I am the founder and CEO of CompareBusinessphones.co.uk, the UK’s first online mobile comparison website for small businesses. Previous to this I was working for my own company in the telecommunications and recruitment industry.
- Tell us about a usual working day?
My usual day consists of getting up around 6am and logging onto our company software to check for updates from the previous evening, I’m then straight into work for 7:30am. I usually get the tram in from Didsbury and this helps me carry on my work whilst travelling.
As soon as I arrive Into the office I prioritise my day depending on what happened the day before and what timescales we need to work towards. We use a management App and this shows me and the team what needs to be achieved that week. Usually my day consists of many emails and meetings with managements and affiliates that work with us. I usually leave around 7/8pm and manage to turn my laptop off around 10!
- What’s Compare Business Phones proudest achievement?
We’ve had a lot of proud moments over the past 18 months but I think the best achievements is getting agreements with the major national media companies such as The Daily Mail and Manchester Evening News. They will be taking a white label of our site and putting on their site for people to see. It’s a great feeling to think that I thought about this idea around my coffee table at home and now we’re working with some of the biggest media players in the UK!
I also think raising money for the business has been one of my proudest moments, it’s ok think to yourself ‘I have a great idea here’, yet when numerous people back the business with investment, it’s a great feeling
- How many employees work for Compare Business Phones?
We currently have six people working for the business. We will be looking to double this in 2015
- There have been a lot of news stories criticising the influx of mobile technology in the workplace contributing the ‘inescapable workload’ for employees. Do you think this is fair?
There is always an off button! Unfortunately this was always going to happen. We don’t just work a normal 9-5 anymore. Business in the UK is changing and we’re now the leading entrepreneurial country in Western Europe. This means there are now more competitors in each industry, which means businesses need to be more flexible on emails and calls if they want to win business.
It’s hard to say if this is fair or not. I don’t think many businesses force employees to answer emails/calls. I think sometimes businesses find it easier to work casually in the evenings because it means less stress in the morning.
- Are there phones out there that will have a noticeable improvement on a person’s productivity and performance at work?
I think phones are all the same, the only difference is maybe colour, memory and the platform they work on (IOS/Android Etc).
I think it’s more to do with what App’s can be used to improve performance/productivity. Internally we use many App’s that assist with our business and helping us keep in contact whilst on the move whilst other App’s enable our staff to keep an eye out on what’s been discussed in the weekly meetings.
Mobile devices are an essential part of business life, whether you’re a solicitor or a builder everyone wants a smartphone so they can receive emails, calls and use the internet on the move.
- In your experience, do entrepreneurs make good managers?
Not all the time. Everyone is different and someone who comes up with a great idea doesn’t always make the best manager. A good entrepreneur should realise this and look for experienced staff that can support them in areas where they lack.
- What are the common mistakes made by entrepreneurs?
There are so many! I think the biggest mistake I’ve seen is that entrepreneurs think they can do everything in the business. One of the major lessons I learnt was that if you have great staff around you they will help you achieve what you set out from the start.
- What makes you optimistic?
Life as an entrepreneur is like a rollercoaster. One day you will be having the best day you’ve had in years, then the next day everything changes and it’s terrible!!
If you aren’t optimistic and you go into meeting with clients or suppliers with this mindset, I think it’s quite easy for others to pick up on and it can look very negative. Also if you have numerous employees and everything is negative this is very bad for the business, and how are you meant to build up team morale if you aren’t optimistic?
As an entrepreneur it’s very important to keep positive and optimistic at all times.