Ever wondered what business owners get up to all day? Is it all pow wows and power lunches or was that just the 80s? Many people dream about owning their own business but do they really know what it entails? We asked Adrian [Blueleaf MD] to share some insight into a typical day in his shoes.
Over to Adrian
I get up early at 6am mainly because I try to cycle in to work as much as possible. It’s a scenic route, of 18 miles and it gives me great thinking time. I often find I can solve many issues while on the bike, much better than moaning about the traffic.
The buzz of the office starts at 8.30am, where I literally go round the office and ask everyone how they are. You can immediately tell if something is not quite right, if the shoulders are down, or someone doesn't look up when you walk in, then it's time to get in there and see if I can help and support them. The people are what make a business, there's nothing else, no product or service so, if you don’t take time to address the team then you’re not putting yourself in the strongest position. My role as the Managing Director is not to be in there doing it all, instead it’s to ensure we’re all heading in the right direction. This means making time every day to support anyone that needs supporting.
A usual week
Through the course of the week, various meetings are held, it may be to review marketing, sales, operations, or accounts. We have a number of metrics in place that are monitored very closely to ensure the health of the business. It’s not a simple type of business to balance, we have to estimate how long something will take to do it, and only then do we create. Problems can occur and get out of shape quickly so it's essential that we have a clear dashboard of metrics. We have a “head of” in each team which means they are accountable for certain deliverables and meetings are focused on ensuring all the teams connect successfully.
Once a week we have a show and tell session, headed up by our senior developer Pete. It's where the whole company stops and takes time to review sites that are pushing the boundaries in digital, new techniques, innovative and cool stuff. It helps us to innovate for our clients and to also find ways of getting things done better.
Lunch and afternoon is usually taken up with meetings. It could be interviews with people that want to join our team or developing partnerships with like minded people. I also attend quite a few events either as a delegate or as a guest speaker. Not long ago it was presenting at an ignite business event, run by Chester University. It’s nice to be able to help other businesses figure out some of the same issues that we've had along the way. You don’t just magic up an agency but sometimes, if you’re the owner, you’re expected to know all the answers. I believe strongly in learning from others, sharing knowledge and looking to peers to gain knowledge and I’m grateful to the people that inspired me along the way. So I totally believe in giving back.
I try to leave the office on time(ish) and I encourage the team to do the same. They’re a naturally conscientious bunch, we have flexible working and some do prefer to start early and others stay later. If a site is being launched or supported the team will be there and if needs be, i’ll be there fetching pizzas and drinks throughout a late nighter but I don't encourage the team to work excessive hours.
After office hours
For me however, leaving the office doesn’t necessarily mean going home. I try to meet interesting digital people as much as possible whether it’s one of our ChIMPs meals or events like our Digital Garden Party. Often events can be in London as well as Manchester or Chester. It's a great business to be in, it's always different and we really are at the cutting edge of what is happening in the world with regards digital marketing. I'm very lucky to have such a passionate team working with some fantastic brands.