Chris Petty and Michelle McCardle

Member Article

Chris Petty, Cornerstone Business Solutions

Name: Chris Petty

Position: Managing Director

Organisation: Cornerstone Business Solutions Ltd

Synopsis of your area of expertise: Cornerstone is a multi award-winning, leading provider of business solutions based in the North East of England. We partner with global technology brands such as IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Cisco, Mitel, and BT to provide our clients with cutting edge business and mobile communications that are reliable, robust and supported by people who are experts in the design, implementation and maintenance of business critical systems

What key challenges has your company recently faced?

We’ve been fortunate and have worked hard to ensure growth during the past two years, which I’m happy to say, is still ongoing. Our biggest challenge has been getting the right staff for our expanding team – finding the right people for your company at the same time as enjoying such sustained growth is not easy. In particular we find it hard to recruit good, experiences sales people.

What is your biggest achievement over the past 12 months?

Our biggest achievement has been the rate of growth; we’ve had successive expansion over the last two years increasing our turnover by 70pc and feel all our hard work is paying off. We’ve launched an e-commerce website www.cheap-accounting-software.co.uk, which is doing well, we are learning about and launching new technologies, which is very exciting, and we now give advice to companies through the media with our own column. Things in general are very good.

What is your biggest focus for the coming year?

Our focus for this year is to expand our client base nationally, growing into other regions. Having just recruited a new Sales Account Manager we are taking Cornerstone’s offering beyond the North East region and look to build on that this year with new added premises.

If you had to choose one top piece of advice for someone just starting out in business, or is currently operating within your industry sector, what would it be?

I got some advice years ago which I have since found to be one of the best bits of advice I have been given - get a good accountant. I was told to make sure I have someone who can give you the exact figures you require to make correct decisions. Also, stay on top of your credit control – that is crucial in business.

I would also say from experience, know exactly what you’re getting into and go for it - don’t do it half-heartedly, remain focused, be prepared to work hard and keep to your business plan.

Can you share with us your view of the current landscape of business, in this region or generally and where your organisation sits within it?

There’s is a lot of business to be had and we have an excellent looking prospect list. Things are difficult for businesses out there but if you focus on the media too much it can make you think things are worse that they are sometimes.

Not only that if your customer service levels are spot on and you are delivering a valuable service there’s always business to be had regardless.

Obviously a difficulty with the climate is we have had a few businesses go bust on us last year, which resulted in us writing off some bad debts. However, we’ve adjusted our processes now and keep a keen eye on credit control – that was just another learning curve.

We are very optimistic and we are finding other businesses the same.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Chris Petty .

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