ProjectFive managing director Steve Coburn talks about the company’s ethos as a reseller..
Tell us how Projectfive got started
We actually started out by doing the forensic data recovery for the Enron Investigation, but we couldn’t tell anyone that’s what we were doing. At that time, we noticed that our accountant and our solicitor were struggling to relate to their IT Provider. So, we stepped in to help them understand, and soon found ourselves in a position where we were helping them more than their IT Providers were. So we decided to become one ourselves.
What type of work culture does Projectfive foster and what awards have you won?
Our core values are to help people, make friends and stand out. In a crowded market place, it’s easy for us to stand out, because it’s ingrained in all of us. It runs through our entire culture. When designing our processes, we don’t ask ourselves “is this going to be efficient?” We ask ourselves “is this going to make someone remember us, and help us stand out?” Our efforts are driven towards helping the local business community and the local environment.
From events such as organising #WinterPimms, a networking event for 150 businesses to raise funds for Surrey Wildlife Trust, to organising the local car show which draws 60,000 people. We also hold seminars to help businesses understand the latest technology trends. This gives us a very visible profile and means that most businesses in the area already know who we are. We let our customers come to us when they need us. We have won awards, such as the CRN SME Reseller of the Year and the IoD SME Director of the Year for London and the South East.
Have you felt much of an impact from Brexit?
We have definitely experienced a slow down in the market since the EU Referendum vote. Customers are putting projects on hold, and not wanting to spend money upgrading. This is not because of the increase in costs of the software and hardware – they are making their decision before even seeing the pricing. This is due to the uncertainty around how well the economy will be performing next year. We recognise that the business world is one of many different priorities in the political world, and that for Brexit there are a lot of different factors that would affect someone’s decision to leave or remain, but business has definitely suffered since the vote.
As a reseller that caters to the SMB/SME market, what can you tell us about this specific market?
The key to our success lies within our culture and our core values. We’ve already spoken about standing out in the market, but helping people and making friends are what appeals most to our customers. Simon Sinek famously said that “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”. We just love the feeling we get when we have helped a friend by solving an IT problem for them. Helping people and making friends is something that our customers can relate to. We’re not here to sell lots of stuff or play with cool tech. Our customers quickly become our friends and friends are always there to help each other.