Panama Communications Ltd - Who are They ?

Panama Communications Ltd – Who are They ?

 

Panama Communications Limited recently celebrated their 6th anniversary of trading and what a journey it has been with plenty of ups and downs. Don’t worry I’m not trying to sell you any of our wonderful services, you can call us direct or look on our website for that information, I just wanted to explain a little as to where we came from, where we are and how we got there.

Clive Cooper, my business partner, and I started Panama in late 2011 with two second-hand laptops working out of two back bedrooms with a promise from a couple of guys we had worked with of some telecoms work. We had loads of service delivery experience with B&Q, Littlewoods, Shop Direct, Bass, Mitchells And Butlers and IBM and an appetite to do well and prove people wrong.

We had both left decent ‘Corporate’ jobs to take the big step of starting our own business ..and at our age too! Friends, ex colleagues and family all gave us encouragement, but you could see the doubt in their eyes…. Why are you doing this?  We had relinquished the salary, the nice offices, the company car, the health insurance and had gambled it all on some hair brained scheme.

We had worked together for 20 years and it seemed that if you need a business partner to take the plunge with you (and let’s face it that cuts the risk by half immediately if you do) then try to persuade one of your good friends to come aboard. One who you respect and can get on with. One of those mates who you have never really had a proper argument with. Make sure he or she is good at what you are not interested and vice versa – bit like ‘dove tailing’ in golf. We both fitted the bill.

Our first monthly invoice was for £500.50 and it felt great when we finally got the money into our account. We had earned that cheque by providing a service to someone who wanted us – amasing! Then we got the costs in to deliver these first few jobs and the initial ecstasy faded a little!

It wasn’t all plain sailing, there has been some heartaches, a lot of hard work and some disappointments but all in all we both think this was the best career decision we ever made. One contract led to another and soon we had several engineers all representing Panama from Inverness down to Plymouth and everywhere in between.

We treated Panama like one of the family – we respected it, we made sure it had enough money, we loved it, we bragged about it when it did something good, we nurtured it and even took it on holiday with us!
Although rare, we took every single criticism to heart, whether it originated from clients, suppliers or someone from the team – we tried not to be defensive but always let it hurt a little! They were insulting a member of our family after all!

After 4 years, we had grown to a size where our golf was being affected, so we asked Helen Hedley to join us on the team. We had known and respected Helen from our time at IBM as a top rated project manager so when we needed someone, and we heard she was available it was a ‘non-brainer’.  She arrived in Jan 2016 and took 6 weeks to work out how it all fitted together – she then told us where we were going wrong before implementing the changes. We have never looked back.

So, after six years, a massive thank you to all our clients, suppliers, engineers, supporters, critics, family and friends for making this happen every day.

We still thank our lucky stars every week and comfort ourselves in the fact that if all goes wrong tomorrow then at least we only forked out for the two second-hand laptops!

So, there it is, here we are still going after six years, still enjoying it and still haven’t had a proper argument!  so here’s to the next six years!!

 

Have a great Xmas and a happy and prosperous 2018.

 

Simon Butterworth Director Panama Communications Ltd.