We are a small B2B company providing database/marketing related services and development subcontracting to SMEs. Database services include new business marketing, online identity checking, postcode checking services and company formation services for accountants
Tell us about yourself?
I was diagnosed with an inflammatory bowel disease called Crohns when I was 9 and by the time I was 19, I’d had far too many operations and spent several years in hospital. That gives you time to read (this was pre internet!) and learn. I’ve worked with databases since I was 16.
I wrote 2 research databases (gratis) for the medical team that was caring for me whilst I was in hospital and every paid job I’ve had has either been tech support or development because I like solving problems.
With my health as it was, I decided at an early age that working for myself, whilst stressful, would allow me to pursue my career in the way I wanted to and of course database and development work can be done from an office, from home or from a hospital bed.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
What would I tell myself if I could go back 2 years ? To persuade China to lock down Wuhan a few days before Covid started to save all those lives and businesses.
Everything isn’t about money. If I could pass something back that saved lives and businesses then that’s more worthwhile than anything
What problem does your business solve?
We provide a small collection of services but mainly we are building up a marketing system to allow companies to get in touch with newly formed businesses – either within a few miles of their offices (for people like accountants) or within specific industry categories (if you provide industrial ovens to hotels for example) so you can get your message out within a few days of the new company being formed, before the new business starts looking for those services themselves
What is the inspiration behind your business?
The inspiration behind the business is that it allows me to work on projects that interest me, and it allows me to help other people – either a start up company looking for their first customers, an accountant needing to carry out identity checks or one of our small range of longstanding customers who we do development work for.
We get to help people, I get to do something I love, and we get paid for doing it !
What is your magic sauce?
I guess with a small family business, the magic sauce has to be the people. I do what I can to help customers. I often go above and beyond, and my wife who does the accounts and customer services has a similar attitude. We treat our customers with respect (and we expect to be treated the same).
We don’t send out marketing emails every 5 minutes or ring people up to badger them to think about more work. Work just flows from referrals and a small bit of advertising
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
I’d like growth in the business. Covid hit the B2B sector hard but we survived and thousands didn’t. We survived the financial crash in 2008/9 and thousands didn’t.
We are currently a small family business, sub contracting out a few services as and when needed. It would be nice to be a position of having one or two additional people with the same ethos and morals that we have.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Covid and my health. My health over the last 30 years has been remarkably good but there are pockets of instability but I turn that into a positive.
If you know you have to work in order to keep things moving, it prevents you thinking about the illness quite as much and allows you to get through it.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
Getting in touch with new businesses by post, just after they’ve formed is a fantastic way to get your message out in a personal one to one way.
A quick letter in the post is direct, its cheap (compared with pay per click), and it wont get filtered by Microsoft and Google. And the main thing is that your message can be on their doorstep a couple of days after they’ve formed their company so you have beaten all of your competition!
Whether you are an accountant, insurance company, web developer, online bank, payment service provider or industrial oven provider, you can have as few as 100 company records (15p+VAT each) or as many as 50,000. Get in touch with Tony by emailing [email protected]