Article 42 out of 1977
Our MD, Julian Bryan, shares his professional and personal secrets...
What’s your business motto?
Understand your market and ensure your solutions continually evolve according to their needs. Don’t just follow the crowd; be a leader. If you don’t innovate, someone else will, and take your place.
How do you make contacts which are useful for business?
Everywhere! I routinely visit clients and prospects, and regularly attend industry events. On a daily basis, I chat over the phone, connect on social media and email contacts, both new and old. As a company, we also receive lots of recommendations from legal, accountancy, pension and financial advisory firms.
What makes your business different?
Our outsourced bookkeeping service – we’re the only company in the UK to provide an outsourced legal cashiering service from an office base with appropriately trained cashiers using our own award-winning legal accounts software.
What do you always have with you?
Phone, wallet and car keys. My phone is my lifeline to keep in contact with colleagues, business partners and clients. My wallet is empty of cash but full of business cards! My car keys always ensure I get home safely at the end of the working day.
Do you dress up or down for business?
It depends. Usually it’s a shirt and trousers but at Quill every Friday is dress-down day. For the privilege of coming to work casually dressed, staff pay £1 towards that month’s designated charity.
Which individual has inspired you most in your business life and in what way?
My late father, Guy Bryan. He was an entrepreneurial farmer, landowner and author. His hard-working ethic has given me the drive to succeed in business too. His motto was “you have to speculate to accumulate”. This is now very much part of my mantra today.
What’s your proudest achievement in business?
Becoming a shareholder in my own business – twice. First in a veterinary software company and now with Quill.
What’s your company’s greatest asset?
Our people – I take the view that if Quill looks after its staff, its staff will look after Quill. So far, this has proven to be true. In my five years to date as MD, we’ve seen a significant and positive change in culture in the levels of engagement and motivation amongst our team.
Do you use social media and, if so, with how much success?
Absolutely. I have my own professional Twitter and LinkedIn accounts which are my online platforms for company announcements. We also have company accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. We’ve built up a nice follower and fan base. Their interaction, both with us and with each other, occasionally brings us new business.
If you hadn’t gone down your chosen career path, what would you be doing?
I’d have been a farmer but the university experience made me realise the world was bigger than West Dorset which is where I would have settled.
Tell us one tip for a successful business.
Engage your staff – create the right culture and the rest is easy.
At what time of day are you most creative or inspired?
First thing in the morning while I’m shaving or in the shower. The saying “I’ll sleep on it” has a lot of truth in it. Having a clear mind assists the decision-making process.
At what time of day do you take your coffee break?
Straight after lunch. It’s the re-charge and reflect moment – and has to be topped up with a bar of chocolate.
Americano, latte, cappuccino – what’s your coffee break favourite?
It’s a latte every time – my attempt to support the ailing dairy farming industry.
How do you relax outside of work?
By growing fruit and veg. I get huge satisfaction from seeing plants grow from seed to healthy meal-time ingredients.
Julian has owned and managed software businesses in the veterinary and legal professions for the past 20 years, moving a long way from his farming and family roots in West Dorset and New Zealand. Julian is married to Carolyn and they have one daughter, Alexandra. When not at work, Julian spends his time outside in his garden or with his camera.