Camden-based IT Consultant Onlico found itself in an unusual situation during the worst phase of the hi-tech industry’s economic downswing – the company was growing so fast it was struggling to meet the demands of its growing client base.
IT contractor David Brooks-Wilkins founded Onlico as a one-stop shop providing support for every aspect of IT for small businesses, from Internet access to support when a PC goes wrong, installing networks, advice and consultative reviews of equipment.
Growing too fast
As a specialist IT troubleshooter the company grew quickly and soon David found himself with insufficient staff, making it increasingly difficult to service the client base to their usual high standards. David turned to small business advisory service for help. Pre-start and Start Up services are co-funded by the European Social Fund and London Development Agency.
Explaining Onlico’s success, David said: “We found ourselves in a useful niche simply because we would deal with absolutely everything IT-related. Generally, IT support companies are more specialised – some would not tackle Internet issues, for example, or basic printer problems.”
It was recommended that Onlico undergo a Micro Business Review with David’s local enterprise agency, Centa. The Review is a tailored session for small businesses with less than five employees, providing advice and guidance on strategic business issues.
As a result, Onlico is in an excellent position to meet customer requirements at every level. Financially, the company is going from strength to strength and is confident of meeting its goal of £1 million in revenues in the next two years.
Focused planning helped increase turnover
“The advice I received has really pushed us forward, our turnover going from £90,000 in our first year to £250,000 in our second. I’ve got a plan of what I’m going to do and how I’m going to do it, and we’re going from strength to strength,” said David.
The business diagnostic undertaken advised David to compare growth forecasts with customer service records to work out how each new contract won would impact on workload. David said his advisers demonstrated a real understanding of Onlico’s situation and were able to give real life examples of people and companies in similar situations.
As a result, David is successfully managing growth using a clear plan that charts increases in revenue, pinpointing exact times when he should be looking to recruit staff. He has learned to set markers and triggers and, when he hits them, he knows precisely what action to take at that given moment.