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A Day in the Life. Episode 8: Max Peak

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Our latest ‘A Day in the Life’ entry comes from inbound sales champion Max Peak. Max took advantage of GrantTree’s flexible working policy and spent the day on the Isle of Wight. Beachside walks. The merry chiming of arcade games. You know the drill!

August 8th

Today is Thursday. If you could see my calendar, you might think it looks like any other day in the life of a salesperson. But one thing is very different: My location. I have taken advantage of GrantTree’s flexible working policy, and am spending the day in my hometown on the Isle of Wight.

If I worked at another company I would probably go months without coming home. It takes ages to get here from London, and the price of the ferry from Portsmouth is extortionate. Also, I could only really be here from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. Which isn’t long at all, given the cost and time it takes to travel. But thanks to GrantTree’s flexible working policy I can come down earlier, stay later, and work remotely either side of the weekend.

I know some people scoff at things like flexible working and self-management. But as long as I get my work done, why does it matter where the work happens? I don’t think it does. Actually, I think working from where I feel best makes me more productive. Plus, my parents get to spend more time looking after me. Wins all round!

I wake up at 6:45 am. No alarm needed. I get ready for the day. Then I’m met with a cafe-quality coffee. Only I don’t have to pay for it. Thanks, Mum!

I take the keys to our family office. It’s down on an amusement pier we own and operate. I say goodbye to my parents and hop in the car. Now, if only I remembered how to drive…

Accelerator. Break. Gear changes. It all comes back to me. I set off down the Isle’s quiet roads.

Having a big-city mindset in a place like this creates a real feeling of contrast. ‘Go! Go! Go!’ my brain is saying. But that’s not the way things are done here. They’re calmer. Friendlier. I love working in London, but the gentle commutes and neighbourly chats I have at home remind me of what I’m missing. I’m sure a lot of non-native Londoners can relate. 

I park the car at the end of the beach and go for a stroll along the water. The sun is still low. The sea breeze is crisp and refreshing. It’s blissful. Idyllic, even. The Hammersmith & City line is a distant memory. 

The Hammersmith & City line is a distant memory!

I get to the office at 7:30 and start working properly at around eight. First up is the usual salesy stuff. That’s catching up on emails from the night before and scanning the CRM for outstanding activities. Once that’s done I can plan out my day.

My number one priority is making sure that anyone who reaches out to us about R&D Tax Credits, Innovation Grants, or Advance Funding gets the answers they’re looking for. I also have a couple of appointments, and a few projects on the go as well. 

First up in the calendar is our weekly sales meeting. This is where the sales team discusses targets, pipelines, and ultimately understands what needs to be done in the next seven days. 

My office for the day (the big pier not the shack in the foreground).

You might have read in previous blogs that GrantTree practices Holarcracy. I’m not going to lie, it’s a pretty bold way to organise a company. But I think it works for us.

Holacracy requires some meetings to be organised in a particular way. It’s almost like you’re following a script, but it’s a good way to share information, ask for what you ‘need’ and change company policy so things run more efficiently. The weekly sales meeting is run like this. It’s what’s called a ‘tactical’. I am the meeting’s facilitator. Basically, that means I keep everyone in check and make sure everything goes smoothly. Think of me like a less shouty John Bercow!

It’s 10 am. The sales tactical comes to an end. And another meeting begins straight away. 

This one is a monthly catchup between the Marketing, Account Management and Sales teams. It doesn’t follow the Holacratic procedure. It’s much more free-flowing. Really it’s just a big ol’ knowledge swap, with different teams taking it in turns to share what they’re up to, and look for places to collaborate with other parts of the business.

The meeting finishes at 11 am. 11 already and I haven’t even spoken to a prospective client yet! I can soon change that. I open the CRM, choose two prospects, and pick up the phone. One wants to know more about Tax Credits, the other about Grants.

One of the things I love most about my role is the large variety of enquiries we receive. 

We get emails and calls from thousands of companies, and it’s my job to listen to what they’re up to and advise them on what kind of government funding they qualify for. It’s great to be involved in helping these companies get the money they need. But the most amazing part is hearing about all the groundbreaking and frankly mind-boggling technologies that are being developed. If even a handful of these ideas make it big, our future will look very bright!

Lunch is a quick pitstop. I do some people-watching while I eat. August is peak tourist season, so the pier is swarming with families. The rides are running and the arcade below is in full swing. I can hear the machines clink and ding through the floor.

The afternoon brings the usual array of introductory calls, follow-ups, technical qualifications, as well a lot of little admin tasks. The day runs away from me a little and before I know it it’s 5:30 pm. Time to knock the day on its head, I decide. 

It’s still lovely outside. Warm and sunny. Perfect conditions for a round of golf with one of my oldest friends. We play a few holes and, while I enjoyed it, I’m sad to report that I am well beaten. Flexible working might help me visit home more often, but it’s done nothing to save my handicap.

Perfect way to end a hard working Thursday. Well it would be for someone who can actually hit a golf ball!

Oh well. Time to head home, lick my wounds, and tuck into dinner. Mum and Dad have put out a spread that would make a Tudor king blush! I round off the day with a full belly and a nice movie night with the family.

I could really get used to this remote working malarkey…

If you are curious about R&D Tax Credits, Innovation Grants and Open Culture

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