The unusual quirks of ten top channel entrepreneurs

Doug Woodburn
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The unusual quirks of ten top channel entrepreneurs

Softcat's Martin Hellawell shook hands with all his employees, while QuantIQ's Stuart Fenton listens to music most of the day. We caught up with this duo, as well as eight other channel entrepreneurs, to find out what idiosyncrasies they feel are - or were - crucial to the success of their businesses

‘I treat staff like part of my extended family'

Entrepreneur: Mary Hunter

Mary Hunter

Credentials: MD of Microsoft Dynamics partner Columbus UK: 2002 - present

Quirks: Acting like a 'second mum' to team; bankrolling staff charity activities

"I'm very much a people person and I strongly believe that the value in my business is because of the success of the people.

"I treat them as part of my extended family and look out for them, whatever they need.

"We work hard and play hard to together.

"When they need me, they know they can count on me, whatever it is. Recently I had someone who was splitting up with his wife and he needed somewhere to stay so I sorted out accommodation for him for a couple of months (we have a Columbus house which we use for employees).

"I'll do anything for any of the team; if they have a personal problem, where I can help them I will do so because it's important that I look after them. A month ago, one of the team had some health issues in their family and they were adamant they weren't going to go and get checked out when there was clearly a hereditary risk. I wouldn't let them leave my office until they'd called the doctor and booked the appointment. Afterwards the guy thanked me for drilling into him how important it was.

"I'm like a second mum to them, and if they've got a critical problem I'll do whatever I can to make sure they're OK. As a business we've introduced various cash plans and health plans and check-ups, as without their health and mental wellbeing they're no good, so we make sure we are looking after that.

"We also do a lot of charity work together, like Coast to Coast. One of the guys had a heart attack last year so he's picked a heart foundation charity he wants to support, and we're rallying the team behind him. We do lots of smaller things in small groups for the charities as well. This year I said if they want to do something for charity, if they are in a small group of eight or more I would pay all their entry fees. From a health perspective doing something energetic is good for them, it's good for the teamwork and it's good for giving back to society."

Click onto the next page for QuantIQ's Stuart Fenton's quirks...

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