ABA Spotlight: W/C 6th September 2021

Meet Ryan Bradford, Project Manager at Adam Bradford Agency

As we move into September and wave goodbye to Summer, ABA’s pace only continues to increase. Project development work is always underway with eyes looking to the future, and we’re constantly scanning for opportunities for our clients. Keep in touch with us on LinkedIn and via the ABA Blog to stay up to date with all of our upcoming releases and client successes.

The final week of August has now passed and time never seems to slow or pause – so what does it take to manage a contract at an SME like Adam Bradford Agency? Answer: A lot of hard work! I have been contracted as Project Manager for ABA for just over 12 months now after exiting retail management during the onset of the global pandemic in March 2020 (already 18 months ago!).

To give you a flavour of my role at ABA, here’s a recent interview thread I completed with my brother and company director Adam Bradford:

Ryan, 25, has a Bachelor’s degree in Business Studies and quite similarly to our founder, his enterprising journey began at a young age 

Hi Ryan! Tell us more about you and how you ended up working with ABA: 

COVID-19 meant a huge drop in footfall for the retail industry as people prioritised their safety by shopping online. Although on the face of it this shift did not appear to damage large businesses thanks to their already-established e-commerce, it did have a huge impact beneath the surface. Staff at physical outlets were worried that they may be made redundant, may not get paid and may not have a career to return to after the pandemic was over. Of course, coronavirus was with us for a much longer period than anyone anticipated with much more ferocity than expected too, leading to government intervention (interventions such as the furlough scheme). Although reassuring, there was still a huge imbalance for retail companies that meant staffing provision greatly outweighed their demand. These uncertain conditions were what prompted me to make the decision to leave everything I knew behind and jump with both feet into self-employment… 

What was your first foray into entrepreneurship and the world of business? 

Entrepreneurship wasn’t really something I’d experienced at all until secondary school, and it wasn’t through class either. A competition was launched in Sheffield called the ‘BIG Challenge’ which inspired young people in all local schools to setup a micro business with a £250 grant. Myself and my brother Alex were encouraged to join this competition with our older brother Adam, who had already applied and was very eager to get started. We ran a small business that made products specifically for teachers and the school – this was a natural decision given we all spent the majority of our day there so we might as well maximise this potential. 

We actually did really well and won various sections of the competition during that first year, so much so that we decided to do it again when it returned in 2008. A friend of ours joined us for the second iteration and we followed the same business plan as before. This seemed to work as I recall we did even better that year, winning ‘Best Returning Business’ and thousands of pounds in grants for the school! 

What do you enjoy the most about your work? 

During the course of the 12 months since that moment I have achieved various goals and haven’t once looked back. It is sometimes in the worst of times that you are forced to take a risk or make a move that you may have thought about in the past but never been quite brave enough to commit to. 

I love how diverse my job is and couldn’t imagine doing anything else now, it’s absolutely amazing. Similarly to running your own business, you have the creative freedom to strategize, plan and create in whatever way you feel is best, and that can be processed in whatever way suits you as an individual. No two days are the same nor are any two clients – the people, their inspirational projects and the ability to build these creatively it what really makes things interesting for me. It’s great to see different people and their projects evolve on such different journeys. 

What does a typical day as Project Manager look like for you? 

I’m not sure there’s an actual answer for this, as there’s certainly no ‘typical’ day at ABA! That being said, there are of course some processes and procedures within my job that do recur from time to time. Every project and every client is entirely different, but during the conceptual stages and development stages there are often some areas of repetition, but only in the implementation of these processes and not the content that goes within them. So a typical day of mine might including a strategy meeting regarding one client’s branding, then an hour or so drafting a PR release for another client, and then moving onto the development of a project pitch deck for an AdamStart or ABA internal project. It’s extremely diverse and, as I mentioned earlier, it’s exactly why I love this job so much, specifically at an SME like this one. 

Thank you Ryan for giving us more insight into your crucial role and the great work that you do. You can connect with Ryan on LinkedIn here.”