A Week in My Life: Andy McCaul, co-founder of The Bigger Boat

Simon Austin's picture
by Simon Austin
Andy McCaul

This week it’s the turn of Andy McCaul, co-founder and director at Mirfield-based The Bigger Boat to take us through a week in his working life.

Monday 28th May

I wake up still reeling from the Champions League final – I’m a huge Liverpool fan – but fortunately my two sons allow me no rest whatsoever, so they very quickly take my mind off that. You’ve got to love the bank holiday but even days off are non-stop!

Off into the garden I go – to tackle what feels like moving five tonnes of earth in preparation for building a raised flowerbed out of sleepers. This is something I have absolutely zero experience in, but I figure that the YouTube video I have watched will help – surely it can’t be that hard!

I spend the afternoon at a friend’s house for a family barbecue in the sun, which basically consists of all the kids spraying everyone with water and me eating twice the acceptable amount, before being attacked by a mixed bag of superheroes – including Transformers, Batman, Kylo Ren and The Hulk!

Tuesday 29th May

It’s back into the office as The Bigger Boat crew welcomes our latest recruit – senior writer Carrie – who joins us from digital agency Stickyeyes. It’s exciting to have her on board and I’m looking forward to her future with us!

Then it’s meetings galore as we head straight into our weekly planning huddle. We run through the current work status for each member of the team and discuss how schedules for the week are looking – a vital part of our ethos is regular communication! Immediately after this we hold a board meeting – something we make time for regularly as we recognise their value, especially after my co-director’s Goldman Sachs programme.

After lunch I jump on a conference call with client Little Tikes – along with our senior account manager, Emma. It’s great to find out that the ideas we’ve recently been working on for them have been extremely well received, and better still the client has recommended us to another brand within the group – a great start to the week!

I finish the day drafting and sending a proposal off to a potential new client and then spend the evening catching up on emails – due to not being available for most of the day!

Wednesday 30th May

I’m straight into a meeting this morning with a long-standing client of ours – Stone Menswear – to discuss their digital strategy for the next few months.

I speak to my wife at lunch who tells me my son cried during a trip to the cinema to watch Peter Rabbit – he’s a bit of a softie.

In the afternoon I review some quotes for a junior member of the team, then move onto a bit more GDPR work – as if the last few months weren’t enough! Luckily, the majority of our clients have implemented the processes required to be compliant, but unfortunately there’s the odd anomaly that crops up requiring investigation.

I always try to get home for the final hour of my kids’ day before they go to bed, then after that I – literally – drag myself out for a jog. I don’t particularly enjoy it but I hate being unfit – and I find running is just as good for the mind as it is the body. 

Thursday 31st May

I wake up thinking that I surely shouldn’t be aching this much from exercise – then remember that I’m well into my 30s and everything hurts nowadays.

We have a PR planning meeting first thing with our friends at Scriba PR – we’ve got lots to discuss, as always!

After that I’m into a customer journey meeting with the whole team, finalising the mapped out processes and findings from our workshop with a client earlier in the month.

Following a quick lunch I take on Joe at table tennis – just to confirm that I am indeed appalling at the game – before reviewing a few of our main digital marketing retainers to check on progress and how the outcomes look in Google Analytics. There are some cracking results for a new website that we launched a few months ago – along with excellent ROI for a new client’s shopping campaigns.

I arrive home to see the wood for the garden has been delivered – there’s a massive pile of it and it now looks like a lot of work!

The plan for the evening was to catch up on emails, but my youngest falls over and smashes his mouth open, so I spend most of the evening stopping the bleeding and making sure he’s ok. Narrowly avoid a trip to A&E!

Friday 1st June

First thing I have a briefing call with our PR company to discuss a new feature for an online techy marketing magazine on the importance of analysing the customer journey. Here at The Bigger Boat we like to share our tips and advice with others through relevant publications – not just keep it all to ourselves!

Then it’s time for me to oversee the end of month reports, review our May invoices and finalise the numbers before updating the team on a great month and year on year improvements.

I spend the rest of the afternoon reviewing our new website and helping to finish some of the final tasks – it’s all on track for a launch at the end of next week! 

It’s an early finish today for a well-earned team pint at our local pub. I take my boys to junior rugby then go out for a family meal to celebrate my sister’s 40th birthday.

And I have the looming prospect of building that garden project tomorrow…