Telling the truth about SME life today

Name: Lucy Cokes, chief operating officer 

Age: 36 

Company: Guava. We’re a digital marketing agency specialising in PPC, SEO, display advertising, analytics and social media.  

Turnover: ?7.2m.

First job: I was a chambermaid and breakfast server when I was 13 at my grandma’s guest house. I did all sorts of things to support myself through A-levels and university including daffodil picking, waitressing, au pairing, making cheesecakes and being a runner at a post-production house. 

Dream job: Wearing 80s-style business suits with big hair and sitting at a big walnut desk with a great view. 

Car: I currently own a silver Ford S-Max, which is a seven-seater and I have built-in TV screens in the back for the children (only allowed to use them on long trips). I would love an electric car that is big enough for my family and lasts long enough to get to London at least.

Economy, business or first class: Sadly economy, except when I eat in the restaurant coach on the train!

Most extravagant purchase: I am incredibly unextravagant. I love eating out, luxury holidays and the occasional Paul Smith clothing items are as far as I go. I also built my own home, which is a little bit extravagant in places but mostly just really good quality.

Most played song on iPod: “U Can’t Touch This” by MC Hammer.

Best business book: The 80-minute MBA by Richard Reeves and John Knell.

Worst business moment: There have been many over the years. The worst times are when you know what needs to be done but something is blocking you from achieving that goal.

Proudest business moment: Selling the business I built up since I was 24. I am still working in the company that I sold and am now part of a large pan-European group of digital marketing companies. I am very proud to have built the business up to what it is today and be able to live and work in Cornwall where I grew up.

Business mentor: My colleagues.

Next big thing: The coming together of TV and the internet.


Related Stories

Most Read


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!