No matter how successful a business is running, the people at the top need to be able to step away from day-to-day issues and take a look at ‘the bigger picture’.
That focus on the future, having the vision to forge a strategy for real growth is exactly what husband and wife team Andrew and Jean Eardley are achieving with the support of their business mentor David Dry.
Prompt PC Ltd, founded by Andrew Eardley 13 years ago, provides IT support to around 300 small to medium sized businesses in sectors ranging from manufacturing to professional services. The company, which moved to a new base at the Park Hall Business Village in 2010, looks after some 3,500 pieces of equipment.
Befitting Andrew’s background as a works manager in the ceramics industry, the company’s philosophy is that clients should invest in IT not for its own sake, but to clearly enhance their performance and
productivity. Honesty and a focus on customer satisfaction have helped Prompt PC build a strong client base largely through recommendation.
However serving those clients has meant that Andrew and Jean – who has handled all the company’s admin – have had little chance to focus on future strategy. “We were spending all our time working in the
business rather than on the business,” commented Jean.
The big change came early in 2011 when Let’s Do Mentoring introduced the two directors to experienced mentor David Dry.
“David has opened our eyes to the bigger picture and what we need to do for the future,” explained Andrew. “By coming from outside the business with no ulterior motive, he has given us a totally different
perspective on things.”
Regular sessions with the mentor have addressed fundamental issues such as staff motivation, business planning and identifying the most profitable markets. But perhaps the biggest step forward has been
to free up Andrew and Jean’s time to look at their strategy.
A key move was to appoint a Technical Service Manager to lead the company’s team of service engineers. With David’s encouragement, the post benefits from an effective incentive scheme.
“Because we are not tied to so much of the day-to-day business, we have been able to step away and concentrate on planning for the future,” said Andrew.
Having already increased the headcount from five to seven so far this year, Prompt PC is in the process of employing a further two staff. By the end of next year its planned to have 15 on the workforce, 13 of
whom will be service engineers.
“Once we have written our sales plan we will concentrate on expanding both our client base and our workforce. Thanks to David’s guidance, our emphasis will be very much on markets where the most profit can be made.”
Jean agreed that their mentor had played a key role in getting their expansion plans under way: “He has given us new confidence in our plans – not by telling us what to do, but by making us do the
thinking and looking at our problems in a different way.”
Andrew, who said they had great respect for their mentor’s experience, added: “I wouldn’t like to think that we haven’t got David to turn to for support.” David Dry said that it was rewarding to work with
directors who were so enthusiastic.
“Prompt PC is very well regarded by its clients and Andrew and Jean are committed to growing the business.
“Having encouraged them in steps to professionalise the business I now expect to support them with their marketing plans.
“The economic impact of a venture like this is one of the things that gives me greatest pleasure. Prompt PC is well placed to generate jobs and create wealth in the area.”
Workforce increased by four during 2011 with plans for a further six employees during 2012. Staff motivation improved.
Directors’ responsibilities refined to give greater scope for strategic planning.
Potential new markets assessed and positive plans made to expand client base.
If you would like more information contact the NSCCI Project Team
Contact details: NSCCI Project Team, Commerce House, Festival Park, Stoke on Trent, ST1 5BE