This Entrepreneurship Month, we spoke to our founder and CEO Ruth Jones about creating a business from scratch, how to build a great team – and the mistakes to avoid!
What are your tips for building a great team?
Appoint people who are a good cultural fit and have the right attitude. Hiring people who are team players is key. And make sure you have people with different skills and strengths: this will help build a balanced team who can learn from each other. Equally important is to invest in training, so your team can continue to evolve and improve.
How did you handle fast growth and scale your business?
Profitable growth comes down to diligence and process. If you don’t have the right guardrails and data signals to inform decision making, things can quickly get out of control.
Implementing the right processes, templates, and tools will drive productivity and enhance efficiency. It’s your secret weapon to repeat successes, at speed. But it’s often forgotten and de-prioritized in the chaos of fast growth.
Equally, important is building a great client service model. It’s why our first senior hire, was a Head of Client Service. Delivering great service, attracts referrals and aids client retention.
What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs?
Try and learn as much as you can in your early career years – not just about the practice of what you’re doing, but how to run a business. Very few people have P&L and operational know-how when they set up. But you are infinitely better off, if you’ve had experience of managing aspects of a business before. Knowing how to resource correctly, or how to set up the right infrastructure and compliance, will put you on a good footing.
What one mistake did you make, that budding entrepreneurs can avoid?
If it’s not your area of expertise, don’t do it! Doing your own bookkeeping is not to be recommended! Even though the temptation when you’re self-funding might be to try and do everything yourself – it’s a false economy.
How do you stay on top of industry trends?
Embrace continuously learning. It’s why we are committed to Fresh Ink, it’s not just a newsletter – it keeps us up to date with the fast-paced changes in our industry. It’s also about getting out there and talking to people. For instance, my recent discussions with Andrea Clatworthy, Director, and Head of Europe Marketing Transformation at Fujitsu and Alice Clarke, Head of Strategic Accounts Marketing, EMEA, Google Cloud looked at how they help build million-dollar pipelines. These discussions are a great way to stay connected to how the industry is evolving, outside of your immediate network.
What is the most rewarding part of starting your own businesses?
The Thinkrs and Inkrs Academy has been a highlight. We have been able to deliver great training to our team and collaborate with our competitors- something that has never happened before. It’s an important part of agency development, is to ensure the team has the right training and grounding.
Describe one of your best days at 3THINKRS
My favourite day so far – was where we helped a client reposition their future strategy, pitched a major new study into the media, quickly securing an interview on CNBC. And, then we attended two different award ceremony in the evening- winning Best New Agency at both events! A hard to beat day –that ended checking emails in the taxi on the way home!