Ahead Of The Curve
Experience in purchasing for retail and office-supply companies gave Teki Hall the strong foundation she needed to run NewClients with her husband, Jeff. But Hall sees her work as an ongoing opportunity to develop new ways to provide value to her clients in vertical markets.
Hall and her husband purchased Richmond, Virginia-based NewClients in 2000 and since then have been focused on growing their business by hiring capable staff and staying current with how the world is evolving. “We have to constantly be learning and growing in order for our business to remain relevant,” she says.
The Richmond native and her husband have a daughter, Jessica, who is 13; her stepchildren, Scott and Victoria, are in their 20s “and off on their own now.” The Halls spend their downtime playing golf and tennis, traveling and boating on the river. Read on to learn more about Hall’s work at NewClients.
How does this job challenge you?
We are constantly learning. Growing a business can be tough to manage, but hiring smart people who are free to bring great ideas to the forefront helps us get better each and every day. Many of our challenges revolve around finding better ways to attract great talent. Navigating the ever-changing issues with employment, health care, guidelines set forth by the federal government … all of these things make for a fun, but challenging environment to manage in a small business. Additionally, trying to continue to stay current with how the world is evolving; social media, and buying behaviors of younger buyers. We have to constantly be learning and growing in order for our business to remain relevant.
What changes or improvements have you recently implemented, or are you planning to make in the future?
We are in the process of rebranding our business to create a more powerful identity for
the vertical markets we serve. Our outside agency has recently completed the discovery phase, which included interviewing many clients, former clients, prospects and associates. We anticipate this new brand and identity launch to take place in the next couple of months and we look forward to delivering a fresh approach to the end-user community.
What do you love about your company?
There are many things, but the best part of it is that we all really enjoy what we do. We get to be creative, solve issues for customers, help create brand awareness and momentum, and stay involved in our communities. We have a terrific staff of associates that contribute wholeheartedly to a mission of excellence every day. This all makes getting up and getting to work each day a true pleasure.
Describe your office atmosphere.
I think people who come to our office would say we are warm and inviting. People enjoy our environment and it is visible when you come for a visit: no closed doors, lots of collaboration and a willingness to pitch in and help one another. For those associates who are in the field, we reach out with personal visits, we spend time on Skype calls and we enjoy making road trips to see them and our clients as often as possible. We have an all-associates event annually where we bring the entire team (almost 100 people) to Richmond for team building, as well as other events where we bring groups of associates to regional events. Staying in touch with the team on a regular basis is paramount to the culture we’ve formed, and we work very hard to keep our communication lines open at all times.
What kinds of projects or tasks might you tackle on a given day?
One of the things that is so exciting about our industry is that we have ample opportunity to learn and grow. Some days are filled with the standard business review meetings, reviewing business trends, collaborating with our sales associates on client opportunities, working with our internal customer service team to resolve challenges and general operational duties. Other days we are all hands on deck to present NewClients’ services to a potential business partner. Variety is the spice of life and we have an abundance of that in our day-to-day activities.
How do you collaborate with co-workers?
As our company has grown, we have worked hard to put a terrific team of managers in place for consistency of experience for our associates. We have regular business sessions for planning that involve short-term plans, annual plans and long-term plans. We evaluate our progress with monthly executive sessions to stay on target. Having “departmental” specialists has helped us tremendously as we grow our business. We have support in place for day-to-day operations, and we have freed up time for group brainstorming sessions for both current business strategy and for business growth strategy. We are finding that we can be more impactful when we have teams of folks focusing their talents in a proactive way.
What makes your company a valuable member of the promotional products community?
Jeff and I routinely contribute by volunteering on PPAI and regional association boards. We have assisting in fundraising for the industry, participated in the Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) group, visiting our congressmen on Capitol Hill advocating for
our industry, and we regularly attend industry events to lend our full support. Additionally, as a Facilisgroup partner, we visit with and share experiences with many other partners. Even in the midst of our rapid growth, we’re eager to learn and improve and give back to the community.