In this interview we will be returning to our very first interviewee Mark Swann, Director of UK Business IT.
UK Business IT Ltd is a privately owned, independent, full business-to-business IT & Technology infrastructure company, operating from a central base in Stoke on Trent, serving Staffordshire and neighbouring counties.
Their Philosophy is simple – ‘we have invested in a great team each with many years of experience and knowledge in the IT market. The key to our success is based on the people we employ. Our team is well established, so you have continuity, and we are customer-focused so your needs take priority.’
We wanted to know what’s happened in UK Business IT’s world in the last year so take it away Mark;
So Mark, it’s been a while since we last interviewed you, what’s happened in the last year for UK Business IT?
‘Hi Kate – business has been going really well for us over the last twelve months and we appear to be bucking the trend. We’ve increased our staff levels and we’ve also taken on more office space to accommodate our growth. We’re on target to increase our turnover once again this year and more importantly, our customer retention level is over 99% – proving that we’re doing a good job looking after our clients IT systems.’
Do you still think Referral Networking provides an on-going strong presence for your marketing?
‘In our marketplace, referral marketing is a great way of getting introductions into businesses that need our help. IT is still a ‘black box’ industry and it’s often difficult for customers to know who to trust to give them the right advice. The personal introductions we get from referral marketing are a very effective way for us to be given the opportunity to discuss IT systems with potential clients.’
Is there anything happening in your business right now you’d like people to know about?
‘Cloud computing, Windows 8, Server 2012, Exchange 2013 etc. etc. – we work in a very fast-pace industry which is constantly changing and re-inventing itself.’
What would you say to a young starter in your sector who wants to build their career around IT?
‘Clearly young people need opportunities to prove that they’re worth keeping on and these opportunities are rare. The apprenticeship scheme though is a great way for employers to trial young people and I recommend this route. There are plenty of courses available to young people to help them get onto the ladder and it’s not necessarily having degree that counts (this depends on which area of IT you prefer). Some qualifications are necessary and I would suggest an A-Level in IT is a good base level – beyond that it’s down to the individual. Once you’ve been given an opportunity, six good tips for young people to keep hold of their jobs are as follows:
- Do what you say – if you’re going to do something put you name against it and make sure it gets done.
- Turn up on time – wear clean clothes – look like you’re ready for work and show that the work is important to you. Also look after your personal hygiene – it all counts.
- Learn fast – other people you will work with don’t have much time to show you the job (they’ve usually got a full-time job anyway) so listen carefully and take loads of notes you can refer back to. Once someone has shown you a task once they will expect you to be able to try it yourself so pay attention.
- Give it more than 100%. People who succeed (i.e. keep their jobs) don’t just do the bare minimum – they also think ahead so become one of these people.
- Once you’ve got your foot in the door – keeping your job is more about attitude than the 14 A* GCSE’s you’ve got.
- Don’t arse-lick – you’ll regret it when you get older’
How do you think your company differs to your competitors?
‘We’re very honest, we do what we say and we don’t rip customers off (not all competitors are like this by the way). We also have a very high level of technical competence that isn’t available elsewhere although customers are given a different picture of course.’
Where do you see your company going in the next 2-3 years?
‘Onward and upward. We’re growing because we look after our customers and we intend to keep on doing the same and growing steadily rather than quickly. I would like to say a great Thank you to our customers who continue to trade with us and continue to be our friends.’
Three rules to success?
- Use technology to gain competitive advantage.
- Business is all about attitude.
- Make a plan and have the self-belief to stick to it.
Personally I’d like to add that Mark has always come across as knowledgeable, dedicated and trustworthy and we would highly recommend you use his services @UKBusinessIT
This post was written by Kate Hazeldine, the Sales Director at Yellow Circle Web Solutions Limited. Kate has over 15 years experience in Sales and marketing. If you would like to speak to Kate about how she can help your website generate more business email her.