50 Years In Business
And Why We’re Still Here
Back in the day, one of our slogans was ‘If You Can Draw It – We Can Make It’. We took pride in being able to bring customer’s visions to life – and we still do. But in making such bold claims, we learnt that brought with it a lot of responsibility. And one of those is never to promise what you can’t deliver! A general adage in business is that it’s far better to make smaller commitments and then over-deliver, than the other way round. Fortunately, we believe we’ve always managed to live up to our own promises, and now we’re celebrating 50 years in business – something we’re very proud of.
And so, from that thought, was the catalyst for this month’s blog, which forms some of our top tips on doing good business. From a company that’s weathered changes in governments and financial climates, just what do we think is the secret to success?
Be Flexible In Business
One major factor is flexibility – in many different ways. Being prepared to work late and start early to accommodate client’s needs. Thinking flexibly about the challenges that face us and how to solve them. Being flexible in our negotiations – both selling and purchasing. And with our staff too. It’s very easy for companies to forget that the people we rely on have lives and problems of their own – if we are all flexible and help each other out, nobody’s crisis becomes all-consuming.
Stay In Touch With The Workforce
Another area is to keep your feet on the ground. Management can choose to be distanced from the shop floor, or to engage and have a real understanding of what is happening. Too often in a hierarchy there are expectations imposed, based upon out-of-date information. For example, the management could expect a certain amount of product to be produced within a certain time, but many not be aware there are faults with the machinery. Or there may be gaps in staff training in order to produce the required volumes. Or there may be problems with bullying, or lack of communication between staff.
It’s vital to know what is happening (for better or worse) within your walls, in order to have nip problems in the bud, or take full advantage of the positives. Often, great ideas and suggestions come from the people at the coal face, so it’s always worth spending time harvesting the possibilities – and it garners more respect on both sides too.
Get To Know Your Clients
We genuinely like the people we work for, and as so many of them come back to us when their requirements change, we like to think it’s mutual.
This comes around by spending time with them, both in and out of work. Much of our work is done in a traditional manner, and other times it happens in the bar – maybe at a trade show. Engaging with people as human beings rather than potential sales targets, is a much more preferable way to work.
Stay Abreast Of Changes In Technology
We know our industry, and we’re keen to stay on top of developments. This helps us remain competitive, and allows us to be creative in our ideas for clients. A year ago, something may not have been possible. Tomorrow, it may be. And we like be some of the first to know!
Following in the tradition of the 10 o’clock news, let’s finish on a light note and recap some of the odd requests and the dreamers that we’ve met and spoken to on a daily basis over our 50 years.
From the saw mill owner who simply would not accept that a gravity conveyor would work uphill, to the chap who had an idea for a fork truck battery handling conveyor, which led to a multi-million pound business – I’m sure we’ve spoken to them all.
But however out of left field the request, we’ve always done our best to find a solution and, if we are honest, we’re probably at our happiest with some of the odd answers we find. And that’s another reason we think we’re still in business. Here’s to the next 50!