Tricks of our trade

With over 25 years’ experience between us we like to think that we’ve had time to hone our skills. This week’s blog takes a quick look at the top tricks of our trade at Old Salt.

1. We’re never working, but we’re always at work

We love the work we do – we choose to partner with select clients on interesting briefs, taking on a manageable number of projects at once so we can give them our full attention and enjoy the process. As the saying goes, ‘find a job you love, and you’ll never work again’.

Because our work excites and intrigues us, we often find ourselves mulling over a project while we’re out walking the dog, or getting up early to crack on with some analysis. Our working hours are determined by project needs and our desire to do the best possible work for our clients. There’s no hard start or stop time on our working day, which is handy when working with teams in other time zones or to tight deadlines!

2. Everything is better when we’re together

Not quite the Jack Johnson lyric, but the deliberate decision to work in tandem across every project, rather than divide and conquer, is extremely important to us. We share the same vision for the integrity of the research design and the quality of our work but bring different strengths to the process.

Having senior collaboration throughout a project ensures strategic thinking, provides opportunities for us to challenge one another and reduces room for error. Often, the more senior you become the less chance you have to collaborate with colleagues of equal seniority. You also have less time to spend doing the work you’ve honed your skills for and are seen as a definitive source of knowledge. We love that we get to focus on doing great work from project kick off to completion, and that the other is always there to push our thinking further.

3. An ego trip is a journey to nowhere

While we consider ourselves experts in quantitative research, and specialists in the media and sports sectors, we’re not afraid to admit that there’s a lot we don’t know! We like to work collaboratively as an extension of our client’s team. To do this properly, we need to understand as much as possible about their business and their stakeholders’ needs. This means asking questions, meeting people, reading up on previous projects and building contextual understanding.

We also never assume that we have all the answers, we don’t like to wait until the end of a project to present the big reveal! We like to have regular conversations, checking in, discussing key ideas and potentially big findings and the ramifications they might have, so we can share the most useful information by the time we reach debrief stage.

4. We surround ourselves with kindred spirits

As a small business we’re able to give the work we do a lot of care and attention. It’s important to us that the people we partner with feel the same, so we seek out kindred spirits. We work with suppliers and partners where we’re typically in contact with the founder or owner, who offer the same passion, flexibility and dedication as we do.

While we have a broad network of partners to draw on, we also have a core group of partners that we work with regularly and have close relationships with. Knowing and understanding each other and our respective businesses makes it easier to do great work.

5. We have fun

It feels a little cliched to write, but enjoying ourselves is such a large part of what we do that we couldn’t exclude it! We’re extremely lucky to be both co-owners and friends, which makes it easy to have fun at work, but we also enjoy getting to know the suppliers we partner with and our clients – working with great people is such a source of joy.

Although sometimes project timelines or an unexpected brief might make for a very busy week here and there, the way we work tends to mean we have breathing space to regularly do the things that make our souls sing. This balance in our daily lives means we usually turn up to work in a good mood, and on the days we don’t, there’s always coffee!

If you’re a kindred spirit, would like to know more about the tricks of our trade or join in the fun, please get in touch!