We were delighted to invite Rich Banister from Degree 53 in to tell us what it’s really like working for a mobile app and web development company. In this video he shares his expertise and industry advice.



Rich Bannister – Degree 53 Transcript

What’s your name, position and where do you work?

Hi I’m Rich Bannister, Commercial Director at Degree 53.  

Describe your business in one sentence.

So we are a digital agency that do design, development and UX and we specialise in the gambling industry but we also work with the likes of Co-op Bank and Sofology.

What separates you from the competition?

We are a UK gambling commission licensed software developer. Now, that means we are vastly experienced in the gambling sector but it also means our quality measures and level of work is to a higher standard.  

What have been the highlights of your company so far?

Well, I joined a couple of months ago but apart from that it’s the awards where I work’s been recognised the fact that our revenue has grown year on year in the three years we’ve been around.

What qualities are needed to succeed in your industry?

As a digital agency, it’s about listening to what the client’s really saying. It’s about why they want to do something, what’s the problem in their business it’s going to achieve and giving them a solution that’s going to do that. I think, looking at more my role in there, what sort of qualities you need from a commercial and sales angle and that is all-around honesty and, again I suppose, listening to the clients is essential really, what they’re actually saying, not what they’re trying to order from you.

Why do new businesses choose Manchester?

With devolution, I think Manchester is definitely a growing city and on the way up. Things like the improved transport systems are only going to help that even more, and we’ve got a great reputation for industries such as digital at the moment.

Who are some local companies you would recommend?

I work alongside an agency called Active Win that are really good at providing traffic to your website and getting your brand noticed a bit more. And then Tunafish, some great guys, referred a bit of work their way and they’ve always done a really good job and clients seem to really love them and Sam Jones gets his face everywhere.

Who do you think are the most influential people in the local business scene?

So Manchester is full of some huge businesses and have some really good business personalities and companies around. I think in terms of who I look up to, it’s probably Lawrence Jones is one of the people I keep track of most. I think what he does at UK Fast is really good because the noise they’re making is drawing attention to Manchester as well as his business. And he gives a great example for people to follow.

Do you have any advice for new businesses in Manchester?

I’d advise them to network well. I think networking and building a support network is key. I think people go out to try and sell their business when really you just need to surround yourself with good people and Manchester’s full of them. You never know when them contacts might come in useful, can recommend you or you might need their services that you weren’t expecting at first.

What’s the main benefit of working in Manchester?

I think that the main benefit of working in Manchester is that it is very much a town centre where people know each other, unlike somewhere like London where it is just too big. So there’s still a community aspect where people know what’s going on in the industries and know the business community well. But, yet it’s big enough and there’s enough money and contracts around to still have a live city feel.  

Where are your favourite places to eat and drink in Manchester?

Hawksmoor is a favourite at the moment. I’ve only been a couple of times, I think it’s a really great place to take clients to or for business meals. A bit more casual, Kettlebell Kitchen’s a bit of a favourite at the moment, it’s quite handy, easy to nip into and you don’t feel too guilty going out for lunch either.

Thanks for watching, I’m Rich Bannister from Degree 53. This was huddled.

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