Spotting a gap in the market nearly a year ago has led to a successful new venture for an East Anglian based company.
In May 2013, Hughes Electrical launched its ‘Smart Home’ service which was designed to help people who were confused or unsure about the ever increasing array of home entertainment equipment available and what would be right for them.
Tasked with getting the new service up and running was Hughes manager Ashley Shorey-Mills (pictured, centre).
“While we were optimistic there would be a demand we knew there were no guarantees for its success,” said Mr Shorey-Mills. “The concept was very simple; send one of our experienced team to a customer’s home to discuss with them what they want from home entertainment, look at the layout of the house and then come back with recommendations. This service is completely free to the customer and they are under no obligation to buy.”
Mr Shorey-Mills knew there were similar services offered to the very wealthy but nobody was catering for the mass market.
“There are lots of people out there who are confused about what is available, not sure exactly what they want or simply do not have the time to find out,” said Mr Shorey-Mills. “We offer good old fashioned customer service where we visit the customer at home at a time convenient to them, and come back and see them to discuss our recommendations. It also gives the opportunity for us to demonstrate that equipment.
“People really do like this kind of service and it is for everyone – whatever their budget. We helped a retired couple with a new wall mounted TV, DVD and soundbar which gave them much more space in their living room.
“Another customer was a lady who was renovating a cottage from a shell and we worked with her to ensure all rooms were wired up, with cabling hidden and the property was ‘future proofed’ when it came to technology.
“The size of the order really does not matter as our aim is to do what is right for each customer. This led us to talk to house builders because we can ensure any cabling is hidden before the new buyers move in and everything is ready for them to plug their equipment into.”
Hughes Smart Home now has three full time employees and vans in its own special livery and will soon have its own dedicated website as well as undertaking other marketing initiatives.
“We have been delighted with how the new concept has gone over the last year and are looking forward to the future with confidence,” said Mr Shorey-Mills. “Over the next 12 months we plan to double the turnover which will inevitably mean us taking on extra staff.”