James Cash is Managing Director of Superfast IT and founded the company in 2002, having previously worked in IT roles for large organisations including BMW and the NHS.
We asked James a few questions:
How did you get started in business?
I started off the company providing IT consultancy services to large enterprises with thousands of users and hundreds of servers. My first small business client came when my accountant asked me if I would look at improving his IT systems. I must have done a good job because he referred me to some of his other clients and things grew from there. A year or so later, I’d built up a base of around fifteen clients, and it was time to hire my first employee.
What is your key to success?
Being a business owner can be tough. You need skills in leadership, communication, finance, sales, strategy, marketing, and time management to name just a few! I didn’t know much about any of these things when I started out, so I’ve had to do a lot of reading over the last fifteen years or so, mostly in areas of business and also self-development. I’d advise anyone to spend 30 minutes each day reading. I’ve probably read hundreds of books and my favourites include:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- The E-Myth Revisited
- The Chimp Paradox
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
I’ve also learned a lot from the clients I’ve worked with over the years. Some of them have vast amounts of experience running their small businesses, and I try to pick up a few hints and tips from them while my IT advice is flowing in the other direction! I feel fortunate to have met these people who’ve been able to help me along the way.
What motivates you?
I love going to work at Superfast. To me, small business owners are like heroes who are creating and safeguarding jobs for people they genuinely care about. I get a real kick out of working with other business owners, helping them grow their companies and be more successful. It’s not like working in a big business where you’re just a number. Smaller businesses aren’t like that, and I’m glad to be a part of something different. We also provide free/discounted services to local charities, and it feels good to be able to give something back.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
With two children and a business to run, I don’t get a lot of spare time in the week, but at the weekend I like to ride my mountain bike, so I can often be found racing around Cannock Chase. For my sins, I was also born as a Birmingham City fan (a family tradition), and I go to most home games with my son, who is as optimistic about “The Blues” as I was at that age. Unfortunately, I’ve developed a degree of pessimism about them, brought about by years of disappointment!
Something people don’t know about you?
Before I worked in IT, I served as a soldier in The British Army.