Where in Scotland are you located?
Company registered office is in Edinburgh
Tell us about yourself?
Stephen has 38 years experience of the technology industry and has helped major companies in the UK, Europe and the Middle East to exploit, enhance and upgrade their core corporate technology systems.
Stephen has worked with the following companies in his career to date: British Steel Corporation; Bradford & Bingley Building Society; Royal Bank of Scotland; Shell; Deutsche Bank; Euroclear Bank; Riyad Bank; CZ; Barclays Bank; Accenture (DWP); Lloyds Banking Group; PKO Bank Polski; Tata Consultancy Services(TCS) A founder of Matter of Fact Software, his responsibilities include business administration, marketing, strategic planning and commercialisation of the companies’ software products.
What lessons has being an entrepreneur taught you?
Success can be very elusive and will require learning new skills and getting out of ones comfort zone.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Be prepared to dig in for the long haul. Most potential customers wont give you the time of day even though you know they would gain massively from doing so.
A lot of entrepreneurs find it difficult to balance their work and personal lives. How have you found that?
Personal relationships will be strained as you push forward with your business, especially if clear advances are not materialising. A balance must be found, however challenging.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
A burning desire to improve the way technology challenges are faced by businesses dependent upon the IBM mainframe computing platform.
What do you think is your magic sauce? What sets you apart from the competitors?
Experience and a willingness to dig in and continue learning how to exploit the technology platform and then put in the significant effort required to produce software solutions fit for market that address percieved business challenges.
How have you found sales so far? Do you have any lessons you could pass on to other founders in the same market as you just starting out?
Tough! We have yet to make any sales. Our market is very large Companies and organisations that prefer to take software from a small number of (usually existing) vendors.
Being technical people, our skills in sales and marketing have so far not made a breakthrough.
We should have sought outside expertise in these areas much earlier. in the mean time, our expertise is in demand for consulting activities and this keeps us going financially.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far in your business, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge remains that of selling. We have yet to overcome it and are actively looking for professional experts in that area to help us make the breakthough that we need.
What do you consider are the main strengths of operating your business in Scotland?
Being based in Scotland and as part of the wider UK, there are some potentially helpful resources that can be drawn upon.
What if any are weaknesses of operating your business within Scotland?
Scotland and the UK generally do not appear to be willing to provide a meaningful opportunity to local small software vendors operating in our niche market.
What influence does being part of the UK have on your business?
Not much. We could operate just about anywhere as we are not bound by premises.
We are, however, familiar with the business and taxation environment here and are comfortable with operating within the regime.
What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years with your business?
We need to break into the worldwide market and establish a growing base of licensees for our software.
How has Brexit impacted your business (if at all)?
Not at all.
And finally, if people want to get involved and learn more about your business, how should they do that?
Please feel free to contct me using Email: [email protected]