Bradley Johnson is a hands-on leader at Yellow Box Marketing. He explains how his love of golf turned from a career aspiration into a hobby that helps with stress, and why he acts fast.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I’m hands-on with all aspects of the business, with resolving client and staff issues being my top priority. Generally, I’m responsible for bringing in new business, meeting with clients and contacts and networking with local businesses. I also plan the day-to-day running of the office and the team.
What is it the company does?
We are a creative digital agency based in Stokesley, just outside of Middlesbrough. Our core skills focus on website design and development, SEO, social media marketing and how to use them to deliver results for your business. Since our formation in 2011, we have been working with a large variety of businesses in the North East and throughout the UK, helping them to increase sales and generate leads through the internet and in their local areas.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I had a keen interest in the business world from a young age, studying business from GCSE to degree level. I launched Yellow Box with my Dad shortly after university - we knew that more and more people were beginning to visit websites on their mobile phones and many businesses had not adapted their websites to work with them, so we learned how to use the software tools that allowed us to create mobile websites that worked alongside a client’s existing desktop site. As a marketer, I’m largely self-taught and learned to adapt my service to any kind of business. I am also a partner in an online furniture store where I take charge of the digital side of the business.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
A great leader helps out and mucks in with all the day to day jobs whilst being focussed on the goal of where they want to take the company. Their staff will be their highest priority and they make every effort to ensure their employees are happy, motivated and are working towards the goals of the company.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Our biggest challenge in the beginning was convincing clients they needed a mobile friendly site. It’s now convincing clients how moving their marketing budget from traditional print advertising to digital platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, allows them to better target potential customers and help grow their business.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
There’s no better way to forget about work than spending time with my wife Kathy and our 4 month old little boy, Mason. I’m also a Middlesbrough fan and a decent golf player ; I play at Teesside Golf Club in Thornaby.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a golfer! I was junior champion at my local golf club when I was younger.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Clutter! I like to keep a tidy office and make sure that my desk is organised. I also use a A5 notepad to write down my “to do” list each morning, which helps me focus on the things that need doing that day.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Over the next five years we expect to start building websites for mobile first and desktop second; mobile web use has grown exponentially in recent years and we think this trend will continue. We’re also in the process of moving to a new office, so we’re hoping to grow our staff over the next five years as well.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Act fast; try as much as you can, do as much as you can, and just keep going by learning from your experiences.