Why would a business choose a co-working space in Wandsworth over a traditional office set-up? Jigsaw Business Solutions have been at Le Bureau for over a year; here, director Kim Anderson and head of operations Katie Wilkinson explain why a shared work space works best for their company.
Who are Jigsaw Business Solutions, and what do you do?
Kim Anderson: We are a consultancy for retailers in the gift cards and payment space.
Katie Wilkinson: We help brands to drive revenue, mainly by helping to launch, manage and grow their gift card schemes.
KA: A company might not know how to get the business case over the line within their own brand – for instance, how to raise the funding for upfront and ongoing costs of a gift card programme. We help them to sign it off internally then help find the right partners for the processing and fulfilment and advise on how to run the launch, and programme, in the best possible way. If we have launched a programme, often we will stay on as an extension of their team to make it work on a day-to-day basis.
How did Jigsaw come about?
KA: The founder, John Bohan, used to head up M&S for Business; prior to that he was at John Lewis where he launched and ran their B2B scheme. John identified a niche in the industry, so in 2013 he flew the corporate nest and set up on his own with a laptop and a mobile phone. I joined about four months later and it’s grown from there. We now have seven people in the team.
Jigsaw has expanded rapidly both in its size and remit. How have you managed the growth?
KA: At the beginning, everything was new. I learned a lot from John and there was a lot of self-learning too. Katie works hard on Salesforce so that we can consistently pursue our prospects. Now it’s about improving upon our structure and systems.
KW: We love the brand and love working with each other. You are so invested in what you are doing and you so want the business to succeed.
KA: We can work long hours sometimes, but it’s not the same as it might be in a corporate environment. One of the keys things has been gaining knowledge and building networks. They have been invaluable.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a small business?
KA: Finding good people. In the early days we hired a couple of people that didn’t work out. It’s hard to find a balance between looking after the relationships with our clients and finding the time to hire and train new staff. We are now lucky enough to have found driven and passionate people to help us achieve our Jigsaw dreams!
And your greatest success?
KA: We’ve just had so many. Securing clients such as Primark and The White Company has been great.
KW: It sounds obvious but it’s when you get really well-known brands saying: ‘Hey Jigsaw, we hear you’re the best at what you do, can you help us?’ Part of you thinks, this is insane – but of course they want our help because we are really good at our jobs.
KA: We probably don’t shout enough about our services.
Why did you choose a co-working space over a traditional office?
KA: We looked at lots of different places including Regis offices and WeWork. Then Kayleigh [Graham, Account Manager] found Le Bureau and we knew right away that it was the one. Even if a lot of the team are out and you’re on your own, you still have company. We’ve met so many interesting and inspirational people, you can’t help but get buzzed up.
KW: We’ve met people who have ended up helping us professionally. In a co-working space you have a ready-made network at your fingertips
What is it about Le Bureau specifically?
KW: The office managers look after us, they’re great. We’re spoilt. It also looks so nice – it’s a place where you are really proud to bring clients.
KA: It’s open 24/7; I find that weekend working is a good time to catch up with yourself. It just feels ‘Jigsaw’.
What’s next for Jigsaw?
KA: International is next. Our brands will take us to those markets before we actively pursue them. Then world domination!
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