hope you find this series
motivational, inspirational. You may be going through
similar situations yourself within your business. Please do get in touch. Give me your feedback. Share and like and, above all else, I hope you enjoy watching the
“Diary of an Entrepreneur” and I hope that you get to take something away from it for your business. So here we are in our old office and we’re in the process of
moving office at the minute, so and there’s still
so much work going on. So it’s juggling a lot of things. It’s getting ready for the office move. Which is logistically quite fraught cause there’s IT to think about, furnishings et cetera, et cetera while still trying to run a business. So this is the old office. So we got what used to
be our conference room. Got Lauren in the corner
who’s our account exec. Then we’ve got Ben who is our creative, kind of lead creative. He also project manages. He can film. He can edit. He’s kind of very multi-talented. She’s not at her desk! So this looks like a bit of
a bombsite at the minute. And then, in here, this is where our post-production team hang out. Moving this is quite
tough, cause we’ve got all the servers and getting the
timing right is important. So yes, it’s quite a big moment for us. So we’re going from this office which we’ve been in for
about three years now. So we’ve had a few
issues with it recently. And we’ve kind of
outgrown it a little bit. But because it’s so dated
and kind of old school, and we need something a bit more modern. Cause this is the problem you
get to in business, you know. This was cheap and cheerful and did exactly what we wanted it to do. Unfortunately, we need
something a little bit more upmarket, so to speak. Especially when we’re bringing high net worth clients through, who are spending thousands
with the company. We wanna come across as a company that’s worthy of those
thousands being spent on them. We’ve had a good look round. We found this office in Wakefield that ticks all the boxes. It’s a little bit more
expensive but not much. Very, very similar to
what we’re paying now but we get a lot more bang for us buck. And the way we’ve kind of worked this, we’ve just given us
notice into this office and we get the first
month free at this place and they overlap so that we’re
not having a cut off date. We’ve had the internet installed which is very important
for what we’re doing. Cat and the team are coming out later on to talk to some service
people to get quotes for some decorating that we want doing and a few of the bits like
security needs improving. I want some bars on the
windows downstairs, added locks and security on the front
doors, et cetera et cetera. So it’s little things
like that and luckily, because of the way we’ve set up the move we get a bit of time to do that. One of the biggest headaches
when it comes to offices is parking, especially when you got staff. You know, how easy is it for your staff to get where they’re going? Obviously you don’t want your staff to have to pay a fortune in parking, which it would be if we
did day rate parking. So we’ve done a deal with
the local shopping center and we’re using their
multi-story car park. And again, we’re gonna
subsidize a bit of it, but it’s stuff like that that you just don’t often think about. This is us. The Woolstapler building. So here it is, new office. And it’s definitely,
definitely an improvement from what we’ve got right now. More modern. There’s a bit of work to do to it still. So we need bars over the windows which is gonna help with insurance to keep the premium down. So let’s give you a
grand tour, downstairs. Kirby just watch your step. So this is gonna be where we’re gonna keep all the kit and the IT. We’re also gonna have this as
like a mini studio as well. We’ll be able to film like
talking heads and stuff. And we’ll also have a sound
booth down here as well so we can record
voiceovers, temp voiceovers. Hangout area, foody, cafeteria, kitchen thing with toasters and fridges and a little seating area
for people to hang out. We’re gonna sort the lighting
out cause it’s a bit dull. This will be our conference room. So we have a TV on the wall. We’re gonna have our
conference table here, bit of branding, something
funky on that wall. I dunno what it is. I think Cat and Lauren are
working on that at the minute. Right, so this is the first floor. So this is the production office. It’s where all the admin will take place. Got all the IT stuff in. Nice view out the window. Really nice, cool part of town. Toilet on the landing. Again this’ll be unisex which is fine. Boiler, but that needs to be checked. This is the post-production room. Big open space, lovely wooden beams. Brighter, more open plan. A little less stuffy than
what we’ve got already. Stuff that’s often overlooked
when you get an office is IT, electrics, all the utilities. So we don’t have the money
to buy an office right now but this is perfect and
actually it ticks that box. We can have it. We can buy it after 12 months. So the other thing you
gotta look at as well, is– and these again are hidden costs. We had to sign a very detailed lease but I had to pay a solicitor to come in to read through it and to check. And luckily, thankfully I did that because they’ve spotted
all sorts with the lease that needed fixing,
dropping, changing, tweaking. Make sure you get the
tenancy agreement, the lease, the contract whatever you wanna call it– Make sure you get that
checked by a professional– Who is a special commercial as well– Property solicitor, not
just any old solicitor, it needs to be a specialist. Otherwise that could potentially
bite you in the arse. One of the clauses they
pulled out of the contract was that he could have charged
