Instead of us just telling you how good we are, we asked Gary Dennis to tell us why he likes using Sage One Accounting software and Sage Pay to manage his business, Crazy Beat Records.
1. Hi Gary, could you please give me a brief summary of who you are, what you do and the name of your business?
I’m Gary Dennis – Soul, Jazz, Funk & Reggae DJ for the past 35 years and Crazy Beat Records is my record shop based in Upminster, Essex which buys and sells vinyl/CDs from all over the world with all sorts of styles and genres.
We started in the 90’s purely selling music in-store – 25 years later and we’re still here so we must be doing something right! We now focus a lot more on the Internet and worldwide mail order to survive.
2. How many people are in your business? Is it just you or do you have business partners / employees?
I own the business and have no business partners but employ 4 or so staff to handle different sections of the shop. We have someone who mainly focuses on mail order, another who focuses on the websites, someone who handles our accounts/finances and someone who controls our stock.
Roughly a month or two ago we switched (start of 2014). We decided in early 2013 to completely revamp our 10 year old website to a more modern, sleek design.
We completely changed everything except the stock we have, so we initially decided to look into Sage Pay due to its easier integration with e-commerce platforms and positive reviews – while deciding this we also decided to switch completely to Sage One Accounting. (We were previously using Barclays for 20 or so years!)
4. When did you start selling online using Sage Pay? How has this benefited your business?
At the same time we started using Sage One Accounting. It has provided a much easier platform for customers to pay for our products on our website as well as easy integration with our e-commerce platform.
The design and functionality is quite straight forward for people who have never seen or used it before which is perfect for us.
5. What do you like best about Sage One and Sage Pay?
It’s easy to use yet very functional, it took very little time for staff to get used to and the settings and setup were both very straightforward.
6. What advice would you give to someone starting out in business / following in your footsteps?
Firstly, to avoid any and all debt from the start. Tying into this is how much stock you have, you want to keep your stock levels to a minimum and not overstock any products – otherwise your assets become tied to stock which may not sell over a certain amount; be careful not to understock too though!
Finally and most importantly, too many people worry about what other people are doing. Look at yourself and improve, don’t look at your competitors. If you focus on yourself, you’ll become THEIR competition – but if you look at them, they will stay as your competition.