A lot of pieces need to fall into place when setting up a new office. For a long time now we've had the ambitions and the experience; now we have the people, too. The next step is to find new customers, and employees who enjoy a challenge.
In recent years RSM Norge has grown its business from one office in Oslo to nine offices in four regions. It turns out that audit and assurance services for medium-size enterprises – the core of the Norwegian business sector – are in demand.
Trondheim has been on our radar for several years, but it's not simply a desire for growth that is influencing our decision to focus on this city and region; if that were the case, we would have done it a long time ago. What's more important to us is having dedicated and talented people who fit our culture and who genuinely want to be a part of RSM's continued development.
"Today we have around 50 customers based in Trøndelag, which in itself provides a good basis to build on," says Hans Ragnar Berg, Managing Partner in RSM Norge, "But it wasn't until manager Bjørn Are in the Oslo office decided to move home to Trondheim this coming autumn that the key piece of the puzzle fell into place. With this highly talented colleague on our team, one with local roots in Trøndelag and who knows our culture, we're ready to get to work on realising our dream. The goal is to open an office in Trondheim in the course of this year. We've already starting talking to businesses in the region, but if we are to succeed in establishing an office we're also dependent on reaching even more potential employees who want to be part of RSM in Trøndelag.”
In RSM we usually say that we're just the right size; big enough to have the relevant expertise and provide audit, tax and assurance services throughout the country, yet small enough to make sure that our customers and employees are seen. Being medium-sized also makes us a challenger, which has value in itself.
"We hope there are customers in Trondheim who appreciate a player in the market that is big enough to challenge the more established players in the region. Being the challenger makes us up our game and be even more competitive.”
Investing in a time of uncertainty
Some might say that setting up a new business activity right now, when everyone is talking about layoffs, is risky.
"First of all, we're planning that this crisis will pass. As an incurable optimist, I believe that we as a society and an industry will bounce back; it's only a matter of time. Another point is that it's often the case that those who dare to look ahead even in difficult times are the future winners.”
Insights from Bain & Company, Peter Field and others show that investing during downturns often produces higher returns than investing during upturns. Those who have the opportunity and who dare to use it to invest in a time of uncertainty often generate higher returns than they would at any other time."
"Getting established in Trondheim right now is important for us, and it feels like the right thing to do. The fact that we find ourselves in such challenging and highly unusual times doesn't change our view on that. Besides, you need to remember that old proverb: nothing ventured, nothing gained.”
Bjørn Are Aamnes Mostue, Manager RSM norge.