It sounds obvious, doesn’t it, that we would invest in our business? It’s not obvious to everyone though. Before founding West Riding, I worked for some employers that were very good at investing in systems and people. Sadly, I worked for others who were stingy and penny-pinching. The stingy ones called it ‘economy’ but in reality, it was false economy. The job took longer to do, wasting that most important of resources, everyone’s time. The suppliers they paid late became disenchanted. Information was lost through lack of system backups when their antiquated computers gave up the ghost. Worst of all it was demoralising. Going to work knowing you could be twice as useful if only you had the right tools, but that they are denied you, is no fun, especially when you see the owners taking multiple holidays and buying expensive cars instead of reinvesting their profits to make the business better.
We prefer to invest money where it matters. We invest in good information technology that enables us to deliver fast and accurate service. We invest in training so that we can all do the best possible job for our clients. We invest in the research that is an essential ingredient in the giving of good advice. We happily spend invest in anything that makes the workplace more comfortable, because a lot of one’s life is spent at work and we want our colleagues to be happy. And we invest directly in our people with a benefits package that is second to none, because when we recruit good people, we aim to keep them.
In the building of our company, we have taken inspiration from many sources, both contemporary and classical. Clausewitz’s first principle was to have a secure base. From there one proceeds to freedom of action. Every penny is ultimately an investment in the secure future of our business that ensures the continuity of service for our clients. Building a strong and a secure company base has been a key aim since we first planned West Riding. We knew that political and economic storms would come along periodically and we were determined that when they did, our business would not go to the wall with others, that we would survive to be here for clients when they need us. That was how we survived the 2008 crisis and its aftermath, and how we’ve ridden out every storm since.