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Edition 99 – Above & Beyond

In last week’s edition of Growth, I relayed to you the poor attitude of big business in response to my phone and internet woes.

This week, let me tell you about a great family business that I’m proud to be associated with and that helped us get back on our feet.

Red 21 is an IT consulting business lead by Dean Stather and Tim Canning that I’ve had a relationship with for two years.

When our business phone and internet troubles started six weeks ago, it was Dean that took charge, haggled with the ISP and came up with an alternate solution. It was Dean that got us back up and running at that time with some fancy IT footwork that involved us re-routing our second, home, internet service into our business service. If you remember from last week’s newsletter, that all went swimmingly until Telstra pulled the plug on the home ADSL service almost two weeks ago.

Whilst Telstra created the problem, Dean and Tim swung into action after it became obvious that Telstra’s overseas based call centre really knew nothing of what was going on – nor cared that much. These two family business owners got their heads together, came up with a Plan C internet solution, then proceeded to put one of their team, John, on the case of phoning around to find the solution. In order to ensure we could get back on the air, John phoned 40 Telstra stores, business centres and other providers in an attempt to ensure he could locate the exact stock of what we needed – a wireless modem and a Netgear cradle for it to dock into.

Two of the Telstra stores that John phoned were local to my area. I went to the first one and could only source the wireless modem and not the cradle. The second store was also cradle-less. Here was Telstra again doing what they do best – letting their customers down!  After much phoning around myself, I miraculously stumbled across a Telstra store out of area that had the stock. I hopped into the car, manage to grab what I needed and headed back home. All the time, Tim of Red 21 said to keep him in the loop.

At 6pm, I scrambled in the door and made contact with Tim, at which point he proceeded to spend the next three hours dialling in remotely, setting up the Plan C internet solution, reconfigure our network, printers, laptops and desktops. At 9pm, we pressed go and it all worked – brilliantly!

What I experienced, first hand, was a family business that just knuckled down and got on with the job of getting their clients back on the air, even though none of the issues were of their doing.

Here are the lessons from my experience with Red 21 that every family business should embrace:

  1. These guys care because they deal with you face to face.
  2. These guys care because the future of their business is built on what they do today.
  3. They understand that goodwill is not just an item in your financial statements – it is something you do every day.
  4. They know the frustration of what happens if something goes pear shaped with IT – because things happen to them as well.
  5. They have an agreement to provide a service to their clients which they honour, irrespective of why things have gone down.
  6. They take ownership not just of the issue, but of the whole concept of providing the service that their clients are paying for.
  7. They don’t shift blame and responsibility onto others – they could, it’s just that it is not part of their ethos.

This Week’s Tip

“Have you ever calculated the value to your business of adopting a “can-do” attitude in the face of adversity and problems created by others?”