Assigning roles is easy when there’s only two of you and one of you is the greatest salesman in the southwest. Like any business, we need to focus a lot of energy recruiting the right customers, who we can service well and invoice regularly. This means that the Number One Salesman needs to be on the road, a lot, and I need to work out how to do everything else.

A lot of my experience in Operations and Customer Service is essentially fixing broken processes that can happen anywhere in a customer’s journey, so I know my way around a comms business. However, with teams of people to delegate to in the past, a master of detail I was not.

In retrospect, it was preposterous to think I could actually do everything. Yet a month on, I’m proud to report we’ve pretty much got it all in place from customer order, through service delivery to billing and technical support.

How?  We have worked hard to select some great partners.  And we learned some valuable lessons choosing those relationships:

  • Favours are good but it’s important to pay the going rate for something that really matters.

Holding progress on your project to wait for someone to fit your work in amongst their day job is frustrating and you have no leverage to expedite.

  • Identify complexity and importance.

For us that includes billing of minutes and subscriptions. A process that can be painfully complex; did you know O2 have over 7,000 potential charging rates!?  One of our largest outgoings is the partner that does this (brilliantly) for us, and while we were surprised at the cost initially, it’s already proving very worthwhile.

  • Work with people you like, and respect you.

Sounds obvious?  But when you are relying on people to carry out vital aspects of your business, they need to take their role and take you seriously.  Generally when there is good rapport and mutual respect this happens without you having to demand it.

My new ‘virtual team’ feels like the best I’ve ever worked with and being the Director that does ‘everything else’ isn’t so daunting anymore.  I’m certain our customers will experience the benefit too.

Whilst Ollie has been busy signing some brilliant clients, I’m confident we’re geared up and ready to provide an amazing service. Roll on month two!