Hands-on MD Michael Field talks to BQ about successfully growing Workflo Solutions with a focus on service rather than sales
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
Leading a team of 18 people across two offices, my role is to oversee the sales and maintenance process for our products. Despite my management role, I’m still pretty involved at the coal face – regularly meeting clients and discussing tech with them.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Persevere, stay committed and be driven to be the best at what you do.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
I’m not sure a single piece of advice would be the best thing here. Looking back, a business mentor would have been a fantastic asset, someone who had been there and done it.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
I think it is important to be approachable and engaged in supporting your staff. An understanding of the challenges faced by them allows you to empathise and ultimately help them to improve themselves.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A businessman. I was speaking to an old school friend recently and he reminded me of a conversation we once had in economics class when I told him this was my ambition.
What is it the company does?
Workflo Solutions is a provider of document solutions, which means we supply photocopiers, printers and scanners alongside different ways of storing documents.
Since incorporation in 2007, we have operated with a focus on service over sales.
We sell to a range of different sectors, the majority of whom are local SMEs, with recent success for clients who have many sites across the UK.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
I started my career in document solutions back in 2002 when I took on a role with a company which is now my competitor. Since then I’ve experienced all manner of things within the industry, both the good and the bad.
This was part of the incentive for me to take the risk and start up Workflo Solutions.
Did you work anywhere else before working in the industry?
When I left school, I was employed as a telesales agent and latterly a team leader for Sky television. It was my job to stop people leaving when they called to cancel.
What has been the biggest challenge in your current position?
Parting company with my former business partner. A decision which I struggled with for some time but in business, tough decisions must be made in the interest of the company and its customers. We remain friends, which I am very happy about.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
I’ve found that the best way to relieve stress is to head to the gym and forget about the office for a couple of hours.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
A big part of the decision to start my own business was to avoid the bad habits that have tarnished the reputation of the print industry but I’ve found that these still crop up from time to time. Whether it’s through new staff that have learned to focus solely on sales, or dealings with other companies, it’s my biggest annoyance.
I work hard to alleviate this through training new starters with no industry experience and filling positions with others who share my goal.
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
I’d like to see us continuing to provide the levels of customer service which we pride ourselves on.
I also have ambitions to expand on our existing position and to invest further in finding the best people to join our team.
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