There was a young woman called Helen who was building her career in the South East of England working with these new-fangled things called websites. She was working in big companies where she found herself frustrated by corporate politics. She didn’t like being told what to do by people who knew nothing about websites. She also didn’t like the South East much either (‘too many people’, she muttered).
There must be another way.
Eventually Helen realised that rather than just muttering about things, she could actually get on with doing things differently. She uprooted her little family and moved back to Shropshire, to have the lifestyle she wanted (and wanted her future team to have). She started Ascendancy on a very small scale to begin with, working around her small children. But she quickly realised that to ever have any time off, she would need to grow a team that could run the business even when she wasn’t there.
It’s fair to say we wouldn’t get investment on Dragon’s Den. We’re not trying to become the UK’s largest agency or hit superstellar growth targets. But little by little, we added additional roles and introduced a wider range of services in line with our larger team, as the years went by.
Our whole philosophy, though, is about excellence – being the BEST possible agency in terms of the service and the results we deliver to clients. Offering the BEST possible working environment for our staff. Having the satisfaction of recruiting young people, training them up and watching them develop their skills and confidence. Being kind, fair, reasonable, and composting our teabags.
To us, being the best is so much more important than being the biggest. Yes, we need to charge a fair price for our services in order to pay our staff well and recruit the best talent. And we need to keep growing at a steady pace to give our team the career progression they need. But we are not driven by trying to win the ‘who’s got the biggest agency’ prize. No willy-waving here, thanks.
Is it a house? Is it a pub? No, it’s the Ascendancy office.
The Ascendancy office in Newport, Shropshire is (watch out – pretentious bit coming next) the visual embodiment of Helen’s dream for a better type of agency.
It’s a converted house – a very old house, with medieval origins. It’s got a cruck frame in it (Google it) and we found some medieval pottery in the garden. But we’ve fully renovated it – a long and arduous project involving rising damp, falling damp, death watch beetle, a planning battle and a pandemic – to combine the characterful period features with all the benefits of the modern office.
To us, this symbolises our very traditional values (family, service, quality, sustainability) combined with our very modern-day skillset (writing code, using machine learning, keeping up with Google’s changes). We did warn you about the pretentious bit.
For staff wellbeing, the fact we can step outside the back door, and catch our breath in a beautiful courtyard space, is so important. We planned all of this well before the pandemic, but it’s very 2021, isn’t it?
Oh, and when we showed pictures of our office to some of our clients, some of them actually thought it was a pub – so we thought we’d run with it, and built a bar in the garden for use at our social events 🙂
World domination (joke – see above)!
Seriously – we do have growth targets – but they are set at a level whereby we can achieve our goals and still deliver a great service, without causing too much stress to the team. Everyone has a career development plan, with objectives set, to help them work towards their next goal. We have plans, lots of them. We want to keep developing and growing, but not at the expense of quality and service.
Our aim is to help clients achieve their goals – meet their targets – serve their customers – and keep their shareholders happy – while simultaneously having a great quality of life, fulfilling and interesting work, and being all-round-good-eggs.
Want to join us on the journey? Whether it’s as a client, supplier or team member, don’t be a stranger. Reach out and maybe pop round for a drink at the garden bar! We love meeting new people.