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Start-up Story: Prevos Solutions

Prevos Solutions is an IT Services provider to organisations in Counties Galway, Clare, and Limerick. Our service offerings are: IT Sales, which covers hardware and software; Networks, which includes installing networks or modifying/maintaining existing ones; Cloud Services, which covers Microsoft Office 365, and cloud data backup services; Telecommunications, which covers traditional phone systems, as well as VoIP systems, and Email/Domain Services, where we create and/or host email accounts, and/or websites. Most of our revenues, as well as our preferred revenue stream, derive from Contract Clients, who pay a monthly retainer to manage their IT infrastructure which covers remote and onsite support. Our target customer is a thriving business in Galway, Clare or Limerick, with between 4 to 50 computers. Our largest client is a car dealer with over 50 employees. In addition to the defined monthly income from these clients, we also gain additional revenues by upgrading their IT infrastructure, as well as through various projects which enhance their IT overall. We also derive revenues from Non-Contract Clients, through defined IT projects, as well as pay as you go support.

Our Start

My business partner, Stuart Howard and I, Kevin Newell started the company in 2011. Stuart has a strong IT background and his primary role is service delivery and IT advisory. My primary role is sales, marketing, operations, and business development. Our client base to date arose from cold calling, asking friends and contacts for business, and attending networking events. In the 2nd half of 2013 we started a more systematic approach to marketing by: identifying a business demographic which we wanted to target; creating customised marketing materials to that demographic; creating case studies which validated in a business context how we have helped our clients to leverage IT to save time and money; and finally identified all leads in this demographic. Through a post, email and phone campaign, we have realised a 3% success rate with this method to date. We have found this approach far more productive than cold calling.

We have found that most businesses view IT as an expensive burden, so our approach is to be pleasant, professional and clear in all client interactions. We also endeavour to provide the most cost-effective solution so that they ultimately view IT as integral to their success, and us as a trusted advisor in managing and developing their IT strategy.

We regularly update our website and create regular blogs of content relevant to our target audience, which informs our reasonably successful social media campaign.

100% self financing

Up to 2014, the business has been 100% self financing, and our only long term debt since then is the purchase of a company van. In 2013, we invested in a management course through the IMI/ManagementWorks, which has helped us immensely and has paid for itself several fold. We also received excellent business mentoring through the SCCUL Mentors project. We are actively building a viable business, and have implemented policies and procedures which are the foundation on which the business will grow without needing our day to day input. While we may not sell the business eventually, we are building it so that it will make for an attractive acquisition.

We have a careful and long term approach to HR, in terms of recruiting, training and development. We plan to hire from within as much as possible, and this extends to managerial positions.

Written by Kevin Newell. For more information visit http://www.prevossolutions.com/.

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