Case Study - The Firework Store

We contacted Rob Biglands, of successful firework retailer The Firework Store, to find out how Soho66 supports his growing business, and he was more than happy to explain exactly how the system has been of great assistance since moving from a more traditional phone system in 2016.

The Firework Store opened in 2004 from a small shop in Wakefield and was the only proper firework shop in the area, competing with the supermarket chains. A successful first year resulted in investment into the business, and 3 awards and lots more varied stock later, by 2009 the company had outgrown their premises and subsequently moved into a new 3,000sq ft unit on an industrial park where they trade from today. A specialist firework retailer, they also offer advice on safety, firing, displays and can aid in the design of displays, as well as run a couple of additional small businesses from the same address including a successful fancy dress retail store.

Why did you choose Soho66?

The retailer had been using another system for quite some time and it was only after a supplier, who used the Soho66 service for their business, demonstrated the benefits of Soho66 that Rob and the company began to realise the cost-savings, flexibility and features they could gain for the fraction of the cost of a traditional telephone system.

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“Prior to using Soho66 we used a normal telephone system – a Panasonic digital system and we had this for over 10 years. We were used to how it worked and the limitations it had. We had a supplier who had moved to Soho66 and he showed us the flexibility of the system, access of the system and more importantly, expansion. The other mitigating factor was the price. At this point we had 3 telephone numbers and could only really have one line per number.”

“We did the maths on the move, we took into account capital expenditure on handsets, but it was clear that after a few months we’d be saving money. We then looked at the flexibility of the system and the features, which we could never afford with a traditional telephone system. To be honest it didn’t take long to make the decision to change.”

How did you find it to get up and running?

As The Firework Store already had an established number which they naturally didn’t want to lose, they ported this over and despite requiring a little bit of assistance from support with their extensions, Rob comments that overall the transition was smooth and stress-free.

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“The transfer to Soho66 was smooth,” he said. “We cancelled the lines and ported them over without much stress or any issues. The biggest thing we had to overcome was assuming the extensions behaved as a normal telephone system. Having used a traditional telephone system for so long, we had a couple of issues with extensions. However, the support provided by Soho66 talked us through it and once we had changed our mindset it became relatively easy to use.”

How is Soho66 implemented within The Firework Store?

Each of the businesses they run from the same address on top of The Firework Store, including a fancy dress retailer, an entertainment company and a healthcare agency, have their own contact details and identity. Since moving to Soho66 in the summer of 2016, the company has upgraded their system on two occasions, initially from VoIP for 5 to VoIP for 10, and then later to VoIP for 15.

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“The beauty of this system for us is the mobility and functionality. We have 4 Grandstream phones and a couple of mobiles with an app on them. We use an auto attendant on one of the businesses all the time and it works great. Our Fireworks business during the day rings as normal, however, as we have a few extensions linked to the number, we suddenly have additional incoming lines.”

“Our answering system kicks in automatically on closing and opening. When we get into our busy period, we switch on our auto attendant which filters out all the calls asking about opening times as we put it as an option on the attendant. One of the added benefits is the recorded calls. With the type of businesses we run, this is an invaluable addition as we know that we’re covered on all calls, and also that we can go back and recover any information we may have missed.”

And finally…what are your overall thoughts on the service?

Rob states that while they had an idea of the benefits that Soho66 would bring to the business(es), in actual eventuality the system does a lot more and after an initial learning curve they would not be without it.

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“After an initial learning curve we wouldn’t be without it,” he said.

“It offers us everything we need to run 3 different businesses with varying needs. Our Agency relies on the auto attendant and call recording. Although we have the app on a mobile, if we decide to work from home, it’s easy to unplug the phone from the office and take it home – instant home office. Our Firework company has multiple lines during busy season and the ability to automate everything. Our Production company utilises the call recording and the app on the mobile.”

“Would I recommend it to someone else? Without a doubt. We changed over knowing how we thought it would work; in practice, it does an awful lot more and once you realise what it does, then you have a system that can help you run and manage your business rather than just for making and receiving telephone calls, which is what we had prior to this.”

How to contact The Firework Store?

Web: www.thefireworkstore.co.uk
Tel: 01924 290 088
Email: info@thefireworkstore.co.uk
Address: The Firework Store, Unit 12, Millennia Park, Wakefield, WF2 8PW

Other business information:

Web: www.wakefieldfancydress.co.uk

 
 
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