Diary of an agency start-up: getting excited about new systems

Henry Daglish, the founder of Bountiful Cow, is writing a diary for Campaign about his media agency start-up. This is his third instalment.

The new year has started with a bang. A couple of juicy pitches have already come up for grabs and we’ve appointed Graeme Douglas, former executive creative director at TBWA and creative director at Wieden & Kennedy, to be strategy partner.

I couldn’t wait for Christmas to be over. Ordinarily, I embrace the Yuletide period with the professional gusto becoming of our industry. But this time around the holidays, while still enjoyable, were tinged with festive frustration.

Just a couple of weeks after launching the agency, I wanted to crack on, not have an enforced break.

"AI never thought I would get so excited about this tech stuff but, because it works, I have"

But I did what I could to pave the way for as smooth a start to January as possible, and that meant getting our systems and technical bits and bobs up and polished.

With zero inhibitive legacy comes the rare opportunity to start totally afresh and look at how we might build the agency systems on a new suite of project and business management tools that help the place run genuinely effectively and efficiently, whilst inflicting minimal "process pain" for our people.

Our first trial was a time measurement system called Toggl (it’s an app, so it was obligatory to drop the vowel at the end – I remember when a small start-up called Twitter did the same).

I never thought I would get so excited about this tech stuff but, because it works, I have. I’m not sure whether that says more about me, or the systems I’ve been steeped in previously: probably a bit about both.

On the last working day of the 2016, I brought my ten-year-old daughter Millie in for some work experience where she took control of our Twitter feed and packaged a surprise gift for our 200th follower.

She joined us for a meeting at ITV (my review: productive, her review: boring) and pocketed £11.50 in her "swear jar" thanks to the "post-watershed" vocabulary of her uncle Dags, aka my older brother, Simon, who is deputy managing director of ITV Commerical.

This meant that technically Millie has ended 2016 richer than Bountiful Cow, so let’s hope for an improvement in 2017.

Henry Daglish is the founder of Bountiful Cow.

Read the first instalment of diary of an agency start-up:
The waiting is over, it's launch time

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