As team sports start to become a reality and our lives begin to return to normal it’s interesting to draw parallels between what’s happening in the country in general and what’s going on at Bridge Fibre.
Like everyone, we have experienced lots of change over the last 18 months: new staff, more parks and changing requirements from our customers.
But (possibly surprisingly) our business has carried on growing steadily, both in the number of multi-tenanted sites we are connecting and the number of end user customers we are servicing. I think this is down to the fact that leading-edge businesses on multi-tenanted sites such as science parks rely on connectivity to collaborate and innovate – and that most have continued to operate and expand on-site during the pandemic. We’ve all experienced the benefits from this collaboration in terms of the fast creation and roll-out of vaccines and other advances as these organisations have worked together to meet the challenges of Covid.
The lessons from teams
When it comes to sports, we’re all about teams in two ways – external and internal. Firstly, we partner with our landlords, their managers and our customers. This means we have an unusual business model as we have two customers simultaneously; the landlord and the occupier, both of which have differing needs. This is unique in the telecoms industry and requires close collaboration to deliver the required high-capacity connectivity and services to the landlord’s site, and then to the individual tenant, supporting them on an ongoing basis.
Moving onto our internal structure, teamwork is again vital. To draw an analogy from sport we need to have the right people in the right places, communicating and collaborating. Essentially, the midfield of a sports team is not dissimilar to our operations team, responsible for co-ordination and ensuring other players are able to focus on their roles. The goalkeeper and defence are our Customer Support team and Sales are the strikers. Everyone has to work together – there is nothing more soul destroying for a midfield than when they work hard to win the ball only to see possession squandered by strikers or given away by the defence.
Scaling for the future
As we expand our team the main challenges are scaling our expertise and specialisation within our staff but also the processes we use to deliver excellent service to our customers. Some of these processes are technical but most of it is about being clear about who does what and ensuring that the communication between the various functions (from sales to operations to finance) works well.
There is a further parallel between our internal and external partnerships and successful sports teams. In all cases they are characterised by a focus on relationships and communication. It’s no surprise that the best teams pass to each other completely confident that their team-mates are able to do their job. Of course, as we grow we won’t always get it right, but with the right goals and processes in place we can create an environment where continuous improvement can flourish across the team.
Although the past 18 months have been tough from a personal (as well as business) perspective we believe we have charted a clear course forward towards meeting our goals and are building the team capabilities for an exciting future, successfully working with landlords and their tenants.
Bob Cushing, Sales and Marketing Director