Becoming the Hub of the IT club

Chris Martin

Ball on top of stairs. Cycling to work this morning for this first time since last month’s accident, I was wondering what I’d write about this morning.  As it happened I was cycling through Dundee Centre past the main offices in town.

I remembered that most of the big business had been customers of the IT Company I used to run.  In four years we went from nothing to the company that everybody called for IT help, that’s small companies with no internal IT and larger companies with internal IT.

I smiled to myself when I remembered that the way we poked our way into the bigger companies and their much more profitable projects.

I had an Excel Spreadsheet which I used to email around town.  It was called our ‘Excess & Obselete Stock Sheet’ and I guess it worked like this:

  1. Everybody wanted to read it because it appeared to be full of ‘deals’ from our stores.
  2. It had obscure parts we’d removed from projects (with the owner’s permission) and we’d often clean these up and sell them.  Plus it had overspill and just stuff we bought so we had it available for instant use.
  3. We’d load it up with complicated bits of IT equipment and I guess this helped position us as serious IT guys, guys with SCSI disks, 10m STP patch leads, Rackmout Server Chasis, etc, etc.  As far away from the local PC Stores as you could wish.
  4. We’d occasionally load it up with PCs we hadn’t bought yet but could get the next day.  These ‘flew off the shelves’.

In any event, we became the ‘hub of the club’ – All the IT guys wanted to read this thing:

  • We kept our stores small and lean
  • People waited for this monthly sheet and read it and it helped position our company above our competitors.  It became viral, people would send it on to their mates – who’d subscribe
  • We made lots of sales and gained lots of new customers
  • And MOST importantly, we became a respected and desired monthly contact….which often turned into profitable IT projects.