Kent Batman, Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Andrew Whitford.
About the interviewee
Andrew Whitford is the owner and CEO at TrafficZoom. In 2009, Andrew brought TrafficZoom to the USA from Australia as an extension of sister company, Web Marketing Experts. He has more than 12 years of experience it the IT & Technology fields, having previously worked for companies such as Oracle, IBM and Accenture.
Tell me about your firm (number of employees, location, type of companies you work with, etc.).
TrafficZoom currently employs 15 people, although we are planning to double that number over the next 12 months as the company expands. We work mostly with small & medium sized businesses, helping them market their business via the internet. This means using key services such as Search Engine Optimization, web design, and conversion optimization to maximize traffic to the client’s website.
Many technology companies tend to outsource work overseas, however we have never taken this route and never will. All our work is performed in-house by the team in our Los Angeles office (based in Westwood).
Tell us about why it is important to offer innovative benefits and programs to your employees?
The technology space in Los Angeles has become very competitive, with well-funded start-ups such as Snapchat and Uber moving in alongside giants such as Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. Being that we are a service-based company rather than selling products, hiring and retaining the best possible employees is crucial to our success because our employees effectively are our product. The competition for good people means that innovative benefits are not just important, they are essential to being successful in our space right now.
Why is this important to your company?
Beyond the need to hire & retain quality employees, we also aim to build a culture that is relatively young, fun and exciting. Bringing the company out here from Australia – which tends to have a culture of hard work matched by a relaxed lifestyle – allows us to bring a different perspective to things in the US, and that can also be attractive to our employees.
How is your company different than others in the benefits and programs it offers?
Health & wellness is important to us. Beyond having top quality health benefits, we’ve installed a massage chair in the office so that our weary commuters can chill out before or after their often long journey into the office. The sheer size of Los Angeles, and the well-known traffic issues, means that we know we will always have some staff that take a long commute to work.
We also promote physical health, encouraging employees to strive for improvement in these areas. Each employee makes a physical health goal on a quarterly basis. We’ve had goals ranging from distance running, losing weight, to eating healthily or working out a certain amount of times. Everyone knows their co-workers’ goals and those who reach their goals are rewarded with a paid day off. The team atmosphere helps everyone keep on track, and we feel that a healthy team is always going to be more productive.