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James Chiswell Jones: Flare Software Provides Bespoke Business Software to SMEs

Flare Software provides bespoke business software to SMEs. We create high quality business systems that fit your business like a glove and can integrate with your existing software platforms.

Tell us about yourself?

I started my IT career in 1992 and came across the FileMaker software platform in the same year. Originally I developed a system to run my own business, and I enjoyed it so much I decided to make a career of it.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

Keep doing what you’re doing, it’s working! I’d have to back a lot further to find a time when I needed advice, but experience is much more useful than someone telling you what’s what. My knowledge has been gained first hand after decades of (sometimes painful) experiences.

What problem does your business solve?

The unique aspects of every business will never be covered by off-the-shelf products, bespoke systems work the way you do, being able to distill your process into easy to use software that runs on every device is very powerful.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

I worked for a number of large multinational organisations and saw how badly they were run. I realised I could do things better and be free from all the corporate nonsense. I’ve never looked back.

What is your magic sauce?

That bespoke software development is a partnership between you and the client. They know the business and you know how to create software – both parties need to work together to create the solution. Listen, create , revise , repeat.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

To find more clients I enjoy working with, money is nice but happy clients are better! I love the feeling of taking a complex process and reducing it to a few clicks, especially when your client is thrilled with the results.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Getting too big. I once employed 10 people and it was just far too stressful. I like being a small business and focusing on the clients, looking outwards not inwards.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We work with smaller to medium sized companies with unique problems. ie Business from 1 – 50 people (typically, we have a few that are larger). People usually contact us through our website, and then I arrange to call them and then go and see them.

Once we’ve sat down and gone through the problems and possible solutions we’ll create an estimate and go from there. We don’t employ sales people or have contracts and a lot of our work comes from recommendation , so we must be doing something right!

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