Last month, business and finance-educated sales specialist Paul Little was promoted to the position of sales and commercial director at Airsprung Group, having overseen major changes in the brand’s output, operations and culture since he joined in 2021. Prior to that, he was a mainstay at Steinhoff UK’s manufacturing operations, leading sales and marketing at Relyon since 2006.
How might a child describe what you do?
I guess if they followed me around for a week, they might say I just sit and talk to a lot of people all the time.
What’s the biggest long-term challenge you face?
It’s the 2020’s! We’ve been through three ‘once-in-a-generation’ events, pandemic, war and Brexit – so it’s hard to predict. I do take comfort in the fact that even in the face of these events, we have pulled together as a business and weathered the storm.
If you had 10 x your working budget, what would you spend it on?
Developing our people through and making them feel even more valued, plus equipment, NPD, and marketing.
What would be the title of your autobiography?
It would have to be ‘Little by Little’.
What does ‘work/life balance’ mean to you?
Obviously, you have to get the balance right. It’s important that, at work it’s ‘all work’ and at home it’s ‘all home’. Mixing the two doesn’t usually work.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Everything happens for a reason, so take your time and consider your response and reaction.
What’s been your best day in business to date?
It’s impossible to pick one, but any day that you see the plan moving forward and people getting a buzz out of what they do is a good day.
What’s the biggest myth about our industry?
For the public, it’s probably that you don’t have to put much effort into buying something you use for eight hours a day.
What should everyone in our industry either stop or start doing?
Stop looking back and start looking outwards into other industries.
Where do you see the industry going in the next 5-10 years?
Sustainability is obviously going to continue being the seismic change. It’s going to inform nearly all the decisions a business will make.
What question do you wish we’d asked? How would you have answered?
Q: What’s the worst phrase in business?
A: “We’ve always done it this way.”
This interview featured in December's issue.