A good year to grow your business?
Well, Interior Designers Burtt-Jones & Brewer certainly think so. When Adam (Burtt-Jones) and Steve (Brewer) decided to set up shop during one of the worst recessions of our time, it’s no surprise many people thought they were mad. They on the other hand, saw 2010 as a huge opportunity to work in a slightly different way and made a conscious decision to harness the powers of the web to help drive the way they wanted to work.
Adam and Steve with Brian Hay at the launch of the new Culpeper store in Cirencester earlier this year. L-r, Adam Burtt-Jones, Brian Hay (former MD Culpeper), Steve Brewer
‘Choosing to work in this way has meant we are able to keep our costs down, which is great, and it allows us to be able to focus all our time on creativity and provide solutions that our clients can afford and love,’ said Adam Burtt-Jones.
Taking full advantage of the latest ‘cloud computing’ they’ve created a virtual working space where they collaborate with their team and clients. Key meetings occur via Skype videoconference or through the teleconferencing facility Powwownow. Their team have access to a remote server provided by DropBox which makes the ability to share working drawing files, CAD plans and other key information a doddle. Not forgetting the very ‘real time’ collaboration enabled through Google Docs, where multiple editors can work on any document at the same time. Steve Brewer says, ‘it’s been a real eye opener to discover what amazing (often free) technology is now available to help businesses like us start out. Maybe this is part of the future of how we will all work?’
Of course face-to-face meetings need to happen and these are often booked in at shared creative environments like the Hub in Bristol/London, Glove Factory in Holt, Coexist at Hamilton House or down one of their local pubs.
This flexible yet hugely collaborative way of working allows their growing team the freedom to work from wherever they choose (one is even based on her house boat in London!) and keeps the daily commute down to zero. Which is great news for Burtt-Jones & Brewer’s carbon footprint!
Remaining lean and harnessing tools the web has to offer has made their first year in business a huge success and an enjoyable one at that. Not only have they made a profit, but they’re also going from strength to strength with a growing client list of notable businesses (Camelot, World Vision, Culpeper and the BBC) - all enjoying the value of collaborating in this effective way.