A day in the life of... the Managing Director at Cure & Simple
Published: 21 October 2016 By Nikki Gilliland
Cure & Simple is a subscription-based service for bacon enthusiasts.
It doesn't just deliver any old bacon of course – but ethically sourced, cured and flavoured with ingredients like bourbon and pancetta.
So, what was the motivation behind starting such a company?
Let’s find out, as we go through a day in the life of the Managing Director of Cure and Simple – Charlie Pyper.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
I am the MD of the business, and so essentially, the responsibility of all aspects of the company falls into my remit.
As a small company I also have to focus on the sales and marketing aspects as well as the technology elements.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
I founded the company, so in a traditional sense I would have a role reporting into the Board and the other shareholders.
However, it is safe to say we are not particularly traditional, and on a day-to-day basis I report into every person who works inside the business.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
To take input from others on what the best direction for a particular task would be and to heed that advice.
A deep understanding of the technology that underpins our services is also hugely important.
Tell us about a typical working day?
Unfortunately, it all starts when I am in bed, checking from my phone how many new orders have come in overnight and any feedback we are getting from our social media channels.
Luckily, the office is next to my home so getting in of a morning could not be easier.
As we are constantly trying to grow, we usually have a new initiative on the go at any one time, so this will be coordinated with production, finance and sales.
More often than not I cook lunch for everyone and am on standby afterwards to assist with any of the orders that are being processed.
Our day usually ends after Royal Mail has been to collect the day’s orders, and that is usually a good time to catch up with Stephen Hargreaves, a partner who looks after the finance, as well as Craig Watson (our first employee) who looks after production and customer enquiries.
That’s the day in a nutshell, but as long as my phone is with me, I’m never not thinking about the business.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Where can I start? We make fantastic bacon; we send it in the post to thousands of customers throughout the UK. Customer feedback is what I love.
However, it is also what sucks, like when a balls up happens - which unfortunately does happen from time to time.
Something messing up or our end, or a mishap that gives our customers the hump, is a sure fire way to annoy me.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Achieving profit without being an arse. Not to over trade - I got caught out big time a few years back and still feel the sense of shame in letting down a client.
With regards to measuring success, there are lots of things I could point to - from customer feedback to number of refunds, or indeed our churn rate.
However, the number one measurement is that we bring in more money a month through sales than goes out.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
MySQL Workbench is my number one tool for querying our databases - it saves a huge amount of time and money not having to pay someone else to do it for me.
Google Analytics for all your standard web usage metrics.
And it’s also safe to say that we probably would not have a business if Facebook and Twitter did not exist.
People don’t exactly search for ‘Bacon by Post’ on Google.
How did you get started in the digital industry, and where might you go from here?
I got involved in streaming media back in the late nineties, essentially streaming event-based content on the internet, and this lead to building lots of web applications for the big tech companies.
I always liked the subscription nature of software, so I just wanted to apply it to something a lot more tangible.
The future - who knows! But putting our data to good work would be towards the top of the list.
Which brands do you think are doing digital well?
Any brand that is trying to use the underlining technology of digital (IP) to disrupt an industry gets my thumbs up.
Amazon is probably the top of my list. The Internet of Things is a massively exciting space.
Do you have any advice for people who want to work in the digital industry?
The foundation of any career in digital should be a working knowledge of the tech that supports it.
Know the difference between your API’s and KPI’s. Once you have that no one can pull the wool over your eyes.
Finally, a quote from Facebook, and one which I firmly believe in - ‘Done is better than perfect’.