Fred Done on the ‘gentleman’s guide’ to doing business

Fred Done on bringing more retail shop into Betfred's portfolio

In this interview with’s Becky Liggero, Fred Done of BetFred shares his secrets on how to successfully conduct business with online affiliates. 

There’s an on-going debate on how to do business.

Many entrepreneurs believe that adapting and implementing new policies and strategies is one of the keys toward the success of business. They always equate the word “new” for “better,” which is not always the case.

Take for example the case of taking down notes. Before the dawn of smartphones and tablets, employees usually get a piece of paper and jot down the information relayed to them or instructions they receive.

The invention of these new gadgets has obviously brought convenience and efficiency in the workplace. But there’s a downside to not sticking with traditional pen and paper. Psychologist say it is more efficient to take down notes because it enables you to remember what you’ve written compared to sticking with the use of computers.

For Fred Done of BetFred, it is always reckless to assume that anything new is automatically better, especially when doing business.

Done, who founded the British bookmaker Betfred, admits that he conducts business with affiliates the old fashioned way – including giving representatives of the other party a hand shake. He believes that it is always worth to go back to the basics.

“I know that’s not fashionable to do that but that’s the way I’ve ruled my life. Trust is absolutely got to be implicit in every deal that I do,” Done told “And what we don’t want to do is we don’t want to see any affiliates and what we need from them in return is business from them and respect.”

He also emphasized the need to build trust between affiliates and your brands.

“It is a two-way street, you can’t work any other way. If it’s not right, don’t work together.  We want to work with affiliates, I believe that is got a great future. People say you don’t need your affiliates anymore. Believe me, you do need affiliates some more and I’m going to keep on working with them,” he said.

Despite his old-fashioned ideas, Done pointed out that the future of sportsbooks is online.

“Well my life has been in the resale industry. We couldn’t live with only 13 to 58 shops in England and we did a deal with Ladbrokes and Corals wherein we brought 322 shops. The new business, the exciting business, is the online business,” he said. “I could kick myself for doing it wrong. I’d kick myself a million times, because we have not been a good asset. But we are catching up. I’ve got some brilliant people working for me and the future is definitely online.”