Clint Crowster is the kind of entrepreneur who lives by what he teaches, and who dedicates his life to developing talent and sharing the secrets of his business success. In his new book: SUPER FIRED-UP & FOCUSED Clint tells the story of his journey from being retrenched as a call centre agent to becoming the CEO of his own successful company, AskOsca.
After being notified about his retrenchment, Clint decided to start his own contact centre business. It was a big jump to move from a secure and comfortable monthly salary – to not knowing what each month had in store! Clint started AskOsca with only 3 seats, and decided to run a campaign to access markets in the USA.
Within 5 years AskOsca grew into a 60 seater call centre accessing markets across the United Kingdom, United States of America, European Union and Australia.
AskOsca is currently one of South Africas leading international outsourced business centres. It took Clint 5 years to build his business, and he shares the lesson he learned along the way with others who have the same entrepreneurial spirit.
“Never give up – you never know how close you are! My big break in the BPO industry came when I was retrenched from the company I worked for.”
“Even with the financial uncertainty, I was in heaven. My fire and focus were on full blast again. I had complete control over what I was doing. I could implement whatever I wanted to and drew from my experience and my belief in AskOsca.
That 3 seater call centre was the blank canvas for the success we are enjoying today.”
Clint’s advice to start-ups and young entrepreneurs
Don’t chase the money. That’s the biggest mistake people make. My goal was always to develop people and help improve their lives. If you do that well, then money will follow. Money has six legs, we’ve only got two – how dare we think we can catch it? What you put out there will come back to you. Focus on productivity and do that well, and you’ll get good commission. Design processes in the business to suit the customer and look after your staff, without them you are nothing.
Clint’s business strategy
I have a very simple strategy – I employ people from my immediate vicinity, train and develop them. My neighbour on my left works for me, my neighbour on my right works for me, my neighbour across the road works for me, people two avenues away from me work for me. The best part of it is that they are never late for work. There are no transport issues. There are other companies out there, but I pay my people exactly the same. My staff saves on transport cost, they can spend more time with their families in the morning and evening because they are not sitting in traffic. My staff attrition rate is very low as a result. This strategy is one of my biggest USPs when I try selling business to other clients, because they want people to be happy at work, on time and highly efficient.
How OskOsca finds business
I get most of my business through social media and contacts in the industry. Maintaining good relations with clients is paramount. The operations director of Nursing 2000, one of our UK-based clients, was a contact centre agent I trained in 2005 at the Dialogue Group. He reached out to me after seeing our social media marketing campaign. Today he is a client. Staying in touch with contacts help.
To read the full interview with Clint, click here: Invest Cape Town
The FOREWORD of SUPER FIRED-UP & FOCUSED was written by Alan Winde (MMP):
“Research has shown that the majority of small businesses in South Africa fail within the first year – securing them membership in Sir Richards Branson’s club of first failures.
AskOsca became a success, purely because Clint did not allow those first, difficult months in business to deter him. The goal was to take his product to market, and even though he had to return to the drawing board a few times, he got there.
Life is a succession of choices. By acknowledging that we are human and will, therefore, fail at some point, at any given time, we allow ourselves the freedom to try again. By choosing not to give up, we choose to succeed. So, as a message to fellow South Africans:
“When someone is brave enough to risk and fail, celebrate the effort by congratulating them on the guts and determination displayed rather than ridicule the process. The support of others is a crucial ingredient for success.”
You can buy your own copy of SUPER FIRED-UP & FOCUSED from Amazon.com or Exclusive Books