Summary of Business:Set-up in 2004, supportIT provide fully managed support and consultancy services to over 180 businesses and 2500 users nationwide.
Dedication, knowledge and trust are the main reasons why businesses choose supportIT as their IT solutions and support partner. We are a relationship driven organisation and work closely with every one of our clients to support and protect their infrastructure while providing solutions that are aligned with business and IT requirements.
What led you to starting your business?It was post-C2K and we saw the growth in IT. It was a good time to start an IT company.
How did you raise the funds you need for your business?We were lucky, because we were purely a service/resources business, we didn't need to raise funds. We started with just a few clients and ran the business from our house for a couple of year.
What is the most significant lesson you have learnt in running your business?When we moved away from our core business. In technology a lot of similar products are based on the same protocols. On the face if it, this looks like an easy add-on to your product portfolio – which is fine until something goes wrong.We found ourselves suddenly out of our depth in a product we were not completely familiar with. It cost us an incredible amount of time and money to rectify and we lost face with the customer. The lesson learnt was to stick to what you know while, essentially, keeping abreast with developments in your own sphere of knowledge.
What has been the proudest moment in your business so far?It has taken us a few years to hone our processes, get the right staff and put the proper supporting systems in place so there is a great sense of achievement in coming out of recession with a well-developed business. We have a good team now and are winning clients from the bigger players in the market. The size and scale of our clients has also grown. Where, traditionally, we would service small user numbers, we have more recently gained contracts with clients who have upwards of 200 users. Diversifying our client-base is satisfying too and we now work with a number of clients in the aviation space.
What have been the biggest challenges in your business to date?One of our biggest challenges is staffing. The big multinationals are attracting all the good IT people and it is very difficult to compete with that, particularly in a market where clients want good value for money. Our business requires us to have a comprehensive knowledge of a huge range of technologies and predicting trends is also a challenge for us; we get caught between giving clients the right solution that is future-proof and cost effective, and meeting the requirements of new trends in terms of training and resources.
What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?The best advise we got was to put 35 per cent of everything we earned aside. It’s good advice. It covers you for VAT and Revenue and gives you a little extra on top of that. As a small business, it means you are not dipping into your cashflow. Also to go with your gut – if something feels wrong, nine times out of 10 it is wrong.
What’s the best business book you’ve ever read?Sorry, neither of us have ever read a business book.
Who is the entrepreneur you admire the most?We have a very good network of clients, distributors and suppliers who are serious operators. If I need advice, I can pick up the phone to a network of people who are willing to help others. They’re in the thick of business, are tuned-in and willing to offer advice – these are the people I admire most.
What’s your website?http://www.supportit.ie/
What Social Networking sites does your business use?
How has the SFA helped you in your business?I see the SFA as an integral part of our business, especially on the HR side. When you run your own business you suddenly have to be experts in all these area's and you are relying on your gut, it can be nerve racking. With the HR issues I consult the SFA first, it gives me confidence in the decisions I am making.
Contact details:Tara Doyle
Address: 10 Manor Street Business Park, Manor Street, Dublin 7