No passion? No business

By Olly Magnus, Magnus Group

Passion and enthusiasm are right up there as the qualities that I admire most. If we can’t be passionate about our own businesses and destiny, why should anyone else?

Published in Suffolk Director Magazine, Winter 2021|22
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Sharing Experience: Olly Magnus, Magnus Group

Everyone knows I love a quote, and this is one I come back to time and time again: “You don’t build a business, you build people, and then the people build the business.”

The best companies grow around good people and even better teams. You cannot attract talent and ask them to perform optimally together if you don’t inspire them with your passion and vision.

Following my father’s death, I had to inject my life savings to buy into Magnus Group and regain control for the family. This was in 2019, and things were not rosy in the garden. We are a logistics company with warehousing, haulage, and freight-forwarding services, but at the time, things were stagnant and I’m always honest with these things, the business was in trouble.

I needed to overhaul the company, bring in new people, introduce new branding and focus on winning new business and generating profits. I needed everyone to fully engage with the journey, from directors to office staff, warehouse people and brilliant drivers. To work, I must show relentless passion, believe in myself, and above all, maintain my burning desire to build a world-beating team.

Today, we have more than tripled our warehousing capacity from 100,000 to 355,000 sq. ft. (including space at Felixstowe to go alongside our Great Blakenham HQ operations), have increased turnover by 170% and seen staff numbers rise from 103 to 160.

We still have a way to go and improvements to make, but the numbers now show a consistent profit. This could not have happened without our team sharing my passion and goals.

Partnering with Ipswich Town FC

My passion does not just extend to business performance. I am a firm believer that Magnus Group should play its part in the community. We like to support charitable endeavours, and we believe that getting our name out there in terms of sponsorship will repay dividends.

One of my biggest loves is Ipswich Town Football Club, and I was bursting with pride earlier this year when Magnus Group became the sponsor of the club’s iconic main West Stand. Now known as the Magnus Group West Stand, it’s where I first stood as a small boy, wobbling on a milk crate, with my dad back in 1979.

The synergy with ITFC is interesting – like Magnus Group, they have recently changed ownership and are working on rebuilding and getting results, on and off the pitch, in the right way. The new owners’ passion was a big driver in my decision to get on board.

You have to own that belief, that vigour, to make your business a success. And above all, you must engage your people to share that passion. Our advert in every ITFC matchday programme sums this up rather nicely, it simply says “Magnus Group. Logistics built on teamwork.”

Olly Magnus is CEO at Magnus Group.
E: olly@magnusgroup.co.uk 
T: 01473 836600 or visit magnusgroup.co.uk  

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