Chris Gee, founder of Rixxo tells us about the role of automation in business growth.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Chris Gee: We’re alright. It’s hard not being able to see extended family for so long, especially as we’ve got a new toddler, but we’re making it work.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Rixxo.
Chris Gee: I founded Rixxo with my brother Rich out of necessity. We inherited our stepfather’s business, a chain of music shops, only to realize they were knee-deep in debt. After innovating, making tough decisions, and doing a hell of a lot of marketing graft, we got in the clear. Then some business owners we knew started saying, “Hey, can you do the same for us?” Before we knew it, we had regular clients, and Rixxo was born. We now specialize in Magento development, B2B, and eCommerce businesses, and we’re based in central Bristol, UK.
How does Rixxo innovate?
Chris Gee: We innovate by being curious by nature and unlimited by design. That means we’re always asking why we do everything to make sure it’s the best possible process and outcome for our clients and us. We invest in R&D time and encourage creative solutions and out-there ideas from our team. We’re always looking ahead to ways we can be better. It’s that start-up mentality of throwing the rule book out the window and just doing what we can see is best for our clients.
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business finances?
Chris Gee: It’s not been easy. We’re proud to make a real, tangible difference to our client’s business which means we’ve kept a lot of our work; if anything, growing businesses are more needed than ever in this time! By being smart about how and when we worked, making the best use of furlough, and putting in extra time and energy to our own marketing efforts, we’ve been able to stay afloat during the crisis. We’ve even expanded the team with two new staff.
Did you have to make difficult choices regarding human resources, and what are the lessons learned?
Chris Gee: The biggest lesson we’ve learned is how valuable it is to invest in people. One of our developers took furlough time to learn a whole new development language. Suddenly, our capabilities have increased even further. Personal innovation drives business innovation, so it’s always important to invest in your staff. We were fortunate that we didn’t have to make any staff cuts.
How did your customer relationship management evolve? Do you use any specific tools to be efficient?
Chris Gee: Rixxo are big believers in talking to customers and clients like real people, so an important part of our customer relationship management was just checking in to make sure everyone was doing ok. We wanted to make sure we were as flexible and adaptive as possible to businesses’ needs throughout the changes. We’re big fans of Hubspot as a CRM system, but we also operate an ‘if in doubt, pick up the phone policy.
Your final thoughts?
Chris Gee: It’s easy to get disheartened at the moment, but now is the time to double down and innovate to ensure your business stays afloat. There are loads of clever but simple ways you can grow and innovate your business – for some helpful tips, check out our B2B & eCommerce blog that includes how-tos, hints and tips, and practical ways to grow your business.