Based in Stockport, United Kingdom, business leader Stuart Ferster was recently interviewed by Ideamensch, an interview platform for entrepreneurs, makers, and doers. Stuart Ferster offered entrepreneurial insight and shared his expertise as a business owner.
Stuart Ferster is the executive director of ITC, a company providing various marketing and support services. It is a leader in its industry and is known for its expertise in web design, software development, social media, and search engine optimization.
The company’s highly skilled staff is the key to its success. Over the years, the organization has grown from a small group of people to over 70 members, each an immensely talented individual. They are dedicated to providing their clients with the best possible service and continuously improving their skills to keep up with the industry standard.
After graduating from college, Stuart Ferster worked for his family’s company, the Gaynor Group, for 15 years. The company produced carrier bags using extruders, flexographic printers, and bag-making machines. Its main customers included some of the biggest retailers in the UK, such as Tesco and Littlewoods. In 1985 it was listed on the Unlisted Stock Market. Gaynor was sold in 1988.
In 1990 the Ferster family started a new company called Coral Products. Initially, they manufactured video cassette cases and then moved into CD and DVD cases company and became a major player for media packaging in Europe.
In 1995 the Fersters decided to float the business on the London Stock exchange. Due to the company’s success, it has expanded its scope of operations through acquisition. It now offers a wide range of products for different industries, such as custom extrusions, flexible film packaging, and vacuum forming.
Stuart Ferster is immensely proud of all of his businesses and the work that his family has done to keep them profitable and adaptable in the face of changing consumer demands. In his personal life, he is committed to constant improvement, a philosophy he tries to bring to his workplace. Stuart enjoys encouraging the talented members of his team to push themselves and learn new things whenever possible. He believes that business mentors can be vital in advancing one’s career and tries to assist his employees whenever possible.
The digital marketing business is constantly evolving, which provides new and interesting challenges for ITC to tackle. The company is focused on providing innovative solutions and outstanding customer service to everyone who partners with them.
As someone experienced in running a business, Stuart Ferster understands how hard it can be to worry about changing marketing trends while trying to manage the other essential aspects of a company. He hopes that by partnering with ITC, other businesses will be able to focus less on advertising so they can devote themselves to customer service and innovation within their industry.
When he’s not working, Stuart enjoys exploring the many amazing experiences that Manchester has to offer. Besides incredible dining options, the city also provides many kinds of entertainment, including live theater venues and museums. Stuart and his family also enjoy excursions in the stunning British countryside. He is also an avid gardener and enjoys getting his grandchildren involved in the beauty of nature.
Stuart Ferster has just been made an accredited speaker for the Northern Holocaust Education Group. He now relates his father’s horrific journey through the holocaust to schools, colleges, and various events throughout the U.K. Stuart has been on the committee of Yom Hashoah Manchester for many years. The group is committed to educating people about the dangers of discrimination and the horrors of war.
Where did the idea for your career come from?
Stuart Ferster: We were in manufacturing plastics for over 40 years, and we made a joint decision that we needed to diversify into new fields. We met with some high-tech guys, and we decided to set up a new business offering support services, marketing, and software development.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Stuart Ferster: In the office at 8:30 am and we have a morning meeting at 9 am with all the senior management. This typically lasts around 15 minutes. Most of the day is spent speaking with customers making sure they are happy.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Stuart Ferster We have a brilliant design team who buzz with ideas.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Stuart Ferster: Being kind to the environment, recycling, and looking after the earth’s valuable commodities.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Stuart Ferster: I like to double-check things, we all make mistakes, but I find if I double-check, there are a lot fewer.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stuart Ferster: Be a little more relaxed and trust your team.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Stuart Ferster: I believe that climate change has always been a major feature of our planet. One which we have little control over. Nature is a powerful thing. The planet is over 13 billion years old, and we have only taken temperature recordings for 200 years. This is just a blip in the scheme of things. The planet goes through cycles over millions of years. How did the United Kingdom become island millions of years ago? There was no machinery – just cattle in the fields releasing gas. I am passionate about looking after our planet and not polluting the seas, or chopping down rainforests. We do have to adapt to warmer temperatures and help our brethren in poorer countries who are unable to help themselves.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Stuart Ferster: Spend quality time with your family.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Stuart Ferster: To run the company as a family, to appreciate your workforce who are the backbone of our company.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Stuart Ferster: Not delegating enough in our previous businesses. This business I have slowly learnt to do it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Stuart Ferster: Respect your staff and they will respect you. Just because you’re the boss, it doesn’t mean you know everything. Listen to your workforce because the chances are they know a lot more than you do.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Stuart Ferster: Charity – I try and give 10% of my earnings to charity.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Stuart Ferster: It’s a secret.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Stuart Ferster: “Tuesdays with Morrie.” It’s about human relationships – how to give out love and how to let it in.
What is your favorite quote?
Stuart Ferster: “Treat others the way you want to be treated”
- Pay attention to your thoughts; they have more power than you realize.
- Take feedback and use it to make an actionable plan.
- Spend time with family as much as you can.