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Irish Titan is a full service digital agency, delivering “Business First. Online Second” ecommerce solutions, including design, development and digital strategy. Over the past year or so, the company has experienced rapid growth, expanding our office space, our volume of business and the size of our team. Growth is good for any business, but it can also generate its own particular set of issues and challenges.
First, the growth.
In September 2015 Irish Titan moved from Edina to our current office, an old Nestle factory, in St. Louis Park. We started out on the third floor of the building but quickly expanded downstairs into the second floor by the following July. Construction finished in December 2016 and we now occupy 12,000 square feet over two floors. We utilize every inch of it for client meetings, internal meetings, war rooms, happy hours, meetups, internal parties, office showings, and shenanigans. Businesses like MSPBJ and iSpace have featured our Titan HQ on their website and in their newsletters.
All the added space is necessary because the company has increased from 15 employees in September 2015 to 39 Titans by October 2017. 10 of those employees were hired in the past six months since April 2017.
We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy organic growth, with companies like Acucraft, Cambria, Opportunity Services and Reviva partnering with us in recent months. And in September, we reached an agreement to form an ongoing partnership with ecommerce shipping specialists ShipStation based out of Austin, Texas.
Another level of growth took place in October when we presented our third annual Ecomm Forum at Aria in Minneapolis. Each year’s event has been bigger than the one that preceded it. This year Mike Veeck delivered the Keynote address, there were Spotlight presentations by Tink Taylor from dotmailer and Jill Rose from PayPal, and a panel discussion featuring ecommerce experts from ShipStation, Cambria and Red Wing Shoe Company.
Now, the growing pains.
As we mentioned earlier, growth is the goal of every business (it certainly is for Irish Titan), but we found ourselves scaling upward so quickly on so many levels, that a variety of first-time challenges had to be addressed:
- The disruption and expense of relocating to a new location.
- Working through major construction and renovation at the new premises.
- Culturally dealing with a steady influx of new employees.
- Maintaining the same level of leadership, management (and those are two very different things), commitment and support to that new and growing workforce.
- Maintaining the same level of service and attention to detail to a new and growing client base.
- Correctly scaling financial responsibilities and expectations.
- And, very importantly, being prepared to challenge concepts, beliefs and business practices that were “written in stone” when we had just 15 employees. In other words, no sacred cows.
We’re currently working hard to navigate thru some tricky waters, although they’re waters that many other companies have navigated, so there’s no excuse for us to not do so. We’re committed to continued growth but not at the expense of taking care of our Titans and our clients, so we’re working hard (and, honestly, through the help of many of you reading this) to learn the best way to cope with the inevitable growing pains.
But the pros far outweigh the cons. We have some high caliber Titans who motivate us to do the right things the right way, we genuinely care about our clients, and we care about the overall experience we offer our clients and our employees. We’re committed to capitalizing on the growth we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy.