A transparent and honest article from Adrian Standerwick, Managing Director, on reflection and the future of Active CCTV.
I’ve taken a long look in the mirror to see if I like the reflection of my business. Is my vision the same, are we getting it right, do my employees get it, want it and more importantly are we attracting new business to our doorstep.
These last few months I have taken the time to think hard about the future of my business, asking myself “How can we improve our company profile, I really believe in our product and service, but how can we offer our clients more, how do we expose ourselves to more clients, and what do we need to do to make sure that not only do we survive this current pandemic and resulting recession but we see continued growth.
Downtime in business
I decided I could use this time positively and modernise how we look. I will be honest here and say I haven’t paid much attention to our brand and image over the years. Like every company owner, my head was buried deep in running the business and addressing customers needs; this was my priority.
If I’m really honest, it was probably because the task was too daunting, where do I start, with what, how….forget it….telephone rings….hello sir how can I help!
Marketing development is one of those things I was trying to get to, but it was something I just thought was a bit fluffy and not as important as new products or getting our invoices paid.
During the lockdown I was able to clear my in-tray and find a new lust for the development of Active CCTV, I have been able to focus on this one element of my business, and it feels good to concentrate, and with no distractions, or reasons to drop it and head for something else more pressing.
I started the development process, and not with the logo where I thought I’d be starting, but with a discussion about direction, how I see the business developing and my vision. I mean what has all this to do with messing around with a logo right? Err wrong
I didn’t know at the time, but I needed someone to challenge my thoughts. Anyone who knows me will know, I move fast, I’ve got great energy, I love people, speak quickly, want to get the job done and keep my customers happy.
I needed someone not to get caught up in my fast approach to life. I needed challenging on my thoughts and ideas about marketing and help me with the path to complete my business vision.…you know the saying “do the same get the same”, I didn’t want this, and this is what I knew I’d get if I did it on my own.
Battling with my ego!
I know everything about my company, why would I listen to some outsider telling me how to run my business? yet that was something I was going to have to do if positive changes were going to be made
“No pain no gain”, someone said about exercise, they didn’t use when talking about Strategic marketing but they should have.
My education about marketing, positioning, how branding works, target audience development, internal communications the lot, came together over several vision meetings that I had with Shelly Barratt from Coya Marketing & PR.
We hit it off as soon as we met, she got me and wasn’t offended by my 70’s man style jokes (I think she actually liked them, my son doesn’t seem to think so… anyhow I digress back to the story).
Together we have planned the whole shooting match. I must say it’s not been easy. I’m challenged on my thinking every time we meet. Being challenged, when you’re the boss, and you know your business inside out made me feel uncomfortable that I didn’t have the answer’s.
I’m the “breadwinner”, I hustle, battle and have survived, supported my family, still do, but to be ‘told’ how to do things by some ‘marketing person’ was difficult for me to swallow.
Shelly takes no prisoners in her approach, (probably because she didn’t need me as a client, and so had no filter telling me her thoughts) I felt out of my comfort zone at every meeting. I’m uncomfortable writing this, I mean I’m the boss of a big company, trading 20 years, I should know everything and who exactly is she to tell me how to do something? she doesn’t know, she’s not been in my shoes in this business.
I was soon to realise that this type of attitude comes to you when you’re out of your comfort zone, it’s a defence mechanism; it makes you feel better about your inadequacies. Shelly didn’t seem put off by it though, luckily for me; I came to realise quickly, at the end of every uncomfortable challenge we came out with some extraordinary plans. Plans, that yes I wanted, I directed, but maybe now, looking back I didn’t have the road map clear in my head to get there.
Now I do. I have the structure, I took on that uncomfortable process of learning, and I’m so pleased with the outcome.
The marketing process like the new logo, website and flyers, adverts, videos, graphics that everyone sees is the easy part. The best part was the planning, the research, the development, the discussions around my thoughts…. I found the whole process so insightful and fascinating, and I wished I’d told my younger self to do it many years ago.
While I am not sure of all the answers, I do have a picture in my head of the future of the business, what it looks like, the feeling it gives people and how we relate to both new and existing clients.
I am doing all I can to make sure that we are fully prepared, to give every client the best service, product, technical spec, knowledge and aftersales care, to deal with honesty, integrity and provide a service unrivalled by any of our competitors and to make sure we will be the go-to company that people will want to be associated with. We are now not only “Fit for the Future” but ready to take Active CCTV to a new level and would love for you to be part of that.