#0013 Clayton Campbell of Onsite Group

Civitas Team

13 business ideas on creating a referral-based business, operating in Africa and communication with teams.

Clayton Campbell is the founder of the Onsite Group. Over the last 10 years, Clayton has been in the ICT space providing businesses with support and solutions for Apple Device Programmes. Onsite is known for it's the zero-touch deployment of Apple devices and making sure the device complies to the organisation's policies. A Civitas team member sat down with Clayton to discuss managing teams, creating a successful referral-based business model and expanding into Africa.

Summary of the best ideas from the discussion

  • Deliver great service to generate referrals and reduce the need for marketing. 
  • Implement a chat first policy over email. 
  • Have a flat structure and include your team in decision making. 
  • Set a clear direction for your team members. 
  • Opportunities abound, you just need to look. 
  • Make decisions quickly. 

On teams

  1. As a small team, you can be efficient and stay in touch with each other. You don’t need to grow to a massive team to be successful.

On running a referral-based business model

  1. Adopt a referral-based model and you’ll spend less time actively selling, but still making sales. If you’re providing a good enough service, your customers will happily refer you to other companies.
  2. Build great relationships with your clients and you don’t need hardcore marketing to attract new clients.

On team communication

  1. Use programs like Microsoft Teams and Slack for sharing information in your team. 
  2. Adopt a chat first policy over email.

On management styles

  1. You've got to make sure that your people understand where they're going, what they're doing, that they're also happy with the decisions you're making and that they're included in those decisions.
  2. We don't have a high hierarchy structure. Everybody is sort of on the same level, and we make decisions together.
  3. “It's important to make sure that people are always in the 'know' that there's nothing that's unclear. People need to be treated fairly and understand why you’re moving in a certain direction to believe in your vision.

On business in Africa

  1. Africa is a very teachable space. You can set the standards. So we're definitely growing our research channel in the region.
  2. The rest of Africa doesn't see us [South Africa] as a part of Africa. We don't share the same problems and face the same issues. They're wary when you come down and push a product on them. So that's why we've taken the approach to use locals to speak to locals. I think for us it has been a very important lesson.
  3. We do currently sit in a difficult economy, but that doesn't mean that you need to throw in the towel and say that nothing can be done. There are opportunities. It just means you need to look for them a little bit harder. 

On business advice and lessons

  1. Don’t give up. Business is hard, but perseverance is what’s going to get you through the rough parts of your journey.
  2. Make decisions and make decisions quickly. Don't let things dwell when there is potential for them to start affecting performance or morale. Take decisions when they can be taken.

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