Felicitas Media specialises in 3 key areas: BPO, Social PPC and their signature cross platform communications software: Gnatta. The company's customer service software and BPO solutions assist businesses in enhancing their online presence. We talk to CEO Jack Barmby to find out more...
I came up with the idea when... I would love to say Gnatta was developed from identifying a gap in the market, but the reality is somewhat different – I was trying to reply to large volumes of tweets at once. When there was more than one of us online at once, it became difficult to not double answer or miss tweets. The initial development of Gnatta was purely to solve this one problem, not become a comprehensive B2C communication tool. It was only as enquiries about the businesses performance materialised that we began developing it in angst.
The idea has been progressive since then, and only in the last year or so has the direction become clear; to provide one platform for businesses to talk to consumers wherever they are doing the talking.
The biggest challenge is... Focus. It’s so easy in the early stages to accept every piece of work that comes your way, but often it doesn’t ring true to the idea you had, meaning you’re not dedicating all your time to your original goal. If your business is complex, then get clarity and focus on your aim; put yourself in this scenario, if someone in a bar asks you what your company does, what do you tell them? If your answer isn’t clear, then it isn’t clear enough to you.
The average day is spent... Working! I live two minutes from my office and I live with my head of sales, my lead developer and an operator. It makes for a very intense working atmosphere but ultimately, the more you commit to your work, the more you get ahead of the competition.
The team consists of... 150 of us in total. We have employees all over the UK, Dubai and Florida at the moment and are looking to continue expansion. We are an enthusiastic bunch of postgraduates hungry to make a career for ourselves, it's a great synergy and buzzing working atmosphere.
My favourite quote... "If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” - Sir Isaac Newton. In my view, no matter where you are, you got there using the expertise and knowledge of those before you.
I am where I am today because of... My family. Although we are a growing business, we are family oriented. My parents helped me get the business off the ground and they continue to guide me as it grows. They are both experienced businesspeople and I have learned what I know from them; I owe my successes to them and they will continue to be an intrinsic part of the business. Family oriented culture runs through the business, we like to make sure that every employee feels like a part of the family. Hard work and perseverance are part of any success, but I attribute my successes thus far largely to them. I am overly obsessive and competitive which helps too!
I am who I am because of... Again, my family. I work very closely with my parents on a day-to-day basis and they continue to help the business develop as well as my personal development.
The best advice I've been given on running an online business... Define what the win looks like. No matter what you do or who you talk to, define the win, what do you need to do to be successful? It sounds obvious, but defining the win will ensure you are always clear on what needs to be done, and continue to help you maintain that all important focus.
In five years I’d like to be... Continuing to make changes through innovation. The most exciting part of my job is I genuinely believe the work we do as a team is making changes to the landscape of business. Just like Sergei Brin, Bill Gates and many others innovated through the development and provision of technology, I aspire to make changes like they did.
The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business online... Awareness is key. It’s easy to get caught up in acquiring new business and developing your product or service in the early days, but it’s important to start generating awareness from the word go. In my profession I have seen this many, many times; larger businesses starting from square one without a unified, established online presence. Think about ways and means you can spread the word; an investment of your time and a little money will pay off in the long run.
Our biggest mistake and what it taught us Don’t be a Jack-of-all Trades (unless that’s your business model of course!). It goes back to my point about focus, define what you want and stick to it. You may be growing a little faster taking on variant work, but it distracts you from your goal, and if you can be sure that if you aren’t spending every waking minute focusing on that one goal, somebody out there is.
The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date... Winning a Global CCA Award. We beat a few multinational businesses to win the award. It really hammered home that what we are developing connects with people, makes sense and fulfils a purpose, it gave me a really great sense of achievement.
15 May 2015