For budding web designer and developer, it all started for Alex aged 16, when he began freelancing from his bedroom doing website odd jobs for £7 an hour.
“Eventually, I became busier and busier, winning better clients and bigger projects and ended up dropping out of university to start growing the agency full-time,” said Alex.
“After outgrowing my bedroom, I moved into a dingy Marylebone basement that we found on Gumtree, but quickly needed more space and something more professional to meet clients in and to create our own environment. This is when we moved into our first Workspace office at Westbourne Studios.”
Westbourne Studios is an incredibly unique working environment, tailor-made for quirky, creative professionals. It’s one of the most impressive uses of space, creating a characterful business centre nestled beneath the A40 Westway, using part of the motorway as its ceiling.
The minimalist modern studios are wrapped around an internal communal atrium which features an incredible on-site café housed in a shipping container, of all items.
“Flexibility was key [when choosing workspace],” said Alex. “I have a clear roadmap for our growth and being able to easily grow into bigger spaces whilst mitigating the risk of large overheads was vital.
“We spent six months in our first workspace in Westbourne Studios before doubling our unit size as a bigger unit in the building came available.
“Being with Workspace means that as long as we expand into a bigger space, we don’t need to worry about break clauses and notice periods, which means we can jump at opportunities as they arise.”
Remote working was never something that Alex had considered for his agency, as he set out to build 93digital “very much on a belief that the best quality work happens when an entire team is working side by side each day”.
“Of course, having everyone in the same room in central London comes with a cost, but it allows us to produce the best quality work,” added Alex.
“Our clients typically like to come in and see us too. The type of relationship we seek with our clients is to become a trusted partner that we work closely side by side with, and investing in a great working environment with space to meet our clients was an important part of this.”
Today, 93digital is a digital agency specialising in the WordPress content management system. Alex and his team deliver WordPress into often high-pressure, enterprise environments for clients who are looking for first class strategy, design, engineering and ongoing support.
“Our focus is on creating success stories,” said Alex. “We love projects where we get to solve real world problems and have a measurable impact. We’ve recently delivered work for clients like The Commonwealth Secretariat, University of London, TATA and Telefonica.”
Despite spending some considerable time growing the agency at Westbourne Studios, earlier this year, Alex opted to relocate to a brand-new Workspace development, The Record Hall, located in Hatton Garden.
“We loved being in Westbourne Studios, but when The Record Hall opened we had the chance to move into a bigger unit with more space to grow into,” said Alex. “It also gave us the chance to be more central.”
“It’s great to be in a brand-new purpose-built building and to be right in the heart of London close to Farringdon and Chancery Lane.
“The food market just outside the building on Leather Lane is amazing and there are endless other food and drink options nearby.”
With a look to the future for 93digital and the way people do business in London, Alex remained confident that the type of agency he wants to build will always have a need for dedicated office space.
“Maybe that will need to change with the times, but right now having a talented team all sat in the same room together every day is part of our offering and culture,” said Alex.
“Even with all of the tools for remote working and collaboration, I’m yet to come across any solution that can compete with being able to sit side-by-side with someone when the goal is to create the highest quality work possible.”
And how does Alex perceive the digital marketing industry as a whole? Where will 93digital be competing in three-to-five years’ time?
“The speed at which the digital world changes will always be a big challenge for the industry – it’s both a challenge and an opportunity,” said Alex.
“With exciting opportunities developing around machine learning and artificial intelligence there is a lot to stay on top of for digital marketers. For us as an agency, a big part of our job is to keep up with this leading edge of innovation so that we can identify new opportunities for our clients.
“I hope [in the next three to five years] we’re at least three-to-five times bigger, better and stronger than we are now!
“We plan to continue growing, investing in talented people that care about what they do and that can keep delivering great work for our clients.”
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