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True Telecom aims to take on 250 staff and open new Dartford headquarters after gaining more than 3,000 clients since launching in Maidstone

By Chris Price

With plans to take on 30,000 new customers over the next two years, True Telecom’s bosses are not short on ambition.

Since its launch in April last year, the company has already outgrown its base in Maidstone, where 25 operational staff and a sales team of 50 sell broadband, mobile and telecoms services specifically to small businesses.

It is opening a new 10,000sqft head office in Dartford this month, with the aim of growing the sales staff by 150 within a year and eventually adding another 100 operational workers as more business comes in.

True Telecom sales directors Mark Baines, left, and chief executive Stuart Griffiths

The business was formed after chief executive Stuart Griffiths saw a gap in the market to offer competitively-priced services to small and medium-sized enterprises.

He brought on board long-time friend Mark Baines to run the sales side, having worked with him in direct sales for utility companies like British Gas, E-ON and N-Power.

Today, the firm has more than 3,750 small business customers, with the figure growing every day.

“Our main rival is BT but they like to concentrate their business on companies with 50 to 100 servers,” said Gravesend-born Mark, who lives in Kings Hill.

“They tend not to care too much about small-end customers working from home or a business with 20 to 30 lines. They are a drain on their resources and so they focus on the high level customers.”

True Telecom aims to employ 250 more staff in sales and operations within the year

Where BT charge about £18 a month for small businesses, True Telecom provide a one-stop shop for communications for about £9. They say they also reduce call charges by 90%.

“Our margins are a lot lower but we bring in more customers,” said Mark.

“Our theory is selling them cheap and stacking them high. We bring in high volumes and that is because we know our sweet spot is the small-end customer.

“They are paying high rates and are exposed to a poor level of service. We bring all their service together and their billing is transparent

“On face value we are one of the most competitive communications companies out there.”

“Our theory is selling them cheap and stacking them high. We bring in high volumes and that is because we know our sweet spot is the small-end customer..." - True Telecom's Mark Baines

Long term, the company’s goal is big. They plan to bring in 100,000 business customers within three years, with the aim of breaking into the top five providers in the UK.

A direct sales strategy has got them to where they are today, with expanding staff numbers bringing more opportunities to win more customers.

Mark said: “The way we have won new business has always been by persevering with cold calling and we have a track record of doing that.

“We have got extensive knowledge and experience in direct sales and a track record on how to bring in new business.

“Not many telecoms companies are growing organically as we are at the moment. Most are growing by acquisition but we understand the industry and how we can turn True Telecom into a strong player.

“A lot of competitors will see a gap in the market, bring in 2,500 customers and then sell to a big company and exit the industry. We have built the business to make a brand and build an organisation we can be proud of.”

True Telecom chief executive Stuart Griffiths

Chief executive Stuart, who lives in Tunbridge Wells, said: “Our exceptional growth and expansion into a second office can be attributed to the understanding of our customer needs.

“We have an excellent and transparent pricing structure and make it easy to transfer from our competitors.

“We have identified the importance of cost-effective innovative solutions for small businesses and we can provide advice on the optimum technologies.”

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