Made In Britain: Proactive ITS

What does your company do? What products services does it provide?
We are an IT support service provider which helps our customers to grow and work more efficiently by using technology. We’re pretty much a one-stop shop for everything IT. We do hardware, software, broadband, networking, phone systems and software development.

Where did the idea for your business come from?
I used to work for an IT Support company and realised that despite the masses of competition, there is a distinct lack of friendly, honest IT support providers who actually know what they are doing, and aren’t in it for a quick buck.

When did you start up, and what support were you given?
We started up in March 2008. I had no support really, just jumped right in, although I was lucky enough to have a great former boss who let me keep a small handful of clients that I had a good relationship with. I am very grateful for that.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I think our biggest achievement so far is steering the business in the right direction, and maintaining growth year on year, despite many challenges and a downturn in the market.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?
Finding the right people to work with. The right staff and the right suppliers are key to any business.

How would you say you differentiate yourself from the competition?
There are a few things which set us apart:
• We don’t like to sell you things you don’t need
• We will never try to blind you with science
• We’re geeks, but we can hold a conversation
• We like to share our knowledge and empower our customers to make better decisions about technology.

What has been the best decision you have made to-date?
Deciding to diversify into telecoms. The nature of services like broadband and phone lines means we can benefit from a steady revenue stream. What’s more, we can do this while saving our customers lots of money and delivering an infinitely better service than the usual broadband and phone companies.

Where do you see the business in 12 months’ time?
We’ve grown at a healthy rate over recent years and I would be happy to see that steady growth continue. We’d like to continue to build up our customer base and the skills within our support team. A holiday would be nice too!

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Don’t try and do too much yourself, know your limits and find good partners and suppliers to fill the gaps in your skills. The key to expanding the company was gathering a team with the right skills and ability. We’ve taken on a couple of apprentices since we started up, too. We liked the idea of training someone up and moulding them to do what we need.

I’d encourage anyone else looking to start up a business or take on an apprentice to access support from the Business is GREAT campaign, which offers a range of information, inspiration and support for businesses to take the next step in their growth journey.

What do you find most satisfying about running a business?
Being able to make a real difference to our customers’ businesses. The right piece of technology or software can transfer how a business operates. It’s very satisfying to see a business grow because of something we had a hand in.