Having just won two awards at Target’s ShopTalk IT Reseller Awards, Diamond Media’s MD Paul Bailey tells Laura Barnes about its ‘PC World-beating’ workshop and reinvention.
Tell us how the company started...
My wife and I both previously worked for various computer companies – after a while we decided we could do it ourselves so we opened Diamond Media in 2000.
Why did you call yourselves Diamond Media?
At the time, blank CDs and DVDs was a massive market. I had worked in repairs since 1993 so we decided to do something different and open a consumable shop. For the first three months we didn’t do any repairs, but we had competition from a store nearby selling the same stuff. This cornered us, so we started doing repairs because we couldn’t keep doing just consumables.
You won two awards at Target’s ShopTalk IT Reseller Awards – tell us about those...
One award was for business innovation. At our previous premises the workbenches would only let us work on four or five machines at any time. That would create bottlenecks – we would end up with 40 machines but we could only repair a handful at a time. The new premises has a workshop with the capacity of 36 stations, which has never been done – even PC World doesn’t have that kind of capacity.
One of the keys to our success is that we reinvent ourselves every year. We think of something new and look at a niche to get into – that’s why we won the business innovation award.
You also won an award for Best Shop Window. We’ve heard that some vendors are cutting back on providing point of sale material. Have you noticed this?
There’s very little point of sale equipment in our store.
The reason we won Best Shop Window was because we do it on our own back. The benefit is that I can change the window when I want. To hire a sign writer is expensive, and we get nothing from vendors. Doing it myself, I can change the window within a couple of hours and be in complete control of what I put up.
How important is going to something like Target’s Open Day to you?
When you go to an event like that you can see the products in real life, pick them up and feel the quality rather than looking at images and specs and deciding if it’s worth stocking.
A lot of stock we have now we didn’t have before, but after getting the option to play with it, we changed our minds.
Your online presence is still in development – do you rely more on word-of-mouth recommendations?
We rely heavily on recommendations. Because we’ve been around for 14 years, a lot of people know us now. We’ve seen a lot of companies come and go but we’re still here, so we must be doing something right.
We’re not the cheapest but we’re nowhere near the most expensive either – I’d rather not sell you something that I know you don’t need – and if you give people honest and professional advice, they’ll come back.
What does Diamond Media have planned over the next year?
With the Xbox One and PS4 coming out we’re going be looking at stocking accessories as well as doing repairs. They are bound to go wrong. Every games console that’s ever been invented – with the exception of Nintendo – seems to go wrong.
We’re also going to be looking at promoting our business more by getting more online testimonials and reviews.
Year established: 2000
Number of staff: 4
Address: Diamond Media PC Centre 61 Grimsby Road Cleethorpes N.E. Lincs
DN35 7AF Telephone: 01472 35 44 44