Running small, thinking big: How SCALE changed digital business leader’s mindset

Danielle Croce, Director of the small but mighty health and safety software SME, Intasite, recently joined us to reflect on her journey as a digital business leader since taking part in the DigitalCity SCALE Programme four years ago.

The Tees Valley tech star shares how the programme changed her way of thinking as a leader, how her present business is powering through the pandemic and what it meant to be shortlisted for not one, but two categories at the prestigious Tees Businesswomen Awards earlier this year.

Danielle took part in the SCALE programme back in 2017 during her role as Director of Calm Digital with an overall aim to grow the digital and software agency.

Some of the lessons learned from the SCALE programme paved the way for a recent management buyout and refocused the future strategy for Intasite going forward.

We love to hear how individuals have gone on to apply what they learned during SCALE to their everyday work practices, were there any stand-out things that you took away and do you apply any of them to the way that you work today?

I think that all the theory around leadership, finance, intellectual property etc. was great and really backed up what I’ve learned on the job so to speak.

What I really liked was listening to the guest speakers and hearing about their own experiences. I’m a firm believer in that you learn by doing, so listening to them with what works and what doesn’t, really resonated with me.  

Would you say that SCALE changed your way of thinking as a business leader?

100%. It made me realise the importance of strategy and having a clear road map on how to scale and grow. Culture is also massively important and having the right team with common values and goals really helps the organisation flourish. I think having the right tools to enable people to their jobs is a huge factor in not only productivity but also in motivation.

I left with a philosophy that even if I’m working for an SME, I want our business to think and behave like a huge corporate, to have the policies, high levels of quality assurance and have our people at the heart of what we do. 

On that note, how are you and your people at Intasite powering through the current Covid-19 crisis?

Communication is key. We have a relatively small team, all of which have a vested interest in the business, we all have the same goals and ensure we meet online every day to keep projects on track, and also to check on each other’s well being.

Being a digital company, we are lucky that we are geared up to work remotely without too much disruption and we do feel fortunate as some businesses have suffered terribly. On top of this, the majority of our clients are industrial and high hazard sites which have remained open and active, therefore they have continued to need our services, so again we feel really grateful to be able to carry on as close to BAU as possible. 

The Tees Businesswomen Awards recently provided some much-needed positivity, celebration, and optimism for the year ahead, congratulations on being shortlisted for both Business of the Year and SME of the Year! What did it mean for you to be shortlisted?

We were all over the moon to be shortlisted for both awards, in particular Company of the Year. I think recognition of the brand expanding, the chance to put ourselves on show and the networking opportunities on the back of it has all been fantastic.

Just being part of the awards has already led to extra business, so it definitely demonstrates the value of being recognised. It also makes you really proud to be part of this fantastic Teesside family when you look at all the wonderful business and listen to the inspirational leaders who are just on our doorstep.

It was a shame that we couldn’t all get together in a marquee but the organisers did a wonderful job under the circumstances and congratulations to Abacus Bean who are our neighbours in Level Q and to Wander Films for their well-deserved awards.  

Last but not least, what are the next steps for Intasite? Do you have any exciting plans in the pipeline for the business?

I think firstly we’d like to navigate our way out of this pandemic with some steady growth and we are definitely achieving that so far, we have gained some huge clients during this timeso we have to be pleased. In the background we have been laying the foundations for growth by developing new features and increasing the services we can offer to our clients.

It is our mission to develop innovative solutions for heavy industry which will make their everyday tasks easier and enable them to be more efficient in the long run. To be able to do this we will need a diverse team with razor sharp ideas, so the goal is to grow the team in 2021 and really push our products internationally, building on our UK success.  

For more information on the award-winning health and safety platform, Intasite please visit: