Another early morning start and more standing and waiting for a cab to pitch up. At least I was not alone. One other traveller had joined me and recognising that strength comes through numbers we decided to share a cab to our different destinations which were conveniently in the same direction. After pleasantries we started talking about what we both did as a living and why had we ended up travelling in the same cab , going in the same direction.
My co-traveller had taken the train down from London and was on her way to her new house in a picturesque village in Kent. She was at the start of a new adventure in her life for two reasons. Firstly, a new home which was very exciting, but she was also in the midst of a new business venture. In a previous life she had been employed as a secretary to a large private medical practice in the West End of London. Now, she was offering the same services remotely using the internet and app technology, not to just one practice but to a range of medical practices mainly in London. The win for her is that she can offer great secretarial and operational support from her new home at a very competitive price. The win for the doctors’ surgeries was improved efficiency and profitability whilst at the same time still offering a fantastic service to their patients.
It occurred to me how new technology is enabling young entrepreneurs to take bold steps and create new businesses whilst disrupting the old and familiar ways of doing things. In fact this lady’s business has become so successful that she has decided that she needs additional support and help and will therefore be employing someone locally. What she has created is a business model being used in a range of new businesses that is cheap and efficient to run, using modern technology, providing a service that clients clearly want and at the same time creating employment and wealth in the local area. Sometimes it is easy to get mixed up with the “big picture” as we see markets tumble around, whilst forgetting that the future prosperity of the UK lies with the wit and entrepreneurial spirit of individuals like my co-traveller. She is someone who has come up with a clever and attractive idea and married this to an ambition and desire to make it work. It should also be the case that this will be a “sticky” business model. If her firm provides a good service, and there is no reason to doubt this, then the likelihood and risk of her clients looking elsewhere will be very low. She can build her client base as client retention and an increasingly predictable stream of income will support future business expansion, employing more people etc. She has taken a risk, taking a bold step to create a business, thinking all the time how to make it better without compromising the core belief of working in the best interests of her clients and their patients. This approach to running and managing a business resonated with me, as it is exactly the same culture that Vestra was built upon and continues to nurture.
So what did I learn from that all too-brief cab ride? That behind the gloom of the headlines, there is a whole load of innovative and ambitious people out there making things happen, thinking up new ideas, deploying new technology, changing how we do things, creating wealth and employment and that exciting times do lie ahead. Sometimes it is all too easy to get distracted by the headlines and miss what is going on under our very noses. A great business idea, putting the client first and foremost and not being afraid to do something different, challenging the existing order will bring success to this lady and for any business built with the same core philosophy and values.