Oct 26, 2022
Create wealth on Capitalist principles and distribute it on Marxist ones - Simon Biltcliffe, Webmart CEO
"Create wealth like a Capitalist, distribute it like a Marxist." Here's what that looks like...
Simon Biltcliffe believes that Capitalism is a great way to create wealth, but is terrible at distributing it. And Marxism can't create wealth for toffee, but has great principles for distributing it.
Adjust for externalities, and there you have the principles on which Webmart was founded and operates.
Webmart delivers marketing solutions. It competes not only on quality, but by identifying ways to be as efficient as it can be in creating customer value. Automation where possible, education for the team, methodologies, and so on.
It also calculates the carbon footprint of its work and solutions. It adopts a circular economy approach to its offices. It has an innovative profit distribution model, clear and transparent to all. It ensures it doesn't engage in ruses to reduce tax - because to pay tax is to pay into the community that supports us all. It pays interest it earns to charity; it pays suppliers within 7 days.
And it is very profitable.
But probably the least expected part for me was that this marketing company owns a farm.
Obviously! What marketing agency doesn't own a farm?!?!
Well, the farm is a haven of peace that all employees are entitled to use. And in case you thought this would be a way to guilt-trip them into working on holiday, the farm has no internet access.
(Which, by the way, is the ultimate digital-native challenge. Webmart will put you in the most beautiful spot, but make it hard for you to get your shots onto Instagram.)
Add the farm into Webmart's sustainability strategy, and it makes the company carbon-negative.
Simon isn't just an entrepreneur - he is an evangelist. That comes through loud and clear in this interview, and he generously offers to share any of their learnings with anyone interested enough to ask.
This episode was packed full of little and big gems in what it can look like to run a Good company. The various initiatives, all aligned, and all of which build up to a company, a B Corp, which is hell bent on doing good with the way it does business.
I host a weekly workshopping conversation with CEOs of SMEs (10 to 100 employees approx) about *scaling up*, allowing them to *step back and do more strategic work*, and doing this all *in line with their values*. Maximum 6 per session so we can have a real conversation.
If you'd like to join me for a conversation, find a date that works for you here.
Only CEOs / MDs as above. Peer-level conversation!