Does money make the world go round… or do people? 

February 1, 2018

Asks Paul Hart, managing director of design agency Cargo

We would agree that financial stability and profit is what business is all about, but to achieve this what you really need is the right people.

It’s a discussion I’ve had many times with colleagues and other business leaders. Sometimes the stars align and the right person falls into your lap; other times it takes a great deal of time investment to find ‘the one’. This also requires a financial investment if you are using recruitment agencies. One colleague referenced their search for business development staff as ‘you’ve got to kiss a lot of frogs before you get your prince’ (or princess, of course).

At Cargo, we are proud of our small team, but would we like more staff? The answer is yes, but only if we find the right people to work with and can add value to our clients (that’s where the money making the world go round bit comes in).

I’ve regularly heard the term ‘people over profits’. I agree with this, to an extent, but both of these elements need to work hand in hand.

We’ve now had the same core team at Cargo for over five years – something that’s almost unheard of in a business like ours. I know at times, some have been tempted by other opportunities but I’m very glad that they have chosen to stay with us. Our team is great.

Not only are they all very good at what they do, they can also talk to our clients. For me, this as important as their technical or creative ability. Just recently, I spoke to a colleague about process of recruitment and why qualifications are not the be all and end all to us. The ability to deal with people is just as important as their technical qualifications. We are a service business and that means a ‘people business’. As a company, we reward staff who embrace this ethos – whether financially or in terms of flexibility.

For a short time, I worked in education and something I remember regularly saying to students is that, “as a designer, you have to ‘sell’ your work”. If your work is good, it should sell itself. Right? But if it’s not presented well – in a manner that can be understood and taken onboard by your client, so that they feel as though they can build a rapport with you – you won’t sell.

At Cargo, we don’t have salesmen in suits or ‘client development’ staff who sit between our clients and delivery team. Instead, we have hard-working, friendly people who understand that the most important thing is the problem you are asking us to help you solve.

Cargo is a design agency that works with clients – building lasting relationships to help you achieve creative consistency both online and offline

Scroll to next article
Go to

Burning Issue: What makes North East people ‘great’?