What I’ve learnt: Chris McClellan of RAM Tracking
Chris McClellan, CEO and co-founder of RAM Tracking, on the challenges of developing a business.
There’s no such thing as a typical day
Every day is different, as my role is still very much hands-on as well as strategic. I regularly meet with the management team and assist them with decision-making as well as meeting our external partners and customers. I also like to make sure I’m available for any internal members of the team that need my support or direction on anything.
Each career route is different
I had a keen interest in business from a very young age, starting with my very own milk round at the age of 13. At 17, I became interested in hardware/software, decoding car radios for a number of different garages in the West Yorkshire area. This was my first taste of working in the motor industry.
I took on my first senior role in 1999 as a business development manager for a telematics company. It was here I discovered my passion for vehicle tracking, as I saw first-hand how much it helps businesses save vital time and money. With this knowledge, I took the decision to set up my own tracking business in 2004 and it’s grown year on year since then.
Training staff brings its own reward
It’s extremely rewarding seeing people succeed and grow within your own business. I’m a strong advocate of rewarding and promoting within and have already seen a number of my team start with entry-level jobs and very quickly move into key strategic roles.
We have almost 4,000 customers nationwide, and I find it so rewarding when I see them achieve success, make savings and improve their business with the help of their RAM Tracking system.
Keeping up with business growth provides its own issues
The most challenging parts of the job are making sure that every department is balanced and working in sync with each other. We’re growing so rapidly as a business that scalability can be a real challenge, specifically making sure that business operations are balanced with our sales department.
Understanding customer/employee needs is paramount
Recently, we took the decision for the business to undergo the prestigious Investor in Customers survey. The IIC surveyed both our customers and staff to understand if we’re meeting their expectations. This was the first time we have ever put the business through such an exercise and I was proud to find out that we were awarded two out of three stars for outstanding customer experience, and that we were only 0.1% off getting all three stars. Personally, a major highlight of my career was when I was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2009 in the North England and Northern Ireland Business Awards.
Measuring business performance provides major insights
We have heavily invested in our CRM system, Salesforce, giving all of our staff clear visibility on how the business is performing. For me personally, I look at sales, how quickly we’re getting our tracking units installed, customer support metrics, case resolution times as well as business financials.
Salesforce.com, our internal CRM, has had a huge impact on our business over the last few years. It has enabled complete visibility on the journey of prospects and customers who we work with, as well as giving us the ability to scale at a rapid rate and improve operational rigour throughout our whole business.
Staff are your biggest asset
A common mistake amongst entrepreneurs is undervaluing their staff and not seeing the importance of nurturing and developing them. I also think that some entrepreneurs take their eye off the ball once they start seeing the rewards coming in.
Build a team with the best people you can find. Your people are instrumental in your business’s growth and achieving your aspirations, so hire the best.