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The Trials and Tribulations of Company Formation

In yesterday’s post, Laura Andrews – who has recently formed her own company – explained the frustration she felt at the way in which larger companies treat start ups. In today’s post, she explains how this has extended to her suppliers and marketing agency.
Working in the retail sector for a number of years, I am well aware that customer service in this country is a lost art. However, I was completely shocked at the poor level of service and client care given to start up companies in the business to business sector.
Okay, so as a start up budgets are tight and the amount we order may be lower than what some of these larger organisations are use to, but is that really an excuse to ignore your client and in some cases, regard the business they are giving you with contempt? I think not. Are these organisations really so short-sighted that they can’t see that in a couple of years, when we are more established, we may be making large orders and driving a lot of business their way? Well, I will certainly be remembering the good and bad service we have received this week as our company grows!
There are a number of incidents this week that have caused the above rant; namely our marketing agencies lack of client care and our printer’s inability to deliver anything to a deadline.
On some level the blame lies with me. Before forming my own company, I thought that everyone had a similar work ethic as me; do what you say you are going to do, when you say you are going to do it. However,  I am afraid that is not the case. When you are starting your own company you really need to keep on top your suppliers at all times, check and re-check deadlines and ask for progress on a weekly basis.
Moving forward, I have decided to risk being thought of as a nuisance, to get what I want. The best suppliers will understand as they will be professional enough to identify a potentially long-term customer.
Anyway, apart from all this, we did have some good news this week. Since forming the company, I have learnt a number of key lessons, one of which is that when you are so close to a project, it is difficult to focus on the long-term Therefore, I decide to approach a colleague I have known for some years who has considerable experience in the sector to become a non-executive director of the company. Hopefully, she will provide strategic insight and provide us with contacts that will help grow the company. This should all be signed today, so more about our non-executive director and the role I hope she will play in our company later!
Laura

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