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Real business story

It's The Small Things podcast

“It’s The Small Things” is a Be the Business podcast providing the inspiration small and medium-sized companies need to take an iterative approach to business improvement.

It's The Small Things goes beneath the surface at some of the UK’s most interesting and innovative businesses.

Each episode features an in-depth conversation covering how areas for improvement were identified, what change was decided upon and how its results were tracked to guide future improvement efforts.

Listeners can find out how these leaders:

  • Get the best out of their employees
  • Identify areas of weakness within their businesses
  • Find and engage their customer base

The podcast is available on all major platforms and immediately below. Click through to find it on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Acast, Spotify and SoundCloud and subscribe to make sure you don't miss out on new episodes.

Season 2: Episode 16, BONUS

London Sock Company Dave Pickard

Following our interview with London Sock Company co-founder Dave Pickard, which took place before the outbreak of coronavirus, we check back in to find out why the ecommerce business founders realised they’d removed themselves too much from day-to-day operations, why a change in operation model was required and how unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains were dealt with.

Further reads and watches

London Sock Company products
Case Study.

How David Gandy-backed London Sock Company conquered the menswear market

Case Study.

It's The Small Things podcast: Dave Pickard, co-founder, London Sock Company

Season 2: Episode 15, BONUS

Dan Black – founder OF Black + Blum

Following our interview with Black+Blum founder Dan Black, which took place before the outbreak of coronavirus, we check back in to find out how the on-the-go food and drink products business navigated the challenge of everyone staying at home, tapping into the new ways in which people were living and taking a critical approach to the way it was marketing its recently refined set of products.

Further reads and watches

Black + Blum products
Case Study.

Doing one thing well helped Black+Blum double revenue in two years

Case Study.

Go behind the scenes with our exclusive Black+Blum video interviews

Season 2: Episode 14, BONUS

Paul Kelly – KellyBronze

Following our interview with KellyBronze MD Paul Kelly, which took place before the outbreak of coronavirus, we check back in to find out how the turkey-breeding business navigated the challenge of not knowing what demand would be for its product, making plans when labour supply was an unknown entity and continuing to focus on making small but important changes to operations.

Further reads and watches

Case Study.

Go behind the scenes with our exclusive KellyBronze video interviews

Season 2: Episode 13, BONUS

Steve Moore – Flight Club CEO

Following our interview with Flight Club CEO Steve Moore, which took place before the outbreak of coronavirus, we check back in to find out how the hospitality business navigated the challenge of having to close the doors at all of its venues, putting the majority of staff on furlough and looking beyond the worrying headlines that continued to give no clear indication as to when trade could be recommenced.

Further reads and watches

Case Study.

Go behind the scenes with our exclusive Flight Club video interviews

Case Study.

Find out how relentless testing allowed Flight Club to reinvent an age-old sport and create a £30m business

Season 2: Episode 12, BONUS

Victoria Brocklesby - Origin Global

Following our interview with Origin Global COO Victoria Brocklesby, which took place before the outbreak of coronavirus, we check back in to find out how the business navigated the challenge of managing a factory, a complex supply chain, a surge in demand for home improvement products and staying on track with an existing growth strategy.

Further reads and watches

Case Study.

Go behind the scenes with our exclusive Origin video interviews

Origin Staff Engagement
Case Study.

Find out how good communication and customer focus transformed Origin into a £40m business

Season 2: Episode 11, BONUS

Following our interview with Brompton Bicycle MD Will Butler-Adams, which took place before the outbreak of coronavirus, we check back in to find out how the business navigated the challenge of managing a factory with hundreds of workers, a complex supply chain, a surge in demand for bicycles and staying on track with an existing growth strategy.

Further reads and watches

Case Study.

Go behind the scenes with our exclusive Brompton Bicycle video interviews

Brompton Bicycle business improvement
Case Study.

Find out how an obsession with waste at Brompton Bicycle drove a five-fold increase in manufacturing capacity

Season 2: Episode 10

Simon Saunders – Ariel Motor Company

Simon Saunders explains how he’s built Ariel Motor Company into a successful brand that comes with a two-year waiting list. Despite the huge demand for its vehicles, Ariel continues to operate with a small team of 35 people and builds just 120 cars every year at its Somerset premises. Find out abou developing a clear ethos for your business, building a strong supplier network and the impact of giving staff autonomy.

