Hybrid Consultancy and Agency Continues to Grow as It Earns Best Places to Work Award
Minneapolis, Minn. (December 14, 2021) If someone had predicted in March 2020 that over the next 18 months, your team would double, move to a new office space, and earn a Best Places to Work award by the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, Troy Schroeder admits he would probably question their sanity.
The President + Founder of CLUTCH, a hybrid consultancy and agency with a roster of clients across the agriculture and food value chain, said the obstacles faced by many businesses over the past year were far more than the average bump in the road.
“You learn lessons every day. You learn them about business. You learn them about people,” said Schroeder. “We feel we’re very fortunate. We’ve chosen to focus on industries, agriculture and food, that played a critical role in enduring and recovering from the pandemic. What these industries were able to accomplish in such a tough time has actually set us up for growth this year. We felt good about being flat revenue-wise in 2020, given all that was going on in the world and after a big growth year in 2019; and 2021 is up around 30% again.”
CLUTCH now calls the Highlight Center at 807 Broadway Street in northeast Minneapolis home, because their former office in the warehouse district could not accommodate the growing team. More than half of the firm were hired since March of 2020. Schroeder said the input from CLUTCH employees played a significant role in the design of the new office.
“We’ve intentionally set this up to not feel like traditional office space. You can’t ask people who’ve been working in their homes for 18 months to go back to a normal commercial office environment. We hired an interior designer to find this hybrid of functional office space with the familiarity and comforts of home,” adds Schroeder.
Schroeder stressed he’s never been focused on the number of people in the office on a daily basis, adopting a flexible work environment well before the pandemic hit. A father himself, he recognizes the balance today’s professionals need to do great work and take care of family priorities.
“We’re 100 percent in the ideas business and the people business. The best ideas don’t always come on schedule. Many times, getting people to exchange ideas works better in person,” said Schroeder. “People want to be back together but they want the flexibility of working in their own space when it makes sense for them. Embracing this hybrid of the two is enabling the culture we’re proud to be building.”
That culture seems to be paying dividends as CLUTCH is poised to close the year with significant growth. It has also earned the firm a Best Places to Work Award in the small business category from the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal. Schroeder said when your employees tell you it’s a great place to be, that’s his way of knowing that his approach is working.
“I think we’ve found the balance of giving employees what they want and getting them committed to what we’re trying to do. And, I think they appreciate the fact we’re trying to find flexibility that allows everyone a good experience,” said Schroeder. “I’m playing the long game, investing in people and teams, and continuing to grow our capabilities at the same time.”