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Why We Opened a Branch Office in San Francisco

Why We Expanded to the West Coast

Conductor is growing rapidly and actively expanding into new markets. For a tech company based out of New York that means, first and foremost, the tech capital of the West Coast, San Francisco. As staunch believers in the “customer-first” approach to marketing, we have to practice what we preach and put our customers’ needs first.

All in all, there were 3 pressing reasons to open our West Coast office:

  1. Many of our clients are based on the West Coast, like Cloudera, Farmers Insurance, and GoDaddy, and providing them with a dedicated support system (that’s actually in the same time zone) was a major business goal.
  2. As an area dense in enterprise headquarters and growing businesses, the Bay Area also represented a huge opportunity to introduce our SaaS platform to a new audience.
  3. We wanted to create a community – after work events, meet ups, and workshops — where marketers could meet each other, solve problems together, and have some fun.

Once the business decision was made to open the new office, we were faced with a whole new round of questions: Where should we locate the office? How can we get the doors open as soon as possible? What do we need to do to set up all the logistics?

Setting Up a New Office in San Francisco

The most difficult part of opening a branch office is the real estate question. Like most companies looking to expand, Conductor’s area of expertise is not buying property or setting up the infrastructure around a physical location.

Choosing to work with a partner like WeWork meant that we could trust an actual expert to make sure everything was ready and working even though we were 3000 miles away. Their support team proved invaluable to finding a cost-efficient, simple way to set up a new office.

To set up a traditional office, Conductor would have had to invest heavily in a long-term lease, staff to set up phones and internet, desks and chairs and the many other necessities of a workspace. Partnering with WeWork meant that they handled all of that, and we were able to get up and running much faster and more efficiently.

opening a branch office

Images by Ryan Gonzalez

That flexibility is essential to a startup, particularly earlier stage companies, and makes it more viable to move into new markets with a much lower outlay of capital. Most importantly, it enables companies like Conductor to take risks and experiment in new markets.

“Ultimately companies have to decide to open an office as a function of whether it makes business sense, but the good news is that, with a partner like WeWork, which has such a fantastic footprint both in North America and the rest of the world, there is a very high probability that they will have an office in any market you would care to enter.

It makes the whole go-to-market so much easier because we could theoretically decide to send somebody to Austin tomorrow to test the market, and establish a functional workspace. It is just a huge advantage and speeds up your corporate development.”
– Bennet Theimann, CFO of Conductor

Conductor as a business was primed for a San Francisco satellite office, and WeWork made setting up in a brand new location easy.

Designing Our Tech Office with WeWork

Part of Conductor’s decision to use co-working space for our next satellite office were some of the many benefits of the WeWork community aside from ease of transition.

WeWork is known for cultivating tech office spaces that prioritize an environment of collaboration and creativity. Co-working means our San Francisco Conductors are not just exposed to our team, but to other people working for other companies with big ideas in the community at WeWork 650 California Street:

“As a remote office, it’s great to have an office like WeWork that has hundreds of different people working out of it each day. It allows us to get that “big office feel” even though there’s only 7 of us. It’s also been great to network and get to know the other businesses on our floor. The floorplan has a large communal kitchen and lounge area, which encourages folks to interact.”
– Jamie Urishko, West Coast Conductor

When you consider something like tech office design, it’s all about stimulation and creating something new. Conductor’s New York office is entirely open plan, with glass-enclosed conference rooms, inspirational quotes on the walls (they really work!), and daily activities in our café.

We knew we required a similar environment and daily work experience for the Conductors in San Francisco. WeWork incorporated them into the larger ecosystem of a shared space that values curiosity, a workspace that can also serve as a marketplace of ideas.

opening a branch office

Growing Our Branch Office in San Francisco

As Conductor continues to expand, we aim to become one of the top companies in San Francisco.

“Our team on the West Coast is growing and WeWork provides the flexibility to accommodate us as we grow. As we continue to add more West Coast clients to our portfolio, having a local presence is extremely valuable so we can support them from the same time zone and meet with them in person more frequently.”
– Meghan Kampa, West Coast Conductor

SaaS companies in San Francisco are often forced to make difficult decisions as they expand their client bases: adding new team members and functionality means needing more space, which requires more and more significant outlay of capital.

opening a branch office

But WeWork allows us to focus on our goals instead of the risk. We want to turn Conductor San Francisco into a smaller version of Conductor New York, which means growing our sales force, customer success management teams, and engineering support on the ground and competing with other tech companies in the Bay Area for the best people.

WeWork has provided the infrastructure we need to be able to confidently move our business in that direction and facilitate that transition. As a multi-year winner of Crain’s Best Place to Work in New York, Conductor has always prioritized its people, community, and the environment they work in every day, and our WeWork space has more than stepped up to that challenge (next stop: best companies to work for in San Francisco).

In the future, as Conductor continues to get bigger, we will be looking for other opportunities to expand. Our partnership with WeWork means we can take the risks that open up new markets for our business.

Want to learn more about our work-life culture? Check out our profile on the Muse.