Name: Frederick May
Position: Managing Director
Location: The Ponds, NSW, AU
Design, analysis, and project management of technical product development programs
What products/services do you offer?
Computer-aided design and analysis. Project management. Government and industry regulatory compliance and recording activities.
Why did you start your business and how long have you been running it?
Synera Design addresses the growing demand for independent technical design and inputs for established Corporations and Entrepreneurial entities. Synera Design was established in 1994 and in operation for 26 years.
What struggles do you think most businesses face in your industry and what would you say they need to do to overcome them?
Independent engineering consultancies have always been associated with high-rates and overbudgets. Businesses planning design projects with moderate development budgets, are less inclined to outsource.
Conversely, independent consultancies, offering alternatively low rates are typically under staffed, or under-capitalised, or perceived as such.
For an independent consultancy to truly offer the highest technology advantage to its Client, while maintaining a realistic rate structure, it must have the following best possible qualities:
- consultant technical expertise and experience
- technical management
- business sector knowledge
- technical tools and software
- carefully tailored business structure
- Client friendly rates and variable rate structures
- commitment to quality outputs and outcomes
- business, technical, and personal integrity
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Engaging and maintaining long-term business relationships with numerous Clients in North America and Australia. 5 of these relationships have been in play for over 20 years, many more over 10 years. We are the “first contact” for technical assistance with many Clients.
What has been your biggest ‘fail’ so far?
Small consultancies are inclined to accept work from unvetted businesses for financial reasons. On a few occasions we have engaged projects with inexperienced Clients, or Clients with untenable budgetary restraints.
What do you love most about your business?
Communicating with Clients and teams. Project planning and allocation across wide ranges of technical scope. Seeing your design in play and commercialised.
What do you find most challenging?
Typically, we will have numerous projects in work simultaneously. Managing a higher project count is more efficient than fewer projects. As projects end, the projects in play lowers. More administration time must be spent on identifying and securing new work and resources carefully allocated to remaining tasks.
How do you promote your business (please include as many details as you can)?
In the past, almost all new work was elicited by word of mouth. Technical business sectors are communities and good performance is always recognised and forwarded on. Some time ago, we aired a simple website in AU and, surprisingly, got some reasonable response in the form of small projects.
Unfortunately, the website always only elicited small projects. Our current website plays the role of “placeholder”. Its initial intent is to be viewed by those having been referred to us, and to have a confirmation of our presence, professionalism, and mainly history.
What business skills do you have (eg. graphic design, customer service)?
Project management, business management, recruiting
What software did you/your designer use to create your website (eg. WordPress, Wix)?
Currently done on WordPress by W4B
What are some of your favourite business tools and apps?
What do you like about your website and what’s not working for you?
Our W4B website is visually dynamic and allows a quick pass assessment quite easily. Some comments say it is a bit too verbose. As our Client projects are usually highly proprietary it is difficult to get very detailed without violating Client confidentiality. Therefore, looking for a way to get more visually “techy” without engaging Client information.
What lessons have you learnt during your time as an entrepreneur?
By far, honestly, and integrity in all activities. Trust goes a lot farther than glitz, tech, or cool apps. Trust is timeless. If you go into the Consulting realm just to get rich, it will most likely be a meteoric rise and glide back to reality.
What key tips for success in business would you like to share with others?
Don’t get too hung up on your Business Sector. Your Business Sector might have a plethora of cool things, and ways that things have always been done, but it is not the only Business Sector out there. Look around and outside the box… I work routinely between Medical, Aerospace, Communications and Pharma. They all have elements that can be cross-pollenated. The Laws of Physics are the same for all, so are the Laws of Business and Finance and conduct.
What is the one thing that you want everyone to take away from this post?
Trust, professionalism, and commitment will get you more respect than money.