What’s currently having the greatest impact on your business?
We have seen a huge growth in demand for our dashboards for the print market which has grown to make up over 50 per cent of our business within the past two years. Despite the global pandemic we have successfully signed up partners globally in the print market with organisations like Konica Minolta, Toshiba, Kyocera, and also with a wide network of PaperCut ASCs. We are very proud to have achieved this without our leaving our home offices in Yorkshire.
Where do you see the next big opportunity?
Growing from our print management dashboards, we see a big opportunity in providing analytics for our partners to better use managed print data to spot opportunities to automate business processes, and also to sell additional digitisation projects within their customer base.
What we have found is that our print management partners can use the dashboards to unlock the data that they already have, and use it to improve the service they deliver to their customers.
What would make your day job easier?
Another eight hours in the day would be useful – particularly as we now have partners globally across all time zones!
But more seriously, as we have been growing so quickly, I have learnt the importance of having a clear plan for the business, that everyone in the company is bought into and understands the role they are playing. This has been particularly important as we have all been working remotely from home.
In some ways, the pandemic has given us time to develop certain key aspects of our business that are now allowing us to accelerate our growth, such as our online training courses, online partner resource portal, technical knowledgebase and videos.
We also decided to give some young people an opportunity to make a start in their careers, and they are already making a huge impact on our business.
What’s the best bit of business advice you’ve been given?
Firstly – don’t try and do too many things – pick your sweet spot and master it. Secondly – take a long-term view with customers – some customers have stayed with me across the last three companies that I have founded.
If you had had a crystal ball, would you have done anything differently?
Lots! I would have spent more time researching and selecting different markets – and focusing on the high growth opportunities that aren’t well served by other suppliers.
Describe your most embarrassing moment.
Asking the Olivier award winning actress, Tracie Bennett, if she’d been in anything good! In the same evening I also got drunk with Laurence Dallaglio and had to ask him to take a selfie on his phone, as my battery had run out…
What was your first job?
I worked on a production line wiring circuit boards. I would finish the week with burnt and bleeding hands – it made me really appreciate the people at the front line of a business.
What would be your dream job?
Mentoring young people with great ideas to form their own businesses.
Fine dining and good wine, or curry and a pint?
Le Beaujolais in London – tasty non-pretentious food, great wine and good company.
How do you like to spend your spare time?
I’m a keen rugby referee, participating in games all over North Yorkshire, having got too slow to play the game. I’m also a trustee with the Wilf Ward Family Trust – an amazing charity in Yorkshire. I’ve spent 20 years being involved in charity trustee work, and really believe in giving something back where I can.
Favourite holiday destination?
South Africa – I currently have my tickets for the British Lions tour, and have my fingers crossed that it goes ahead this summer. Cape Town is my favourite city in the world.
Money’s not an issue, what’s your perfect car… and where would you like to drive it?
I’m not really a car person, but I really liked a couple of my cars from the past – my first car was a Morris Minor, and I loved showing off my Ford Capri in my late teenage years – but cringe at it now!