ProgresSWest, founded by Jolyon Ferrier and Tom Pugh-Jones, is an Executive Search Agency based in Cornwall, offering permanent recruitment solutions and career opportunities. They source the best people in the UK for the best jobs in the South-West, elevating enterprise, career paths and a great work-life balance.
ProgresSWest - Small Business Case Study Video Transcript
Could we have run an executive search business from a farmhouse in Cornwall ten years ago? Probably not. But the companies that we've been working with, they all started from their kitchen tables. Every business has to start somewhere, so why not keep your start-up costs down and work from home.
Communication in our industry is absolutely key. We will never put a candidate forward without first speaking to them in detail and depth. There's only so much you can learn from a person through emails. You need to be able to listen to their voice.
Before we had the Vonage system, we were using our mobile phones, literally hanging out the window to try and get a signal. So changing to Vonage has helped us no end. It means we have got a permanent landline number. I think if we were trying to run our business purely from a mobile, clients and candidates might think it's a bit "Mickey Mouse" if you like. So we had a chat with the guys from Vonage over the phone, who were hugely helpful, and we had a box two days later I think, came in the post.
Amazing, you just plug it in to the back of your Wi-Fi box and you're away, you've got a fully operating phone system. You don't have to have an engineer come out, you don't have to have someone try and drill through your two-foot thick granite walls. It was basically a plug and go system. We chop and change between whose house we work at, and you can just literally unplug the box, take the phone with you, get to the other house and within two minutes you plug it back in and the phones are up and running.
Vonage Extensions is great. On your mobile phone, we can make calls and we can receive calls with our office landline number, so the world's your oyster. We're dedicated to what we do, but we also have our own passions. So sometimes, maybe on a Friday afternoon, Tom and I will go to the beach, and we get a phone call. As long as there's mobile signal and we've got data, we're in the office.
What Vonage has been able to do for us is help us grow. We wouldn't have been able to offer the same level of customer service without the Vonage system. We've saved thousands by not having a secretary pick up the call – we can go out and we are our own personal secretaries wherever we want to be. Best thing we ever did.
Problem – poor connectivity and restricted space
Starting the business from a spare bedroom was always going to be a challenge – particularly when they "had to hang out of Jolyon's window to get a mobile phone signal". The two founders were extremely limited on space, stuck at a tiny desk that they struggled to both fit around.
When it came to their telecommunications needs, ProgresSWest needed better connectivity and to be location-independent. They also wanted a landline number to illustrate the reputability of their company.
Solution – Vonage Home Plan
Jolyon and Tom searched for solutions on Google and came across Vonage. "I called them up to find out more," Tom remembers. I couldn't believe what was on offer from them, and we signed up straight away."
As they develop, ProgresSWest have become more aware of Vonage's other services, and they plan to tailor their plan according to growth.
Results – Flexibility and Accessibility
The business calling plan they chose has allowed ProgresSWest to work wherever they want, whenever they want – all they need is Wi-Fi connection.
Jolyon and Tom like to mix it up, sometimes working in the office, sometimes from home. "We even went to South-West France and took the office with us."