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Leadership & Strategy


Stuck in a lift with 10 business leaders – what would you ask?

Hopefully you’d ask all the things Be the Business asked when we met up with the CEOs, founders and general top dogs from some of the UK’s most interesting businesses. It’s all part of our podcast, It’s the Small Things.

At Be the Business, we believe that any company – regardless of size, sector or stage of growth – has valuable insights for the rest of us to learn from.

We’re not talking 100-page management consultancy reports or LinkedIn gurus shelling out tips on how to, erm, crush it.

Our approach is different. We’re out there with a mission to find, filter and offer up to you on a silver platter (or in a podcast) all the world’s one per cent improvement winners.

These are the little business changes that could turn out to be game changers. Tiny tweaks that bring big benefit. Manageable little nuggets that punch above their weight when it comes to performance, innovation or employee engagement.

Quick podcast road trip

Just pick your favourite podcast platform and get listening – or check out our whistle-stop tour through all ten episodes below and click the play button below the story you want to hear more about. Where will you start?

Listen on Apple Podcasts

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Listen on SoundCloud

Start the day by getting stuck in a lift with Matt Lumb, former CEO of Tangle Teezer – a company renowned for its amazing staff retention figures and top-level performance that once saw it bring in £1m in turnover per member of staff! You’d ask Matt for his employee engagement and company culture tips, right? We did.

Freed from the lift you head off with Nick Coleman, CEO of Snaffling Pig, for a pint and a packet of their pork scratchings. What do you want to know, apart from “Why pork scratchings, Nick?” Turns out he’s a big fan of one per cent improvements and finding creative incentives for his people.

Unfortunately you crack a tooth on a pork nibble, so you pop into a branch of Finest Dental for an emergency crown. While there, you ask COO Mark Schaberg about how they went about using Google Analytics to shake things up in a super conservative industry.

Next it’s time for lunch so you drop into a Detox Kitchen deli and sit down for a coconut bircher and goji berry brownie with founder expert Lily Simpson. Do you want to pick her brain about delivery logistics, handling growth – or that one time she didn’t listen to her gut instinct?

To work off the brownie, it’s time to join a spin session with Joan Murphy, founder of Move Your Frame fitness studios. You could find out how she comes up with ideas for new classes like “Bend it Like Barbie” and “Do What Moves You with Bacardi” – with actual Bacardi.

Or you hit the cross-trainer at a fast-growth, no-frills PureGym gym. Your workout buddy is their CEO, Humphrey Cobbold. Discover how he keeps prices so low while winning the hearts of one million UK customers. Just bring your own coffee and don’t ask for a fluffy towel, because that doesn’t fit with the pricing strategy.

Time to grab a post-workout snack box and share it with Graze CEO Anthony Fletcher. He’s the one to talk to about breaking into big markets like the US, getting your products stocked by major retailers such as Tesco and Waitrose and cultivating a curious workforce.

North West of England more your neck of the woods? Attend one of our family business events up there and meet Cumbria Crystal MD Chris Blade. He’s on a mission to make a sustainable business model out of hand-blown, crystal-cut glass. He’ll tell you all about small cost savings and getting staff to buy into a culture of continual improvement.

Head down to another rural corner of England with a trip to Bath where you drop in on Dom Bevan from husband-and-wife-led wedding gift list company Prezola. How do they do all that wrapping? What web tweaks have worked best for them? How do you attract and keep top talent outside of London?

Let’s bring your road trip to a close with a sit-down in a bespoke drawing room. You’re talking to Bruce Hodgson, founder of high-end joinery makers Artichoke. If you’re wondering whether to sell to investors or not, he can help you think through your exit plans. He’s got a great one centred on employee ownership.

Let us know who you’d like us to talk to on series two of It’s The Small And if you know a small changes champion we’d love to feature them!

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