Why did you decide to start your own business?
I had been thinking about starting my own business for a while as I wanted to use all the skills I had amassed over the years. I had also had a small business before and I preferred the flexibility it provided. I was still thinking about it when being made redundant forced my hand. It just goes to show that good things can come out of bad situations
What has been the hardest thing about being a business owner for you?
For me, its administration. I find keeping records is quite easy but following up on things like invoicing has always been a problem. I’d rather be with people than paper.
What is the biggest challenge, would you say, in training new team members as you expand your business?
For any small business owners, trying to scale up by adding new people is just so difficult. Not many have the same attention for detail as I do and trying to impart that ethos, combined with top quality service for clients is extremely hard to get a trainee to understand. Some people are just more casual by nature. Finding someone that wants to do the best job they can, and understands that its extremely important to provide a good service, is hard but not impossible to find.
You’ve coached football in your spare time. What can we learn from sports coaching that can be applied to customer service?
To be a great coach, you have to understand individual needs in coaching sessions as well as group requirements. That’s an important skill to learn and can be applied to customers. Other things I find useful are being disciplined and patient. As a coach, I also needed to be organised (arranging games, liaising with the FA and training) which I’m quite good at but also concise, which I’m still working on!
If readers are looking to buy a new TV this Christmas, which represent the best value in your opinion?
This Christmas I would recommend Large Smart LED Screens. Most makes are great value for money. Key factors to enquire about are picture quality, simplicity, compatibility with Sky or Virgin Media, whether you watch mostly terrestrial channels or online movies and whether you need good sound quality if you don’t have a surround system. My biggest tip would be to apply common sense to what you need and not get carried away by a sales person’s enthusiasm.