St. Pete company re-opens office with new strategy
William “Bill” Volmuth, CEO of St. Pete-based software startup PowerChord, waited for his lease to expire at the First Central Tower in 2022 as he was readying to embrace a completely remote workforce model. Today, Volmuth has a different strategy in mind.
PowerChord, which creates brand-specific websites that become digital storefronts, has re-opened a new office space this week in the same Central Avenue tower; however, instead of working in a 15,000-square-foot office, the team will be working out of a 5,000-square-foot space.
“During those last 12-18 months of leasing, we had no one coming into the office, and then we had five to 10 people come in when we switched to a hybrid model. We let the lease expire last summer and we built out the new office because we still wanted to have a collaborative space where employees could meet and talk,” Volmuth said.
In the previous space, there were multiple offices and two meeting rooms. In comparison, the 5,000-square-foot space has five offices/collaborative spaces. The new office features a green wall with plants and soundproof booths.
Volmuth said the smaller office could accommodate up to 50 employees, out of the 75-member team, through the company’s hybrid workforce model.
Prior to the pandemic that resulted in thousands of companies worldwide pivoting to a remote work environment, Volmuth said 95% of the PowerChord’s employees resided in Tampa and St. Petersburg. Today, about a third of those employees work elsewhere.
“We will probably continue to see two-thirds of our employees stay in the area. We had some people move due to their military spouses, and some went to live in Europe or chose to live in different places seasonally,” Volmuth said.
PowerChord’s biggest clients are those in the outdoor power equipment space, such as those selling tractors. The majority of those manufacturers are in the Midwest U.S. or overseas in Germany.
Volmuth said he may open or lease co-working spaces in certain metro areas where he has pockets of employees.
Beyond the new physical space and the desire to hire additional employees, Volmuth has other growth plans. “We are always interested in organic growth, so we are keeping an eye on acquisition strategies,” he said.
The company raised $10 million in 2016 through a funding round led by Tampa-based venture capital group Ballast Point Ventures.