Build Relationships To Build Your Business, says Brickendon CEO
This blog is based on an episode of our podcast, The PathCast. The PathCast is an interview series with tech and business experts, discussing the good, bad and ugly of business and providing actionable steps for you to implement from the ground up. You can listen to this episode here.
It’s easy to see why Chris Burke, the CEO and founder of the transformational consulting group Brickendon, was named in LDC’s and The Telegraph’s 2018 Ones to Watch list of leaders tipped for great things.
Since being established in 2010, his company has gone from strength to strength; it records over 300% growth in project numbers between December 2012 and 2017 and has developed a strong presence internationally, with offices in the UK, US, Australia and Poland.
But as with any business, it hasn’t been an easy ride. In fact, Brickendon’s presence in Poland demonstrates as such. The firm almost lost a major client which was relocating to Poland, but instead of allowing this to happen and losing the business, Burke set up shop there too. Today, Brickendon has offices in both Warsaw and Krakow.
Losing a major client
Reflecting on this, Burke gave advice to new founders. He said: “If you’ve just lost a major client and you don’t know why, you need to find out. What happened for the client to leave?
“React to that, and then look at how you can grow long term. Ask yourself questions, like how do you replace that business? Where else can you go? Hopefully, you’ve been building up enough clients so that you’re not reliant on just that one client. And don't have more than 10% of your business with one client.”
Ahead of the interview, Burke shared the one piece of advice he’s given to a new founder, or someone trying to drive change, on how they can be successful: “Be open to change and prepared to listen to what people want and need”.
Build relationships to build your business
This sentiment was echoed throughout, with Burke focussing on relationships as the secret to success. Whether it’s with clients, employees or your co-founders.
“We always try to make sure that both our clients and our staff are big fans of the company,” Burke said.
And considering 81% of job seekers said dissatisfaction with their work environment was the major reason they started to look elsewhere for work, it’s clear that putting your employees' happiness at the center of company culture is important.
Finding, hiring and training new staff is exhausting and drains your company’s resources. Instead, making employees your biggest advocates can really propel you ahead of the competition.
Burke stresses the importance of a happy team, advising leaders to put processes in place which allow constant feedback and promote a transparent, genuine environment. Whether it’s quick feedback surveys or an easy reporting tool to let managers know a keyboard is broken, or a chair is uncomfortable, the smallest thing should not be overlooked.
“The key is engagement,” Burke reiterated. This is equally as true with clients.
Most tech companies today are solution-focused, looking to increase functionality and efficiency in legacy processes, infrastructure, and services. But changing the mindset of age-old companies can be difficult, and this is one of the biggest challenges any business leader with an innovative product or service offering will face.
Simplifying new tech and ways of working
Brickendon is working on exciting projects involving software development, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and robotics, but for these to be successful with a client, they need to be embraced across the whole organization. This is also one of the biggest challenges when driving transformation.
Brickendon’s latest product, HotDeskPlus, is a workspace booking system that monitors desk and meeting room utilization. This service embodies three basic principles that Brickendon already operates.
The first, being in regards to software development: two clicks is too many. Meaning processes should be as simple as possible but still allows you to achieve the task at hand. Following this, the second is simple and intuitive.
And the third? Listen to Burke’s interview on The Pathcast to find out.
PS. Want to stay in the loop?
If you’d like to stay up to date with Burke and Brickendon, catch them on all of the regular social channels.
- Burke’s LinkedIn: Here here here.
- Burke’s Twitter: @BrickendonChris
- Brickendon Twitter: @BrickendonIntl
- Brickendon Instagram: @brickendon_consulting