1. What is your business?
My name is Sam Jones and I am the managing director of Tunafish Media, a business I founded with Richard Brooks and James McDonald at the age of 22. We are a Manchester based content marketing and media production agency that work for a variety of clients across a wide range of sectors including CarFinance247, The Royal Society of the Arts and Barber Barber UK.
Along the way we’ve been named ‘Team of the Year’ by Insider Business Magazine, ‘Creative agency of the year 2015’ by Downtown in Business and won the Grand Prix for Campaign of the Year at the 2014 PR Moment Awards.
2. Which solicitors do you use at Bermans and how do we compare to other firms?
If I am perfectly honest, I do not have a great deal of experience in dealing with other firms however since our formation we have worked with Berman’s Steve Kuncewicz for our IP matters and contracts and could not be happier with the level of advice and service we have received.
3. What are the biggest challenges you face in growing your business and maintaining profits?
We’re growing quite rapidly at the minute and there are of course going to be growing pains as we start to scale. It is obviously a nice problem to have but managing that growth is the biggest challenge for me at the minute. The one thing I would say is that there is never a shortage or support available for young or first-time business owners and thankfully I am getting advice from a lot of people with more experience than I have.
4. Tell us about your typical working day?
I tend to get into the office between 7 & 7.30 and start the day by catching up on my emails and reading the local business news. The rest of my day will then be made-up of a combination of client or prospecting meetings and working on client accounts. I then try to spend the last hour catching up on emails again before finishing between 6 and 7.
5. What has been a highlight for Tunafish over the last 12 months?
There have been many but I get know greater satisfaction than helping our clients grow their businesses and brands. For example when we started working with Barber Barber eighteen months ago, they had a single barber shop in Manchester and big plans for the future, now they’re in five cities with a multi-million pound turn-over. Being there as they opened their flagship London shop in Spitalfield’s market was a great moment and I am very proud that we have had a part to play in their success.
6. What are your plans for Tunafish for the year ahead?
It’s exciting times at the moment and I’m just looking forward to building on the solid foundations we have built over the last couple of years. In the past 6 weeks we have doubled in size from 6 to 12 staff and with further growth expected, I am looking forward to getting the new people settled in and seeing the ideas they have and the creative work they bring to the table.
7. Is there are sector or industry that you are strong in or looking to develop opportunities?
We have never really been sector specific however have done completed some great work in the property sector recently and I think there are big opportunities there. The north-west property sector is booming but I still don’t think it is a sector that has particularly embraced video, creative or social media as much as it could.
8. Do you find social media assists your business and if so, how?
Social media is a vital part of my business for a number of reasons. First of all it is a service we offer and we manage the social media accounts for a wide range of businesses. Secondly, we have used it as a business development tool and have won a large amount of work through it too and as a creative business it is also a great outlet to showcase our work and expertise.
I do think that it is becoming a vital tool for all businesses. At the moment, I only think that about 30-40% of businesses are using it correctly but industries like professional services are beginning to wake up to it and I think that number will be closer to 80% in a couple of year time.
9. If you were chancellor, what single change would you make to help improve the economy and/or your business?
If there was one job in the UK that I wouldn’t want right now it would probably be that one. I’m currently hoping that the big investment and plans that have been discussed for the North-West over the last couple of years are still seen through.
10. What are your passions away from business?
Last year I started a homeless support network called Not Just Soup http://notjustsoupkitchen.co.uk/ which see’s local Manchester restaurants provide food to the city’s homeless. At the minute it is one-day a week but that is about to roll-out into two days, so if you’re a restaurant who would like to get involved then please give me a shout.
I love watching football or films and I try to read as much as possible. I’m currently trying to teach myself various DIY activities but if I’m honest I’ve been more destructive than productive so far.