I spent the first half of my professional life providing customer support for business management systems in the automotive and construction industries. I soon learnt that what was most important to my customers was clear and honest advice, personal and jargon free. In 2006 I decided to use the skills I’d learnt managing a technical support team, both from the role itself and from the customers I supported, to set up my own business technology consultancy. Although I initially went in with a broad remit, I quickly found myself involved more and more with internet-based solutions, most commonly e-commerce, web design and internet marketing.
Since 2006 I’ve worked on a number of projects of varying sizes and across different industries. I’ve set up e-commerce businesses from scratch and guided them to success but also helped analyse existing systems and made improvements to increase revenue and reduce costs. Integral to building a successful e-commerce site is good marketing. I’ve built up a good understanding of the internet market as well as the key skills necessary to gain insight into specific industries and then convert those insights into measurable results. I’ve also been able to use my more general business and management experience to complement my technology-based skills, providing interim management, assisting in recruiting the right people and advising more generally on a range of business functions from finance to procurement.
Over the years I’ve made a few mistakes, but I’ve also learnt from them. I’ve learnt that, although most companies can gain from a web presence and internet marketing, that’s not always the best way forward or the best way they can use limited resources. I’ve learnt that a fancy website isn’t as important as providing clear quality content and marketing that content well. What I’ve found overall though, is that the clear, honest and no-nonsense approach I learnt in my early years providing customer support, works best whatever and whoever the client.