Simon Vella, 31, is the managing director of VCommunications. He is a cheery character that appears dedicated and is looking forward to holding on to his customers. Although he is running his own business, he does not foresee world domination or owning a Ferrari anywhere in his near future.
VCommunications is based in Warrington and sells mobile, landline, VoIP and data solutions to businesses. It began in January of this year. However, Vella has been in the industry for a lot longer than that.
He began his career in Logitek Distribution, a £100million IT distributor, then moved to Sony UK Ltd, working within Sony ‘s distribution business as ܘSenior ASM ‘. Vella then moved to 4U Business in Warrington.
Vella says: I was working as a regional sales manager looking after the Telesales department within 4U Business. It was a frantic year and I saw change on a daily basis. The role included all aspects from hiring and firing to training and motivating a team of six sales managers and 35 telesales staff.
Vella was made ܘregional sales manager of the quarter ‘ three times in a row. This experience certainly helped to guide him to his current position. I saw the potential in the B2B marketplace that was not being utilised due to internal politics, says Vella.
VCommunications is a company born from what he thought was 4U Business ‘s biggest failing which he lists as its ܘprogressive nature ‘ and the eagerness to sign up volumes of businesses. Vella ‘s company places emphasis on keeping customers on its books and keeping customers happy with the services that it provides.
Vella says: After the demise of 4U there were lots of people who went out to sell business telecommunications. I know some of those people and I wish them all the best. However, I wanted to get away from the 4U Business concept.
The problem with 4U seemed to be that its progressive nature actually worked against it. A lot of the customers who signed would cancel afterwards.
I would much rather sign half the amount of customers, but keep them all. We put the time and effort in with each of our customers, Vella says. The networks are slowly waking up to the idea that they need to keep customers, as currently they seem to be throwing customers between themselves.
VCommunications is a B2B telecommunications supplier that uses telesales and field sales techniques to approach SME and corporate businesses. What started with just two employees earlier this year now has 16 employees and is expected to turnover £1 million in its first year.
Vella says: The ethos of the company is to provide business customers with better quality and we want to retain our customers rather than to knock on people ‘s doors and be in and out. We offer better prices on handsets and calls as well as landline and VoIP services.
VComms book reviews with its customers when each deal is signed. This assures customers that it will return in a few months to check that everything is functioning as it should, review what they are spending and how their employees are using the services.
What we do is pay a bit more attention to our customers so they feel valued. It is the silly little things that make the difference to our customers, like the fact that every new customer gets a welcome letter when they join up, says Vella.
What was evident in the interview is that Vella is a modest character that wants to reward his staff and is extremely proud of what they are trying to achieve.
Focus on infrastructure
Vella says: I have put an awful lot of money in building the infrastructure of this company into the IT and telephone systems as well as making the processes smooth when dealing with our customers. All the staff are very well trained and continue to receive training. That is what our emphasis is on. We have made sure that we have all the tools for the job so things can be done seamlessly.
Vella ensures high staff morale by setting the wages above the average standard and by maintaining a good commission structure.
He says: I have only ever had to sack one member of staff here and it was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. It ‘s because of the bloody politics in this country he couldn ‘t get any help if he was employed. He was homeless and he was kicked out of his home and spent the weekend on a park bench. I rang round homeless shelters and nobody would help him if he was employed, I have told him that when he gets straight he can come back.
The saturation of the telecoms market is not a desperate concern for Vella. He believes that the industry cannot carry on as it is going.
He says: This time next year I can see half of dealers being out of business. The way I see it is that we need to keep customers and in a couple of years, when we have lots of customers, why do we need to generate anymore? Companies like BT are too busy changing their business rather than utilising it.
Looking towards the future, Vella assured us that him becoming a multimillionaire was not his priority, but organic growth for the business was.
Vella says: Don ‘t get me wrong, I would love to own a Ferrari, but all I want is to double what we have in the bank so that we have nothing left outstanding and then to reap the rewards later. We will expand our telesales and field sales and we are looking into providing our own billing platform that will include all our services on one bill.
The business building Vella has committed himself to hasn ‘t gone without its sacrifices, however and growth isn ‘t the only thing Vella ‘s hoping for: I haven ‘t had much free time at all this year. I ‘m looking forward to having more in the future.