Citrus Computing Case Study
When Breda Hadley and her business partner Keith Rose first launched their business Citrus Computing, back in 2011, they initially ran their business from Breda’s home. As it grew it took over additional rooms in the home and 14 months later they moved to larger premises where the garage had been converted into a fully functioning office.
Based in Kidderminster, the company offers its customers the whole range of IT services which include support, consultancy and installation through to networking, new servers, PC’s, laptops and software. They’re also a Sage Accredited Business Partner.
Citrus Computing is a thriving business, providing excellent work for their customers, and getting plenty of business coming in via word of mouth and recommendations. But, like a lot of businesses, they are busy putting their customers first and have not had time to do additional marketing to enable the business to reach its full potential. They also have a challenge on the horizon, in that one of the company partners is looking to retire late next year. This brings new challenges such as the business looking to recruit new members of staff to replace his skillset, and possibly moving to new premises.
Breda Hadley sums up what happened when she spoke to BizSmart Core Advisor Gill Hutchinson: “Our BizSmart advisor identified that we weren’t actively marketing ourselves properly and we needed advice from experienced business mentors. With the marketing, we weren’t talking about some of the unique things we do and we weren’t clear on exactly what we do – it looked like we were very Sage focused when in fact our biggest area of work is IT service and support. We’re unusual in that not many IT companies do Sage and networks.”
As a result of sitting down and looking at their marketing, Citrus Computing has implemented the following strategies to improve the way they market themselves:
- Changed their marketing literature and website to clearly identify the different services they offer to their customers and highlight their unique selling points
- Joined forces with two other trusted businesses – a telecoms company and a disaster recovery and online backup company – and are now mutually promoting each other
- Taken a more proactive approach on LinkedIn
- Looking at engaging a digital marketing company.
Breda explains the benefits of what they’ve already put in place, saying, “The change in approach to our marketing is having an impact already. We’ve changed the website and we’re now getting 3 or 4 new enquiries a fortnight when previously we didn’t get any enquiries through the website.”
“We also talk about some of the “unique” services we do for our customers such as our backup monitoring procedures. The reports we send – we notify customers if there are issues before they know they have one and we now publish our success rate on the website – something we weren’t doing before.” This averages at a 94% success rate each month.
Breda added, “Working with BizSmart as part of the Worcestershire Business Accelerator programme has made a big difference to us. We’ve learnt more about the process of doing business and I’ve been attending the Scale Up Club on a monthly basis. As well as mentoring I’m getting help from other business owners. We’re also now planning and preparing for my business partner’s retirement.”
The company is looking to grow, with the help of their new approach to marketing.
With Keith looking to retire, the plan is to replace him with one or two new staff members, potentially apprentices. Ideally, Citrus will look to employ an engineer and someone to work on the digital marketing side of the business.
A final word from Breda: “The support from BizSmart has been absolutely invaluable over the last 12 months – we will definitely continue working with them.”
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