His first tip: Check out the food chain.
“It’s not about knowing your clients. It’s about knowing your clients’ clients. My account managers know Tesco’s online community better than they do. That’s how we make ourselves indispensable.”
Secondly, cut the bull. “One of the biggest sins that I’ve committed in business is being sloppy about wages. I suddenly twigged that the people who shouted the most got paid way more than the people who diligently went about their work.
“When someone is constantly telling you how great they are it’s easy to take their word for it and give them higher salaries because you’re afraid of losing them. Now, we have strict in-house processes: time sheets, the revenues generated by individuals – the works.
“I know the profitability of each member of staff, and no one gets a pay rise these days unless they deserve one.”
You also need to think of ‘clever expansion’.
“We’re now in 13 offices in 11 different countries around the world. But we didn’t just pluck these countries out of the sky and say, “Let’s go to Korea”. We went there because there was a huge demand from our client base to have a presence in these areas. That means these offices are profitable from day one.”
Will Steve Leach scoop the Entrepreneur of the Year award at this year’s Growing Business Awards? Will Big Mouth Mediawin the coveted Company of the Year? Find out on 28 November.
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