This is a really interesting time for Moneypenny. In the past 16 years the company has gone from a penniless startup to the telephone answering provider of choice for thousands of businesses across the UK, and now the US too. The business is certainly “healthy” to say the least. The idea behind Moneypenny was born from a massive cockup by another telephone answering company. I ran a graphic design agency, and whilst I was on holiday, a large client called to place an order. To my abject dismay, they couldn’t effectively do the one thing I’d hired them to do. It was terrible. I lost a client. But I gained the seed of a business opportunity. At the time, the market was presenting itself chiefly as call centres – with all the technology and impersonal service that comes with it. But business owners are passionate about their companies, they don’t want to entrust their calls to someone they don’t know or feel they can’t influence. We felt they needed someone they’d know and trust, an individual who they’d briefed personally on their business. Along with my sister, Rachel Clacher, we only knew how to be a client (which to this day is the most valuable knowledge of all). We knew little of the technology or business requirements. But we learnt, quickly. A decade and a half later and we’ve smashed every goal we had for Moneypenny. We’re the biggest in the UK and will soon be the biggest in the US too. We’re profitable, innovative and adventurous. We know we break a few eggs as we go along, but that’s part of the fun of the journey. And we’re passionate about our staff and company culture. We know that if we’ve a happy team, then our clients are happy. And we know that every penny we invest in our workplace, culture and environment pays dividends many times over The next couple of years? Our presence in the US will outgrow the UK. We’ll continue to be ranked around the top of the Best Companies To Work For in the UK. We’ll employee 1,000 staff in the UK, acquire a number of complementary businesses and we’ll release a range of new products to support flexible working. No doubt we’ll make a few mistakes along the way, but we’ll keep learning from them. But Moneypenny will be stronger as a result.
This article is part of a wider campaign called Founders Diaries, a section of Real Business that brings together 20 inspiring business builders to share their stories. Bringing together companies from a wide variety of sectors and geographies, each columnist produces a diary entry each month. Visit the Founders Diaries section to find out more.
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