Monday, 14 May 2012

S o t U Part 2

6. Due to expansion, we just hired a new account manager (Penny Howson) who starts next week. The idea is to train her up on the nuts and bolts of what we do. And then gently introduce her into the more straightforward accounts. We invest quite a lot of effort into getting our induction processes right as i think it is so critical the core standards and service levels of the company are shown, coached, learnt from day 1.

7. As i have mentioned before on this blog - bizarrely the biggest growth line is press advertising. This is driven by our move to full service but also by the statistical quirk that this revenue comes from an extremely low base.

8. I seem to have become increasingly a part time account director - as i am doing a lot of speaking at seminars, running projects/training on site for clients. I do enjoy this but an unnamed client did say to me that they thought i was "above" getting involved into their day to day stuff. I did not feel good about this. But i have to be sensible and OME's sell has changed - we dont offer hands on involvement of the founders to all clients and its kidding ourselves to pretend otherwise.

9. The investment - future proofing of the business is occurring predominatly in following areas

social (of course) - i still hear other orgs talking about what you "could" do. We can show people our clients work and results (the good and even the disappointing). The margins on most of this work is miniscule but we feel way ahead of the game.

mobile - i am bored of hearing myself talk about this - but everyone needs to know that this is what will be transforming (has transformed) the user journey. What this means exactly in terms of opportunity/threats for recruitment businesses - i dont think any of us are sure. But dont wait for others to get competitive advantage.

Most importantly - i am going on holiday next week - as i feel completely knackered!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

State of the (OME) Union - Part 1

So this is a purely inward looking post in what has been a great 2012 so far but, of course, as ever there are a few bumps on the road. So what is happening at OME....

1. Business is very strong. Combo of new clients, a major returning client and increase in our product portfolio mean that the revenue line has continued upwards (+30%) in what we thought would be a challenging year. New clients include Tesco Plc, Jamie Oliver Group, Odgers/Berwick Partners, Telegraph Media Group, IHS,,

2. Margins are pretty constant. We make no bones about the fact that we charge fees for the work we do, rather than hiding them in media buying or similar. As we have taken on some larger accounts this margin we expect to tick down a bit this year due to volume discount but its the figure we most closely watch i think.

3. However - our overall profitability will not increase a lot this year. sean and i made the call to invest in the business (we are naturally very mean). So all finance/bookkeeping has been outsourced, new staff, new IT equipment, office re-furb. Now we know these are growing pains and this is a grown up decision to help us expand further over next 2 years but spending money still stings a bit.

4. Office vibe. Its changed, its not what it was. I hope people still enjoy themselves and can still piss about when appropriate but most days i sit here - its all tapping away on keyboards, a million phone calls, out on client calls etc, rather than "who do you hate most in industry and why?" - "if you had to lose a limb, would you rather have 1 leg or 1 arm?".

5. Blimey - just realised on basis of post above we need to go out and have some fun. Will come back later