Fri, February 24th, 2017
Great relationships have been key to a decade of growth for Base Communications
Eddie Douglas has learned a lot in the 10 years he has been an entrepreneur - not least of all the idea that “price isn’t everything”.
It was back in 2007, on the very edge of the economic crash, that Eddie, along with Stephen Halligan and Sharon Morgan, formed Knowsley-based Base Communications.
Providing business-to-business telecoms services, the company was started with a loan of just £1,000 from a family friend of one of the directors.
A decade on, Base has defied one of the worst economic downturns in decades to continually grow revenues and profits year after year.
Taking a risk
The trio had all worked together for several years as account managers for another telecoms business. They saw the potential for growth in the sector and decided to strike out on their own.
“We were very nervous at first - it was a big risk for all of us,” said Eddie.
“We quickly realised that, for the first time, none of us had a monthly wage coming in and that focused our minds to get out there and find customers.”
Because they had already established a profile and reputation in the B2B telecoms sector, Eddie, Stephen and Sharon secured early successes in attracting key clients.
Now, 10 years later, much of Base’s business comes from recommendations and referrals.
“Our customer retention rate is 97%,” added Eddie.
Range of services
The firm can supply the whole range of telecoms and communications services to businesses and its offshoot, Base Utilities, can also source competitive energy deals for businesses.
Services include the supply of both mobile and fixed line phones and networks, broadband, vehicle tracking and much more.
Eddie explained: “Base Communications and Base Utilities go hand in hand - every business needs communications and every business with a physical base needs energy.
“Having both allows us to cross sell and we have customers who have a wide range of services with us.
“And we can manage their accounts. They don’t have to deal with E.ON or EE - we can do it all for them.
“We are proud of the fact that we have grown every year off the back of great customer service.
“Price is important to customers, of course it is, but the customer experience is also very important and that is what we offer.
“Business is about relationships, about looking after people and that is why we have been so successful.”
Base has been a member of Liverpool & Sefton Chamber for several years and the relationship is a symbiotic one. The firm has secured new customers through Chamber networking and the Chamber itself is a Base customer.
“One of the things about Liverpool is that the networking scene is very crowded. You get along to events and you exchange business cards and that’s it,” said Eddie.
“The way the Chamber does networking is really different. At the Meat & Eat events, for example, you actually get to speak to people properly which is great.
“The Secret Breakfast events also work really well from that perspective.
“Having the use of meeting rooms at the chamber is also a big plus. We are based out in Knowsley and sometimes people prefer to meet in the city centre.
“I can just call up the chamber and book a room. It is a superb aspect of the service and it has helped us win new business.”