JOHN HYNES, WHO RUNS COPY PRINT SERVICES, TOOK A BRIEF BREAK FROM RUNNING HIS THRIVING NORTH WEST BUSINESS TO TALK TO HIS & HERS ABOUT HOW HE GOT STARTED AND WHAT A ‘TYPICAL’ WORK DAY INVOLVES FOR HIM.
When did you first realise you wanted to run your own company?
In 1999; my boss at the time was looking to sell his business and it was then that the idea of starting my own business first developed.
Could you tell us a little about your first business?
Myself and a friend started our business from a rented 500 square foot industrial unit with no windows, two desks and a couple of phones. We were selling photocopiers and the aftercare/ maintenance into businesses around North Manchester.
What does a ‘typical day’ involve?
I have a “default” diary that I try and stick to; first thing I will check in with my team and sort any immediate issues, then I’ll spend the morning calling customers and doing customer visits and chasing any prospects. Between 11.30 and 1.30 I’ll sort anything else that has come up (my business surgery)
After lunch, I work on business (planning and process work and marketing). Then last of the day is my “day job,” supplier meetings/bank purchase invoice sign-offs etc.
How did you get into this field?
I fell into it when I started on a YTS for a local stationery/office machinery repair company. At that time I was mainly repairing typewriters on customers’ sites around Lancashire.
Please tell us about a career highlight:
We are about to celebrate 12 years in business and now have just over 1000 live contracts (machines we look after on a managed service contract.)
What are the best things about your job?
Meeting with new people and helping them to improve the way they produce their documents. We cover a wide variety of business sectors and visiting their offices and seeing how they work is interesting.
I like to see how the document process we promote can improve and save the customer time and money
What are the biggest challenges of your role:
keeping focused on the job in front of me and not getting distracted by “the noise of the office”. I am now able to delegate responsibility to my team quite well, but it was hard at first to let go.
If our readers would like to forge a career in your field, what skills/qualities should they seek to develop?
The ability to listen to the customer and think like a business owner. Ask yourself: “ how will this improve their business?”
What’s your best piece of career advice?
Do something every day that you will benefit from constantly going forward (such as improving systems / recurring revenue etc.)
This is where my default diary comes in (where I work on process and marketing each day).
Is there any advice you wish you’d been given at school that you’d share with your younger self?
Don’t be so uptight, let go and enjoy it more.
What are your plans for the year ahead?
I own a small piece of land (it’s a brownfield site ) and I’m putting the plans together to build some small business units.
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