Day in the Life: Account manager
My day starts with a check of the overnight e-mails. Scottish Enterprise (SE) has recently invested in new technology so it’s now easy for account managers to access e-mails, view the news websites and our intranet remotely.
This morning, I’m meeting a company which has grown from £9million to £19million in revenues during its time in-portfolio and, through a change of ownership, is looking to accelerate this further. I know I’ll enjoy the usual blend of humorous banter and nitty-gritty business issues when I meet with members of the senior management team.
They exemplify the exceptionally high calibre of individuals an SE account manager interacts with, which makes this such a privileged role. It’s a real buzz when companies trust and value your input, effectively treating you as part of their extended management team.
This meeting includes updates on existing live projects such as the company’s plans to exhibit for the first time at Houston’s Offshore Technology Conference in 2015 and the pulling together of a marketing plan for a series of new product launches.
Following the meeting, I park the car for a catch-up on e-mail activities: there’s an information request from a company looking to consider the Kurdistan market, which I refer to our sister organisation, Scottish Development International, and a company asking for market information to allow them to fully consider a potential diversification route. This one I forward to SE’s largely unknown research service.
I then call a company looking to recruit a graduate and discuss the project activity he or she will be involved in. This will most likely involve drafting a grant application as this might be something which SE can support financially, so I set some time aside for this.
Lunch today is sandwich and fruit in the car. I confess to being a bit of a news junkie so I routinely trawl through the news feeds and websites to keep me up-to-date whilst I’m eating.
The afternoon has me travelling across town to meet with another company, this time a one-to-one meeting with the CEO, who wants to further expand into oil-field services from its heritage in life sciences. We discuss the process-mapping project to increase workflow efficiencies which SE is supporting through our Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service (SMAS) and the ongoing multi-layered IT-related project with activities around stock control, CRM and the website.
I’m aware I need to keep on top of this one as it interlinks with the marketing strategy and an R&D project which will give the company the opportunity to take this new product into overseas markets.
This project involves SE’s internal specialists in both IT and innovation, as well as the company’s own staff and external IT contractors. As a result, it is quite a heavy discussion, so I welcome the coffee.
It’s late afternoon before I head back into the office for a pre-planned discussion with an external marketing expert who has been commissioned to provide support to two of my other companies.
Then I move on to finalising my preparatory work for the next day’s meeting with a company new to my portfolio. After a pleasing series of successful introductory meetings, we’re now implementing the agreed actions, which include introducing my organisational development specialist colleague to the company’s HR manager.
I also need to tackle the admin around a general strategy workshop, an early priority for companies entering the portfolio. My rolling eyes doubtless give away my true feelings around the looming admin burden, which I decide to defer until tomorrow.
I tend to leave the office around 6pm with the customary chat about the football with whoever is there to listen. It’s an hour’s drive home so I’m thankful for SE’s flexi-time working, which allows me to generally escape the worst of the traffic.
Along with a commitment to Healthy Working Lives, SE is the only employer in my career which has actively encouraged me to have a life outside the job. I consider car time as thinking time, so my drive home has my mind turned to what’s gone well during the day and to making sure I’m prepared for tomorrow.
After work I either indulge my passion for football by heading to my weekly five-a-side game or head home and turn my attentions to my other interest – that of director at Brechin City Football Club.