Innovation Company is an innovation consultancy and agency, based in the United Kingdom. This company helps its clients to become more innovative in the areas of marketing and sales. Read my interview with founder, James Welch, to learn more about how he got started, as well as his pioneering tips for entrepreneurs.
1. Hi! Please tell us about yourself and your company.
Hi, I’m James. I’m 41 and I’ve been working in the field of marketing and sales for over 15 years. It took me 10 years to realize that I was a salesman and it took me another 5 years to realize that I’ve been helping companies to become much more innovative all along. For those reasons, I set up Innovation Company, which means that I do what I love on a daily basis – help business owners to see the great things that exist under their nose (that they just can’t see for one reason or another). I’m an extra pair of eyes that they sometimes don’t know they need.
2. What inspired you to start Innovation Company?
I’d just helped a friend’s business grow dramatically in a very short period of time and found myself at a loose end once it started to operate on its own, without my day-to-day help. It was then that I realized that I’m pretty useless after a certain time with a company. However, I’m very useful for a period of 6-18 months, when I can get my teeth stuck in and make some great changes that lead to increased profits.
3. What are some of the services that you provide?
It really depends on the problems that a business is having, that will determine what service I offer. However, I usually provide services formed around a marketing plan because in every business that I have ever worked in, they don’t touch their existing clients or prospects anywhere near enough and certainly do not give existing clients enough love. I usually discuss “touchpoints”, “overboarding” (a system that I created) and the art of reciprocity. Then, I typically work with sales teams who often think things such as touchpoints and overboarding are beneath them – until their commissions start to rapidly increase.
4. What advice would you give to small business owners?
Spend time innovating. I’ve yet to meet a business at the top of any industry that doesn’t innovate. Business owners can get too wrapped up in the daily grind of meeting demands and paying salaries. Of course this is important, but if that is all you ever get to do, the business will undoubtedly hit a hurdle at some point and be unprepared for it.
5. How do you stay ahead of the curve in your industry?
Absorption of the latest industry information is the #1 tactic that all businesspeople should commit to each day. Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s a very important part of running a business – not because you are reading, but because you have to realize which of the things you read fall into the category of trash (95%) and which have one or two sentences that can transform your business when mixed with your own ideas (the remaining 5%).
6. Our audience mostly consists of entrepreneurs. If you had to give out any expert tips about entrepreneurship, what would they be and why?
Set yourself a target. Work 20% harder than the hardest worker that you know. You are almost certainly a product of the 5 people that you spend most time with, so choose who you spend time with wisely. If your 5 friends include people that don’t work hard, or spend too much time playing video games or drinking, get rid of them and find some friends that are working hard to reach their goals.
For even more innovation, keep up with Innovation Company on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Innovation__Co