This week we talk to 24-year-old entrepreneur Ryan O’Carroll, a director of Southampton based, disruptive communications company, Yo Telecom.
He and fellow director Nathan Hanslip, 25, launched the award-winning business in April 2013, fresh from university and in the last 4 years, they’ve grown from 2 to 60 employees, with over 1,000 customers nationwide.
The pair have ambitious plans for further growth in the next 3 years, both in the UK and the US.
It really is all go at Yo.
What does your company do?
At Yo Telecom, our purpose is simple: we’re here to help businesses increase their success. Both our parents ran their own businesses, and both had experienced issues with unsuitable and limiting telephony. We knew there must be a better way, but there was no one realising the opportunity in this space. Yo is a fresh approach to telecoms, providing not just a phone line, but a full-scale communications solution to our customers.
We’ve seen significant demand for our services from the outset, which has enabled us to scale our operations very quickly. Our offering is unique, we aren’t simply providing phones and WiFi, we offer every kind of service associated with telecoms... and more.
We aim to provide the quickest service, the most up to date products and the best value for money. More than simply providing businesses with right hardware, we also provide the software that works alongside this, enabling our customers to record calls for training and quite uniquely, capturing customer data that can in turn be used to support a wider marketing approach, be that to review a service, to like a Facebook page or to aid marketing opportunity.
Additionally, on-hold marketing is another popular facility used widely to help promote additional facilities. Customers enjoy the fact that they can use a single solution, rather than several third parties. It’s all about adding value to our relationships - it’s simple and very effective.
What do you feel are the advantages of using finance to your business and your customers?
We embraced vendor finance as an option from day one, we found it gave us a competitive edge and our customers welcomed it. With no capital outlay upfront and the ability to spread the cost of purchase, the LDF partner programme makes it much easier for our customers to purchase from us. For many small businesses, investment in telephony can be a significant decision, but an essential one, making flexibility is essential.
Where do you hope the business will be in three years’ time?
We’re growing at a rapid rate. We were awarded SIEMENS (Unify) Fastest Growing Partner, globally in both 2015 and 2016, and were also named their Fastest Growing Partner in 2017, we only see this pace continuing.
We’re in the business of WOWing our customers and currently, we provide services to over 1,000 businesses nationwide, spanning a broad mix of well-known, big brands and smaller businesses across many industries, from healthcare and medical, to hotels, law firms and hairdressers.
Over the next three years, our mission is to build on this, increasing our customer base to 15,000 customers by 2020. In mid-2018, we will open a second UK office in the North and in 2020, we will likely extend operations into the US, helping businesses across the globe is absolutely the mission possible and we’re excited about the direction of travel.