Morses Club Branch Manager – Rob
How long have you been a Business Manager?
I joined initially 15 years ago as a Section Manager. I was then promoted to branch manager and then became what is now known as a Business Manager.
What did you do before you became a Business Manager?
I worked for a local authority in Huddersfield as a Debt Recovery Officer. I was responsible for rent arrears and assisting in claims for housing benefit, representing the authority in court on applications for repossession of properties and attending evictions.
What attracted you to join the business?
I wanted a change of scenery within a customer facing role which obviously this is. I also probably needed to look for the next step up and a new challenge. At the time, this seemed like the ideal scenario to further enhance my career.
What does an 'average day' look like for you?
I don't believe that there is an 'average day' in this role. Every day is different and it can change by the hour depending on the needs of the business. The start of the week tends to be spent reviewing what happened last week - why people paid and why they didn't, what went well and what didn't. Working with the agents and going through their books looking at customer accounts and also looking for new business opportunities for the weeks ahead. I tend to 'dual visit' with agents once a week if I can. This tends to be on a Wednesday when they're not collecting and we do get a lot of response from that. Each day is different and the hours reflect this - it's not a 9-5 job.
What's it like leading a team of self-employed agents?
It can be challenging but it's rewarding. I currently have 6 agents; some of them have been here a long time so they probably know parts of the business better than I do and some of them I have brought on myself and trained up so they're much newer. There are challenges on both sides. You don't want to teach the older agents to 'suck eggs' but at the end of the day targets and procedures change so people (BMs and agents) need to be able to adapt. Newer agents need more support on a daily basis to get them feeling confident in the role, that's why I like to do dual visits so I'm at least going out with the agent every month. You've got to make sure new agents are as up to speed as more experienced ones because if everyone's working the same way and everyone's pulling in the same direction it helps to meet targets.
What's the best thing about being a Business Manager?
For me it's managing the team so that we achieve great results. You're out there meeting different people from a wide range of backgrounds and its great working as a team with the agents I've got.
What are the challenges you face in the role?
There are numerous challenges within the role on a daily basis. The main ones for me are maintaining a happy workforce because if your agents are happy then your customers are happy and we get the end results. Achieving monthly KPIs can be challenging as any targets can be. Probably the biggest challenge is adapting to an ever changing world. It's not just changes within the company that affect the role; the customers are the main focus so any changes to their personal circumstances will have an impact. It's important to always think of your customers and look to the future and this can be challenging.
Finally, can you list 3 qualities you think are most important to succeed in the role?
- Patience – with customers and agents, this is really important.
- Confidence – this is important when dealing with agents as well as customers.
- Determination – you definitely need this to get the job done.