We spoke to our Managing Director Paul Banton and asked him to reflect on his personal highlights of the last 12 months and what he is most looking forward to and hopeful for in 2020.
The last 12 months have been and gone in what feels like the blink of an eye. We’ve had a very busy year, which has brought various challenges, as well new partnerships, lots of exciting projects and the creation of our vision for the next 5 years.
Early in the year our apprentice Abby Atkin completed her Business Administration Apprenticeship. It’s been wonderful to see how Abby has developed since she joined the team 2 years ago. She has taken her role by the reins, embraced all that she has been tasked with and she is now a key member of the team and manages her own client base!
Our partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support’s special events team has grown and strengthened this year as we continue to work with them designing and producing bespoke pieces to support their many fundraising events, including the The Macmillan Annual Ball at the V&A, York Races Charity Race Day, the Isle of Wight Festival and the Tutankhamun Exhibition preview evening at the Saatchi Gallery.
Having worked with the University of Lincoln for over 20 years on many of their national marketing projects, this year was a particularly rewarding year having won the design of their prospectus, a project that was up there on my MD bucket list!
Supporting the community in which we work is extremely important to us as a business as well as to many of the team personally. We are fortunate and very proud to have been able to support many local organisations and projects this year including a number of local sporting organisations, the Lincoln Imp Trail, and something I feel very passionate about personally: the campaign to keep the Red Arrows in Lincolnshire.
Looking back to the start of the year where there was a great deal of uncertainty and potential change set to unfold across the UK, I am absolutely delighted that we have achieved 12% growth over the last 12 months. This is the result of the hard work and dedication of the whole Ruddocks team and I am hugely proud of us all.
Hopes for the year ahead
Looking ahead to the next 12 months, whilst uncertainty still lingers, particularly around the shape of the political landscape and how this will affect us, I am very optimistic.
I believe we will see continued growth for Ruddocks. We have a lot to look forward to, new client relationships flourishing and the development of existing relationships as well as some really exciting projects to work on in the new year.
I very much hope that we will see a more settled political arena with Brexit sorted one way or another, giving us more stability and certainty for the future – equally important for small businesses and large businesses alike.
We have made some significant investments in technology and people this year and I am really looking forward to seeing what the team can do in terms of continuing to push the boundaries of innovation and quality to continue to deliver excellence to our clients.
Environmental consideration is high on our list of priorities. We want to make sure that we operate as sustainably as possible as well as continuing to offer innovative environmentally friendly options to our clients to help them achieve their own objectives around reducing their negative impact on the environment. This year we have replaced plastic brown parcel tape with a paper-based alternative, created a non-PVC, fully recyclable alternative to window envelopes, and increased the number of electric cars we have in our fleet. I am really eager to explore the development of more green operational methods and sustainable options for our clients.
I am a strong believer that it is the responsibility of businesses to support local education and students, they are the future leaders of our businesses and I hope to continue the work we do with schools and colleges, as well as developing our own apprenticeship scheme, similar to the Scholarship we run with the University of Lincoln, to build the future of Ruddocks.
Finally, one of my biggest hopes is not just for Ruddocks, it is for everyone. This year has been particularly tough for many and I hope that 2020 brings compassion and kindness. I see so much intolerance relating to background, political leanings, and beliefs and I would very much like to live in a society where people are friendly and respectful of each other regardless of all of our differences. It would make life a little bit better for us all.