us anything for repairs when we leave the property in five years. He coulda literally just
it’s an open checkbook. And they spotted that and changed it and now that’s out of the contract. But that could have bitten us in the arse and that’s not something that
I want my little business to have to go through any time soon. So what we will get out of this building, compared to the relatively
small cost for us will be tenfold at the end of the day. So I think it was worth it. So Cat has been tasked with designing the whole building basically. Each floor is different. Different themes. And now we’re going through
the budget for each floor. This is where I get nervous. – So what you’re gonna
have is this wall here will be wallpaper like a feature wall. – Wallpaper or paint? – Wallpaper You’re gonna have conference chairs, conference table, TV on the wall. – So this is the thing,
we’ve got a little budget and Cat’s just trying
to do the best she can with what she’s got, really. So this is more like a
waiting room now, isn’t it? – This is gonna be like– – Cause you’re gonna be up there. – Yeah we’ve decided–
– Which is– I prefer that. – So the idea for here
is you’re gonna have one solid color from the edge of the door. So the minute people walk
in it’s almost recognizable. Brand color. All the way across to the corner. Eventually we’d like screens on this wall. That say Stada logo. Big screens. But for the time being
just be a Stada logo vinyl. – Show you on a tour? The team have worked really hard on kind of finding cheapest– like the decorator he charged us just over 500 quid to paint the whole building. We’ve got a little bit
of damp coming through but we’re gonna fix all that. Those are kind of little
things we’ll worry about. So on the first floor
we’ve got our water cooler where people will hang
out and talk but in here, we’ve got the customer care
room I like to call it. So we’ve got project management, account management, creative design. And up here is production room. So this is, I guess this
is where the magic happens. So here’s where everything is, all the video content
is basically created. So that’s it basically. Four floors. We’ve still got a lot to do yet. Over here, we’re gonna have– This is the viewing area. So there’ll be a couch, sofa,
whatever you want to call it. Coffee table and the TV’s gonna go on the wall of the back with a sound bar. So when we’re ready to view a first edit. Like if we wanna bring a client round who wants to sit through the edit and feedback in real time, they can do that in the comfort of a sofa. And that’s pretty much it. Photographs on the wall
just so when you walk in it’s just got that agency feel about it. It’s still not 100% yet. There’s still a few things to do. So we thought it was too good to be true and we moved in and
everything was going okay until we discovered that
the building had an issue. Lead piping coming into the building. Don’t wanna poison the team. So Yorkshire Water very kindly
sent us out drinking water until they’ve fixed the lead piping and thankfully they took
responsibility for it otherwise that could have
been thousands of pounds. However, what we are responsible for is– This looks like a crime
scene out here at the minute with the tape down,
but we’ve got woodworm. We’ve got fucking weeble. And those little things are chewing away at all the woodwork
downstairs in the basement and we’re gonna have to step
in and fix it at some point. We’d originally thought
too good to be true and pretty much it was. And now we were hit with, you know, jobs that needed doing to a
value of thousands of pounds. Two and a half thousand pounds which we don’t have at the minute so we’re trying to figure
out a plan to get that done but it’ll be fixed soon enough I reckon. And then the boiler cause it’s
obviously getting cold now. So we got the winter months coming in and the boiler isn’t working– Never has worked. I got a quote through from that, so that’s 15 hundred
quid to have that fixed. We got two and a half grand, 15 hundred quid to get the boiler fixed. In the meantime, we’re just getting these industrial heaters in and having them switched
on when it’s cold. When we make the next office move, we’re gonna be spending a
lot more time and investment in surveying the property
we’re about to move into. Make sure that the woodwork’s fine. That would be my first thing I do. Make sure the boiler’s working. And everything else that’s in there, is physically working and in good shape. And itemizing everything
as well and making sure we have solid copy of what’s
good and bad about the place. The single biggest thing
I’ve learned through this whole process of moving offices. Everything is negotiable. Everything. Rent for this building. We negotiated that and we got
that first month for free. Negotiating with the utilities companies. Parking for example. We worked with a local shopping center and negotiated a really good price on parking for all of the staff that we subsidized part of. Don’t go in there with the first price. Always have that conversation. If you can’t get them down
on price, whoever they are, then talk about a free period so like the first month, two months free. Cause when you’re moving office, and it’s a very expensive
process moving office, every penny counts, every pound counts, so it’s definitely worth going back, negotiating, and bartering and getting the best possible deal you can get. We’re running out of cash. It’s taking too long to
get the money through and I have a responsibility as the head of the business to keep
the business alive.


  1. Should be episode 1 – how I got the first office with staff and work to pay them

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