Peter Richman, Managing Director, Plug & Play, a finalist in the 2019 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards programme, tells Business Matters what inspires him in business.
What do you currently?
Plug & Play work with ambitious Marketing Managers from global businesses to design and build high-performance, impactful websites and applications that provide an edge within competitive markets. Our websites drive search engine rankings, increase conversion rates and transform customer engagement, delivering tangible results tailored to the business goals of our clients.
We strive to provide value for our clients by driving their business objectives and enabling their teams. By putting our clients’ needs first, we have developed a portfolio of highly successful projects and benefit from working with happy clients who want to recommend our services. We have been awarded a number of prestigious industry awards for our work, including a recent win at The Drum Awards, a globally recognised award attracting the best in the business.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
The web design industry is an interesting one as it is completely unregulated, with no governing body overseeing standards. As you can probably imagine, I’ve seen companies and individuals deliver some incredible work over the years, but I’ve also seen some appalling practice. This was particularly the case when I founded Plug & Play in 2007.
I’ve always had a head for business and happen to also have a passion for technology and development. Looking at the web design market back then, I couldn’t resist filling the obvious gap. The market needed a design and development offering that would provide high quality, honest work for a fair price.
Of course the industry has come a long way since then and there is generally
much better practice exercised. As such, our business has changed a great deal. Being ‘good’ is no longer a competitive USP. We’ve continued to innovate and adapt our business to stay ahead of the market, including the launch of our targeted UX Design service which is what lead us to enter the Lloyds National Business Awards this year.
Who do you admire?
There are so many people I admire, but I’d have to say Bill Gates for his philanthropy, Jurgen Klopp for his team management and Mo Farrah for his determination.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
Almost everything! I’ve made some horrendous business decisions over the years, however Plug & Play wouldn’t be the business that it is today without them. One of our biggest failures as a company in our early years was our lack of focus. As a first time Managing Director, I had so many ideas for the company and in my enthusiasm, I fell into the trap of spreading myself too thin. As a company we’ve learned to do less, but do it better. Now, our business success is largely due to our focus and ability.
What defines your way of doing business?
We have a trifold approach to our business and it all starts by delivering customer value. We define that by having a greater positive impact on the business than it costs to do the work. Our clients choose Plug & Play because we deliver increases in market penetration, increases in sales conversion rates and increases in customer satisfaction metrics. Our ability to create value for a customer, at a price they’re willing to pay, while making a profit is how we’ve achieved significant growth in revenue and profit over the last couple of years. In turn, this has enabled us to focus on and invest in our team.
In short, we pursue a balance between happy customers, happy employees and financial success for the business
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Stay focused and don’t spread yourself too thin. Establish how you can create value that customers are willing to pay for and drive your energy towards delivering that.