Pop Quiz, Monday with Roger Knocker

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?
Roger Knocker

Roger Knocker
Photo credit: Roger Knocker

What is your job role?

Tell us about your company?
Most businesses live with loss-making customers only because they can’t measure the actual profit by the customer. We build business simulation models to reverse the situation, which results in more high-profit customers.

What do you love most about your job?
The ability to innovate without having to ask committees to approve. I usually try an innovation in my spare time (because I love it) and once I have something more tangible I present it to my colleagues and get their approval to invest more time and resources in the idea. I usually get the approval within a few days which allows me to go full steam ahead.

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?
New ideas. I wake up every morning, and within a few hours I see, hear or read something that gets my create deuces going and I’m able to try the idea out. I love the high I get from playing with new ideas (creativity that you wouldn’t associate with an accountant or analytical person, but innovation very much exists in this world. It’s not limited to arty people)

How do your co-workers inspire you?
When I hear customers are happy with my co-workers, that inspires me to do more or do better.

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?
We have pizza Friday every week.
We also do fun runs
We turn farewells into an event
We also have a WhatsApp group and celebrate successes or birthdays.

What are some of the challenges of your job?
Managing the “Feast vs. Famine” syndrome. As a services business, you either have the problem of too much work or too little. One way around this problem is to put your foot on the pedal and try to sell more. Another way is to productise your services and build annuity income versus project type income which is typically once off.

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?
Projects in large organizations can be very political. In one of my early projects I thought I was doing well as all the executives were buying into the project and the solution that was developing. There was one executive who kept missing the workshops and close to a critical milestone we managed to get him to a workshop. Unfortunately, he disagreed with our methodology, and he had the gift of the gab and managed to convince his colleagues that we were approaching it incorrectly and he sabotaged the project. The lesson is that make sure you have all the stakeholders bought in throughout the project. Don’t leave influential executives outside the conversation. Sometimes they spoil the project only to flex their muscles.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?
Don’t take any business. Try and find clients that you have chemistry with. You will be successful with these clients which allows you to find similar clients. Also, make sure that there is real ROI for the work you do. If there isn’t, your work will eventually be replaced and forgotten, and you will lose out on repeat work. Repeat work is the best ideal as it costs you less to sell and you can build on your previous great relationships. Also there and stay as focused as possible. If you have too many solutions, you will never be exceptional at one thing. If you do one thing well, people will seek you out.

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

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Written by Ricky Singh, MBA

Founder & Editor of The Startup Growth


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