Parkway Telecom's Call Of Success
How telecoms boss turned back on pro football to realise his industry goals
Nov 17 2010 : Martin Williams, Daily Post
AS a youngster Paul Maddocks was on his way to becoming a professional footballer. Now, as managing director of communications company Parkway Telecom, he is more used to scoring contracts and netting deals. The Saltney firm covers all of North Wales and is celebrating its tenth anniversary.
Having resigned as MD of a 75-strong company to start the business, Paul found himself with just two colleagues.
But he stood strong and worked around the clock to promote Parkway, which is now one of the leading businesses in its field with accredited partners including Vodafone and Blackberry.
“I attended every possible business networking event to promote Parkway,” Paul told Business Post.
“I had to do every job, from creating the opportunity to closing the sale, delivering the phones and providing the ongoing customer care.
“Starting from nothing, I was paying staff more than my own salary in order to retain them and grow the business.”
He added: “I am proud to say my original colleague Jenny Gore stayed with Parkway throughout the challenge and 10 years on she is now my trusted general manager.
“I appreciate every single new and existing client as much today as I did back in July 2000. It fills me with pride to see so many local businesses that placed their trust in me all those years ago continue to do so.”
Parkway now supplies over 500 clients throughout North Wales and the North West and has survived in one of the most challenging sectors during one of the most difficult economic periods in decades.
Paul said the key to their success is a market leading 97% retention rate, and ‘organic growth’.
He is also bent on supporting the local community; Parkway raised £5,000 for the Royal British Legion by holding a charity ball and have already scheduled another event for next summer, with a target to raise £10,000 for Nightingale House Hospice.
The 41-year-old, who was born in Wrexham and still lives in the area with partner Helen, said the world of business is a far cry from his days as captain of Bryn Offa school team.
As a teen he led them to victory in the Welsh Cup and did the same with Wrexham Schoolboys, which led to trials with Manchester United, Leeds United and Birmingham City, before signing schoolboy forms for his hometown club.
However, despite success with the Dragons’ reserves he soon decided to quit the game he loved.
“I began to think I would earn my living outside the world of football,” he said.
“There was very little money in the game in those days and many professionals ended up having to find work on retirement from playing, unlike the multi-millionaire status of today’s players.”
Paul added: “I believe the strong urge to compete and to win which was instilled into me as a young footballer has followed me into my business career – whilst I am fair and always try to treat people as I would like to be treated myself, I am extremely competitive and hate losing.”
With more jobs on the cards, Paul said they may soon outgrow their current offices but are happy at Parkway House for now.
Employing 12 people directly and many indirectly through partners Vodafone and Navman Wireless – who recruited customer service and installation staff dedicated to supporting Parkway Telecom, they plan to take on at least three new staff in the coming months.
So it’s an interesting time for Paul, who insists there have been myriad good and bad moments, both personally and professionally, since the company’s inception.
He said: “I have been very fortunate and sincerely hope that I have not yet reached the ultimate, I strive every day to achieve more.
“Some personal highlights include meeting David Beckham and Lewis Hamilton as guests of Vodafone and holding the FA Cup barely an hour before kick off on cup final day as a guest of the FA.
“The low point was the loss of my dad in July last year. Mum and dad used to clean the office every Wednesday and Saturday.
“He passed away suddenly and unexpectedly aged just 66 and is missed terribly. Mum has decided not to continue cleaning and we have been unable to replace them ever since.
“Although dad was never a businessman, I would take great pride in telling him all about it when things went well and appreciated his encouragement when things did not go to plan. If it’s possible, I work even harder now than ever before and often think I hope my dad is proud.”
Paul insists he is not one for regrets, but does believe you learn from experience and says the three words that would describe his style of business would be “honest, driven, successful”.
He said: “If I was to do things differently, perhaps I would have persevered with my football career to play first team football for a few seasons before pursuing a business career.
“And with hindsight, I would have started Parkway Telecom years earlier.
“We have worked hard to retain clients by maintaining our high levels of service whilst closely managing costs.
“It has been sad to see some longstanding clients go out of business during the recession.
“We have had to work even harder to replace those lost in this way with new clients.
He added: “Parkway Telecom was my dream and has consumed every waking hour and some sleeping time too over the last 10 years.
“The secret is hard work combined with honest, transparent relationships with your colleagues, clients and suppliers.
“I would urge anyone starting out in business to research your dream, plan, prepare and review your vision constantly, but don’t let any ‘dream catchers’ stop you.
“As a lifelong Liverpool FC supporter, I would quote one of my heroes, Bill Shankly. One of his famous quotes was: “First is everywhere. Second is nowhere”.
“I believe striving to be the best and working your hardest is key to success.” - Paul Maddocks, MD Parkway Telecom