Working Three (W3)

Mark Cameron, CEO of Working Three (W3) may not be formally qualified in business management, but in the past 18 months he has more than tripled his company’s profits.

"I’m a specialist in my field, not a specialist in running a business," says Mark, who also writes as social media economist for Business Review Weekly.

Over the past five years, Mark has transformed W3 from a traditional marketing agency into the digital sphere. It is now a boutique digital consultancy, based in Richmond, an inner suburb of Melbourne. "The level we were working at had changed enormously," Mark says. "I needed some tools to start thinking about that."

In September 2011, Mark commenced Leadership 21, a development program for owner-managers of small and medium-sized Australian businesses delivered through Melbourne Business School Executive Education.

"We think strategically for other companies a lot," says Mark. "But taking the time to think strategically about my own business really helped us make some essential changes."

The Leadership 21 journey includes a number of workshops, peer-group learning sessions and one-on-one business coaching, spaced over a nine-month period. Stepping back from his business, Mark saw W3 from a new perspective. He used tools from the workshops to make essential strategic changes back in the workplace.

"The most valuable tool has been breaking everything down into components and then constantly thinking about how to refine those parts," Mark says. "We’ve totally reinvented the way we approach and manage our contracts. We’re able to take on much larger clients."

W3 now represents multi-national organisations including SAP, Special Olympics and The Body Shop.

"We’ve more than tripled our client base and revenue," says Mark, who has implemented a total strategy overhaul and a major business restructure since the program.

The growth is set to continue. "In the first week of this year alone, we’ve had 10 times the leads we had in January and February of 2012 combined."

"If I could say one thing to other owner-managers out there, it would be: in the chaos of running a business and the pressure of deadlines, remember to take time" Mark says. "Look at things from different angles and talk to someone who understands what you’re going through. It’s incredibly beneficial."