In the very early days, the founders knew that the biggest innovation they could bring to the industry was to route clients calls to their own dedicated receptionist. It took a lot of very complicated fiddling around with telephone lines and computers to make this work but the firm achieved this. Today, Moneypenny answers the phone in 1500 different ways, 1.3 million times a year for 7,000 individuals, taking a million messages and putting callers through to our clients for conversations that, last year, lasted 543 days. The company has spent over £1/4 million pounds developing the technology, but only had a couple of pennies on day one. So the technology has had to be developed in stages, and tested in a ‘live’ situation. The downside of that is that the firm has had to be very patient – the founders knew that it would allow them to deliver the service that would allow their PA’s to win new clients who would pay their invoices so that the next stage could be funded...The upside is that it Moneypenny own all the IP rights outright, and that it has always been developed in direct response to clients’ needs, not what was thought those needs five years ago. That technology is now called PAM and she is the firm’s most valued employee. As with everything else at Moneypenny, her growth has been completely organic. Soon after the firm was started, the founders spent a lot of time fighting with banks to set up a Direct Debit payment scheme (very difficult for a new business to offer). They also knew that Direct Debit would make life easier for clients who all pay monthly subscriptions and allow the firm to pit itself against the three largest players in the industry and concentrate on winning lots of new clients rather than hassling existing ones for payment. 80% of clients now pay by Direct Debit, bad debts are negligible and now Moneypenny is the biggest player of them all!

Success Factor

Moneypenny has worked incredibly hard to develop a service that meets the very demanding needs of clients. The company speaks to its clients every day and have a pretty good idea of what they need and how the firm can work better for them. In addition, the PAM technology has enabled invoicing to be fully integrated into the same technology that enables receptionists to answer their calls. PAM is a completely bespoke application developed in-house over five years. PAM is lovingly tended and developed by the firm’s IT Manager, who’s constantly working with staff and clients to ensure PAM’s potential is realised. Finally, to maintain the excellent level of customer service that clients are used to, means each receptionist can look after only a certain number of clients. As the firm gains more clients, they need more receptionists. So the company has built a solid recruitment strategy that ensures it employs the best calibre of staff. This means Moneypenny can continue to grow as fast as it can without impacting our existing clients’ service levels. Staff work in small independent teams of three or four and increasing the number of those teams does not dilute the one-to-one relationship that makes Moneypenny so special. This allows Moneypenny to maintain its astonishing growth rate without compromising its extraordinary focus on clients and their needs.

The Future

Moneypenny has enjoyed significant organic growth since its launch in 2000 and, five years on, the business has perfected its service, it knows what client needs are and how to fulfill them. It has a solid recruitment strategy, clear internal processes and great staff and has the basics right. It believes this is now a sound platform from which to grow rapidly. Moneypenny will continue to grow over coming 12 months and sales will increase by 75% to £2 million by the year end. Sales will increase to £5million in 2007 and staff levels to 90 by end of 2006. Through a key understanding of how to market the service and marketing investment, Moneypenny will grow considerably and successfully for many years to come. Strong marketing and PR efforts, as well as partnerships with hand picked third parties will open up new target audiences and increase brand awareness. Partnerships will also add valuable additional services to Moneypenny’s portfolio – supporting its commitment to its clients and their success. Above all Moneypenny will maintain its focus on its clients and its staff to become the first and obvious choice for telephone answering and outsourced reception services for any business in the UK.