...A Winning Business Strategy!
When Tom set up his business over 10 years ago as a ‘one man band’, producing Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and property floorplans for Estate Agents, he had no idea how his business would grow, or indeed how far it would evolve from his original vision.
Tom initially set up Le Gallez + Co to meet demand for the production of EPCs and floorplans in connection with Home Information Packs (HIPS) – remember those? Tom took on his brother, Jim Le Gallez, as his first employee, which allowed the business to grow with a trustworthy and reliable team.
Time moved on and legislation changed, and keen not to lose his foothold in the market of supplying services to Estate Agents and individuals, he could either choose to evolve and grow, or face the realistic prospect of business revenue diminishing, and eventual closure.
After the relatively short bubble of HIPs passed, Tom needed to move forward, and he looked at his main customer, Estate Agents, to see what other products they used to sell property. One area that stood out was photography.
Estate Agents had been taking their own property photographs for years, but the sort of photography that Tom had in mind was far more modern and ground-breaking, using the highest quality imagery and techniques.
Tom employed local photographer Sam Austin, who, despite being a passionate photographer experienced in the commercial world, had not yet ventured into the world of property photography. However, in business you sometimes need to be prepared to take calculated risks, and adding a second employee to the team was definitely the right decision in this case.
By introducing modern photography techniques, such as drone footage, the use of full frame cameras and modified lighting techniques, the photos produced by Le Gallez + Co really showed off properties to their best.
The aim of the photography is to enable the viewer to feel encapsulated by the property, thereby generating more interest for the Estate Agent, and hopefully a faster sale. Soon, more and more estate agents were commissioning professional photography.
In 2019, Le Gallez made a new drive to expand and evolve even further from the standard Estate Agent package, and moved into the area of providing services to Law Firms. Having established good contacts over a number of years providing EPCs to lawyers, Tom saw a gap in the market for the provision of Land Registry compliant scale plans.
By building upon existing skills, soon the business was able to produce scale plans which complied with the Land Registry’s stringent criteria for the documentation of sales, new leases, grants of easements, and many other things. Le Gallez + Co have even been commissioned to provide a scale plan of a graveyard!
Think about your business, and then think wider – who do you interact with? Can you improve on your competitors? Maybe you cannot produce a better product, but perhaps you can produce it cheaper, or faster. Think about your USP.
Never underestimate how important customer service is in your business! How you treat your client or customer matters every time. No matter how good your product is, it will mean little if it is delivered late, or if the customer cannot get hold of you.
Keeping up with the times isn’t always easy in business. Sometimes it is hard to prioritise online media presence when simultaneously servicing your clients, sending out invoices, keeping up with admin, and all the other demands of running your own business.
Taking on new staff can help. Le Gallez + Co took on two new members of staff in 2019 to ease the ‘backroom work’, enabling the business to grow, respond to enquiries even faster and improve the turnaround time when delivering the final product. It’s easy to get bogged down in the paperwork side of business, and neglect the actual work or product.