Moving Premises and Business Energy
We know that moving into new businesses premises can be stressful and important tasks, such as organising your...Read More
For John Coldwell of InfoQuest, a company that trades as far afield as China and South Africa, 70 is the magic number: 70% of his business comes from exports and InfoQuest’s customer satisfaction survey method generates a response rate of over 70%. While his business offers clients valuable insights into their business relationships, building his company has not been straightforward.
My business card says: The front says managing director but, as I too often see the back of business cards as wasted space, I have the text: “InfoQuest – the most cost effective, dynamic and actionable business-to-business customer satisfaction survey available.” I have tried for years to cut that down but so far with little success.
I would describe my business self, in five words, as: Honest, trustworthy, prudent (with other people’s money), amenable and patient.
The hardest part of setting up the business was: To be honest, dealing with outside angel investors – they nearly took us under about 16 years ago.
The biggest challenge for my business has been: Self-motivation. When we, as a business, are busy, I am generally not. That’s because I generally don’t get too involved in the process. My role is working with new clients to help them create surveys that work and provide the insights to the senior management afterwards with a workshop.
My biggest business regret is: Giving shares away! I would advise all business owners: do it on your own and don’t rely on anyone else.
My greatest business success is: Selling a survey over the phone without actually meeting anyone – it’s a really nice feeling when people trust you with their customer base, which is their most important asset. For instance, one large crane manufacturer asked for a worldwide customer satisfaction survey, which we did with seven weeks of conference calls every Tuesday across three continents. The first time I actually met anyone was when we presented the findings in Singapore, which was followed by a single day in Shanghai.
The key to being a successful small business owner is: Drive and focus. It’s so easy to just throw in the towel in the early days but it’s only through staying the course that a business will become successful.
My top tip for entrepreneurs is: Focus on realistic goals, be persistent and be patient. In one case I was paid 50% upfront but it took another 10 months before we got the client’s customer lists we needed to begin work. Another client took eight years to go from making an enquiry to deciding that they wanted to work with us.
The one thing that has saved me the most time with running my business is: A financial director at one of my clients suggested that I try using two screens at my computer instead of one. It is really surprising how much time you can save by not having to shuttle between windows.
The one thing I would do differently with my business if I had my time again is: I wouldn’t give away the shares or use angel investors.
The business headline I would most like to see is: Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, British businesses are finding it easier to trade with the rest of the world and German cars are now 30% cheaper to buy than they were in 2015.
If I wasn’t answering these questions I would be: Going for a walk with the dog.
My top tip for saving money is: Examine your bills. I used SwitchMyBusiness.com and found them very useful. The process was straightforward and I would recommend them to anyone and everyone. Also, keep in mind that comparing prices is not just something you should do once. Tariffs and deals are changing all the time.
Find out more about InfoQuest at infoquestcrm.com or +44 (0)1484 868 390
Are you interested in FREE PR for your business?
We often get requests from journalists and editors looking to speak with UK based businesses to get their opinion on news and current affairs. If you’re interested in hearing about these free PR opportunities, just click to send us a short email to email@example.com to register your interest.
"So helpful, especially as I found the contract renewal on my new half hourly meter quite baffling (KVA charges, MOP contracts and other "extras" all had me scratching my head). Arron took great care to explain everything clearly and told me everything I needed to know in order to be able to compare prices from all avenues on a level field. He didn't pester me endlessly for a decision did exactly as I asked in terms of call backs and quotations. Such a refreshing change to deal with someone who listens. Arron has helped me renew my contract next month through switchmybusiness in a very straightforward and painless way on an excellent rate. Fabulous service, thank you Arron."This review was posted by Louise on the 18th of January 2018
A lovely lady called Bhavni phoned me …
"A lovely lady called Bhavni phoned me very quickly after I went online. She couldn't have been more helpful, explaining all the different rates for me. She managed to save me a huge amount per year - gave me her direct phone number if I needed to phone again - like gold-dust! even gave me a termination letter to send to my supplier. Couldn't have been easier and will definitely use again - and hope I get to speak to Bhavni again. Thanks again"This review was posted by Julie Dickie on the 17th of January 2018
Excellent service and hassle free
"Excellent service and hassle free, Jessica Purnell handled everything for me and got us a great deal, even giving advice on how to cancel the previous contract. Thank You"This review was posted by Neville Blenkinsopp on the 17th of January 2018
"Brilliant service - very quick to the point and explained everything very well! Would recommend to anyone who is looking to change their electricity supplier."This review was posted by Jess on the 17th of January 2018
Excellent service straight to the point …
"Excellent service straight to the point and the process was painless!"This review was posted by Nick K on the 16th of January 2018