Tony Raynor's Blog

The thoughts and ramblings of a small business owner

Jumping For Joy
Jumping For Joy

Me Too is Boring … Dare to be Different


Every business should aim to have a “unique selling proposition” but to manufacture a USP is not appropriate. It must be central to your ethos and run through your veins. Everybody has it in them because we are individuals but most suppress it in an effort to be conformist.

As an example, take the Hotel Sant Agusti which was once the Convent of Saint Augustine built in 1720. It’s where the dedicated staff of telephone systems installers, Abbey Telecom, will be hosting their Christmas party. It was chosen for its’ uniqueness by operations manager, Les Prenton. Otherwise known as Captain Holiday!

Telephone Systems Festivities

It all has to be done under the taxman maximum allowance of £150 including flights but our group of telephone systems professionals has a history keeping within budget. You can read about our previous festive jaunts to the likes of Prague, Dublin and Edinburgh in an earlier blog post entitled “Why a Xmas Party in Amsterdam is Justifiable”.

Spending a night in a former convent fits the bill of our non-conventional style. I have always challenged the norm but it is a relief to know that my culture has trickled through to other members of the team and has inspired this year’s booking to Barcelona. Everyone is hoping to soak up the sights and architecture. The Camp Nou stadium is high on the hit-list.

So why do this? It’s about differentiation. People go to work for more than money. Ensuring that employees are rewarded for long term loyalty and remain motivated is a principal objective. It gives a sense of pride to folk that have worked here since 1996.

It is also symbolic of my thoughts on leadership. I am one of those bosses who insist that nobody works beyond 5.30 pm (unless it is a telephone systems engineer who is compensated by overtime). Most telecoms engineers drive a van but ours get an air conditioned estate car. It helps them arrive cool and perform well for customers.

Some would call me a maverick but all of the above facilitates lower HR turnover so that clients have consistent relationships with our personnel. Happy workers are productive.

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