Sometimes (not often!) I am impressed with a person, with their ethics, with their habits and with what they stand for. Today is a first, it’s a public thanks to a supplier of ours who goes beyond the call of duty time and time again, he name is Eamon Leonard and his firm is called echolibre.
Financial services is at the very centre of the current worldwide storm, I have had to watch competitors close, and as much as we like to win market share, we don’t like to do so at the expense and livelihood of other people, there is absolutely no glee in that, fortunately we are still trading and with more people under the Irish Mortgage Brokers banner than in 2008 which means we are actually bucking the trend against all odds. What does that have to do with Eamon? Well, in a nutshell he has been one of the pillars of our companies success.
We realised a long time ago that the business of brokerage was changing, we didn’t like it, we were in a cozy comfort zone and felt content, who doesn’t when things are good?! However, we took formative steps to do things such as reduce our fixed cost overheads – things like rent for instance, and to embrace technology that allowed for ecommuting.
Embracing new technology and open source programmes has also helped to make a difference to our bottom line. Using OpenOffice, Thunderbird (with Googles iMap) has saved our firm literally thousands of euro already, and these are all operational changes put forward by Eamon.
Like many companies we had an over reliance on pay per click advertising, we were spending huge swathes of our general budget on ppc ads, Eamons view was that it would be smarter to build a good site that would be found naturally by web users who are actually looking for what we do rather than paying to thrust our message into the lives of people who might not be looking for a company doing what we do.
That started this blog, which has since been shortlisted for best business blog and is now a reference source for industry and media (we still haven’t cracked the lack of comments but the stats/press references are there to show its being read). Of course, ideas are only as good as the way in which they are implimented, but suffice to say bad ideas will not deliver irrespective of execution.
In a nutshell, Eamon and the folks at echolibre are a large part of the reason that our firm still exists when others in our industry don’t. The power of this is that technology can have a profound effect on real life business in sectors where it is often largely absent suchas our own – retail financial services.
Our cyber-realestate is probably the main ‘location’ in terms of our general operations and the interesting correlation is that many of the companies who are getting through the downturn the best are all web oriented, in financial services it was always who ever was the ‘biggest’ or with the largest client base, the web is turning this model on its head. In terms of turning upside down, we feel that up until now we were going through life doing handstands, with the help of echolibre we are now on our feet.
I have never made a commercial endorsement like this on our blog, but sometimes when you are in a better place now than you were last year it is vital to give thanks where it is due, and to acknowledge the value you have received from professional services, if other people did this it would make getting references for a company that much easier to do, I hope Echolibre use this for that reason, and that people who read this write about their best in class suppliers – people in business want to know who the good guys are!
@eamon @echolibre thanks from Irish Mortgage Brokers.