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Local Business Insight

Q&A with Stuart Johnson, MD of the South Yorkshire BT Local Business franchise

BT Local Business is a network of independent BT businesses across the UK, bringing products, services, expertise and local understanding directly to your doorstep. In this series, we’ll be shining the spotlight on some of our local business MDs to get under the skin of running a local business.

This issue, we’re catching up with Stuart Johnson, MD of the South Yorkshire and Chesterfield BT Local Business.

Hi Stuart, tell us a bit about yourself and your business...

I live in a small village on the outskirts of Sheffield called Grenoside. I try to play golf as often as I can, spend the occasional afternoon watching Sheffield Wednesday and enjoy spending time with my wife and daughter.

I look after a local business called Cutler Communications Solutions, a.k.a. BT Local Business. We sell the whole range of BT’s products and services to other businesses around the South Yorkshire and Chesterfield area.

What made you start your own business and how long have you been operating?

We started trading in February 2003. Before that, I’d spent 25 years working directly for BT. After that many years, I felt it was time to branch out and start my own business and really make a difference in my local area.

Who are your customers?

Small to medium sized businesses (SMEs) based in South Yorkshire, Humberside and Derbyshire who have a business challenge that we can address through BT’s products and services.

As a small business ourselves, it’s much easier for us to relate to the problems of a smaller business, like cash-flow and all the other problems being faced in these challenging financial times.

Talk us through a typical day…

I walk into the office at 7.45 and then BANG, anything can happen! There really is no typical day – be it dealing with customers, meeting suppliers or speaking with my team to see what we can do better.

How is the advance in technology affecting your customers?

Technology is helping smaller companies level the playing field. Through adopting efficient use of technology, smaller businesses can now compete better than ever with larger organisations.

Any predictions for the next 12 months?

That’s a difficult one! I sincerely hope the economic situation in Europe and indeed the rest of the world stabilises and that, through employing modern technology, SMEs can have a positive impact and improve people’s quality of life.

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