Episode 10: Ariel Motor Company – Simon Saunders

Visit our dedicated episode 10 page

Season 2: Episode 9

Tom Calver – Westcombe Dairy

Westcombe Dairy’s Tom Calver talks about the evolution of the Somerset-based family business, automation and what he’s learnt as a leader. As he balances tradition with modernisation, he goes into detail about challenging traditions to achieve excellence, the impact of automating “grunt work” in the business and balancing firefighting with top-level tasks.

Episode 9: Westcombe Dairy – Tom Calver

Visit our dedicated episode 9 page

Season 2: Episode 8

Creative Nature CEO Julianne Ponan

Creative Nature owner and CEO Julianne Ponan reveals how she learnt from some of her early mistakes. You’ll also find out her tips for pitching to major retailers – something fellow entrepreneurs always want to quiz her on. We’ll talk about how condensing the company’s unique selling point into a simple brand message has helped capture customer interest, and how essential feedback from customers has been to product development.

Episode 8: Creative Nature – Julianne Ponan

Visit our dedicated episode 7 page

Season 2: Episode 7

Louisa Ziane – B Corp leader

In the seventh episode of It’s The Small Things season two, we spoke to Louisa Ziane about Toast Ale’s vision, collaborating with other brewers and the learning curve of balancing growth with recruitment. Learn how Toast Ale’s brand has evolved over three different iterations. From communicating the core ingredient – bread – to something that’s much more mission driven.

Episode 7: Toast Ale – Louisa Ziane

Visit our dedicated episode 6 page

Season 2: Episode 6

London Sock Company Dave Pickard

In the latest episode of It’s The Small Things, we spoke to Dave about growing the business in a difficult climate, leadership learning curves and the positive impact of building a network.

Episode 6: London Sock Company – Dave Pickard

Visit our dedicated episode 6 page

Season 2: Episode 5

Dan Black – founder OF Black + Blum

A combination of leadership self analysis, product optimisation and team empowerment has helped Black+Blum take big strides forward in the last year. Founder Dan Black explains more.

Episode 5: Black+Blum – Dan Black

Visit our dedicated episode 5 page

Season 2: Episode 4

Paul Kelly – KellyBronze

KellyBronze MD and owner Paul Kelly explains how he tripled productivity with a fraction of the staff after inventing the world’s first turkey plucking line, made wise capital investments, implemented a bonus for low paid staff might and why leaders should never be afraid to forge their own path.

Episode 4: KellyBronze – Paul Kelly

Visit our dedicated episode 4 page

Season 2: Episode 3

Steve Moore – Flight Club CEO

Flight Club CEO and founder Steve Moore opens up about how running hundreds of pre-launch feedback sessions helped them build an army of advocates, the functions and management team needed to scale and creating an immersive experience that bucks the trend of high street closures.

Episode 3: Flight Club – Steve Moore

Visit our dedicated episode 3 page

Season 2: Episode 2

Victoria Brocklesby shares how a pioneering approach to customer service, good internal communication and an ethos of always listening to staff ideas has transformed Origin from a small family operation into a global business with 300 employees.

Episode 2: Origin – Victoria Brocklesby

Visit our dedicated episode 2 page

Season 2: Episode 1

Will Butler-Adams shares how the business evolved from its old school approach, where staff had a “meltdown” when he started talking about increasing capacity, to an ambitious, international brand that employs nearly 300 people. Click below to find out more or listen through SoundCloud.

Episode 1: Brompton Bicycle – Will Butler-Adams

Visit our dedicated episode 1 page

It's The Small Things – Lessons learnt

Small changes might, on the surface, look like their impact is minimal. However, layered on top of each other, these small efforts produce immense incremental gains.

Rather than thinking business improvement can be confined to a week or month of the year, adopting an always on and curious approach will help it become part of the culture.

Whether it's from your own staff, other leaders in your network, customers or just friends and family, be open to suggestions and ideas from all angles and in every shape and size.