Behind the Business with Lazy Grace
Bdaily goes behind the business with John Tait, Managing Director at Lazy Grace Ltd, the Northumberland-based creative design agency with over 18 years experience of providing bespoke design services.
What key challenges has your company recently faced?
A lot of what we deliver is done through the digital medium – specifically website design and development. Over the last few years, the proliferation of low cost or free self-build tools such as WordPress, Wix, etc. has meant that the perception of pricing within the website design market has decreased. However, we have found that by concentrating on the reason the business actually needs a website (profitability, control, exposure, etc) and applying our knowledge and skills to achieve these goals, we have maintained our profitability within a crowded sector. Our belief is that a website is a service and not a product and in today’s web-focused world, it is the specialist experience and knowledge that makes all the difference in the success or failure of a project. That’s not something you get from an “Out-of-the-box” solution.
What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?
There are quite a few but the ones which spring to mind are: The securing of one of the strongest regional brands as new clients to deliver their website and be chosen to work with them on new products and services moving forward. The set-up of a commercial law firm as a joint venture with an established commercial law practice through the alternative Business Structure. And not forgetting our long-term clients who we work with on an ongoing basis to help them reach their goals in new and exciting ways.
What is your most important focus for the coming year, and what do you hope to achieve?
Recruitment of new people in both junior and senior roles to help move the business into new areas and solidify our position in existing ones. The joint venture and investment part of our business continues to be a significant factor in our long-term growth and I’d see this only increasing with the commencement of some major new projects.
What excites you most about your industry and business?
We operate in a fast moving environment where one year’s rules become next year’s fallacies. Opportunities present themselves every day and it is hugely rewarding matching these often fleeting possibilities with clients who can make a chance into a success. The rate of technological pace means that what is impossible today will be commonplace in a very short period of time. However, we have built the business by being absolutely focused on tangible results for our clients – not becoming swept away with the latest technology for its own sake.
What do you wish you’d known when starting out?
99% of problems in business, any business, are caused by poor communication. While we all love e-mail, it is a poor method of communication. We have a saying in the office that e-mail is for information – it is not for communication. For that we need to invest a bit more of ourselves and get in the car or at the very least, pick up the telephone.
What will be the “next big thing“ in your industry, and how do you plan to handle it?
I think we are about to see a return to printed communication in the form of brochures, catalogues and magazines with the intention of educating people before they get online. We have always maintained a strong print design capability including in-house photography and copywriting and it’ll be nice to create more physical content for our portfolio.
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