Directors, Founders, Interviews

Balancing the Grind With Garreth Dorey, Co-Founder & Director at NTWRK

October 8, 2019

Garreth Dorey is the Co-Founder & Director at NTWRK, a growth marketing agency specialising in increasing brands presence and driving sales.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your background and career?

My career started in retail which gave me a great base for future customer facing roles and an increased focus on customer service. It then lead me into Sales and Account Management roles in the FMCG industry, giving me great learning and development opportunities.

From there, I moved into more Industrial Business’, working in Key Account Management and National Account Management roles. These certainly rounded my understanding of the customer through exposure to legal and pricing fundamentals.

In the later part of my career in corporate business, I set up new sales and customer functions via Inside Sales, Retention and Internal Account Management. These teams really changed the way I viewed customer acquisition, onboarding, nurturing and retention.

I worked closely with our Marketing team (the manager of which who is now business partner) to streamline the customer journey, significantly improving our customer conversion and retention, through monitoring customer behaviour. Recognising further gaps, I managed a National Field Sales team to establish discipline, managing lead indicators and understanding pipelines.

Two years ago, I took my 15 years of experience and skill and created NTWRK with my business partner, Wes Fischer. We are a collective of sales and marketing that empowers business to be better. We understand their customer, brand and goals to create, execute and optimise strategies that work.

2) What is your current role and what does it entail on a day to day basis?

Being a relatively new business I have many roles. My main focus though is Strategy, Business Development and all things customer.

There are so many variations to what my day will entail from client strategy workshops, developing growth strategies, taking clients through results, invoicing and billing along, our own plans and strategy and a school drop off or pick up.

3) What does a typical day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

It’s hard for me to describe a ‘typical day’ being a business owner and dad.

On Monday or Tuesday you might find me riding to or on the train into the office. Wednesday and Thursday I am usually up at 6am to get a couple of hours on the computer before getting my daughter ready for school.

Let’s be honest, coffee is the first thing I do once I get into the office though. I endeavour to my admin like emails and the action item list while I’m on the train. I generally get internal meetings completed in the first half of the day along with following up on any client actions.

My day might also be taken up running Customer Strategy workshops in the middle of the week, for a full or half day. Other than that, I focus on client proposals, strategy delivery and project action items. Friday for me is all about finishing any outstanding actions and planning for the next week.

4) In between everything you do and all your responsibilities, how do you ensure you find some sort of balance in your life?

Balance is extremely important to me and a large motivation behind moving out of the corporate world into the world of business owner (and I thought that would be easier).

I aim for balance (or at least ‘work/life blend’ as a friend of mine calls it) by committing to Wednesday and Thursday school drop off and Wednesday and Friday School pickups.

I know my daughter loves a park play with her school friends after school so it’s important to me to fit it in for her. Any work I need to do to make room for that commitment happens from home after she is in bed or while she is occupied.

Sunday is always my day off. I DO NOT work unless there is something that is really out of left field. I generally get up early to get a head start before my daughter wakes up and the family day begins.

5) What are some of the things you do to take time out and recharge?

To recharge I don’t touch my phone (and particularly emails) outside of 6am-9pm. I really enjoy my commute from work, whether that’s walking to the train station or riding to and from work. It’s a good chance to close off the day, clear my head and switch to ‘dad/husband mode’ before I get home.

On the weekends it is all about quality time with family, walking to get coffee/ the playground or a few drinks and watching the footy with friends.

6) Are there any gadgets, tools or products can’t you live without?

It is sad to say but I am not a gadget person at all outside of my phone and macbook. I am however a big believer in the use of CRM’s and especially for marketing automation.

7) Do you have any books that you love and would like to recommend?

I love reading autobiographies, mostly sports people and entrepreneurs. I also listen to podcasts – I love Foundr and other entrepreneur podcasts.

Many years ago (don’t want to admit how many) Rich Dad, Poor Dad and Richard Branson’s Losing my Virginity both opened up my eyes to a different world of money and business.

More recently though it has been books like ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson along with This is Marketing by Seth Godin.

8) What is the number one thing you do to make sure you get the most out of your day?

First of all, I need to get up early as I am more productive in the mornings.

After that, to get the most out of my day, it’s about being as prepared as possible, turning off email alerts and banning social media when I have work to do. I also limit meetings to must attends internally and making sure that agendas are clear in all other meetings. When urgent matters come up we get together and brainstorm, set tasks and deadlines and get to work.

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