How to outperform big high street chains and avoid a race to the bottom - Stephen Tighe, Allegro Optical
Manage episode 333829148 series 3000401
Always treat the customer as though they're your mum, says Stephen Tighe, CEO and co-founder of Allegro Opticians.
Launched just a few years ago, Allegro now has customers from America, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and many other parts of the world, after identifying and addressing a profound need for specialist optical care for musicians and performing artists.
Stephen, who worked in financial series for 35 years, and wife and business partner Sheryl Doe are both accomplished musicians – optician Sheryl is a cornet, cello and double bass player; Stephen a conductor and brass band player.
In this episode Stephen describes how when he and Sheryl first met, at a concert, it not only led to their becoming husband and wife but immediately demonstrated the problems their business solves.
Since launching Allegro has gone from two to twenty employees. It has three branches, works with the Royal Society of Musicians of Great Britain and the Royal College of Music and has been recognised with awards from the Federation of Small Businesses, as well as being named Dispensing Optician of the year in 2019 and 2021 and Arts and Entertainment Business of the Year in 2019.
Stephen covers financing the business, its customer service ethos, the value of mentoring (as mentor and meet) and the importance of giving back. He's a thoughtful guest and it's a masterclass in running a business based on thoroughly understanding your customers and giving them an exemplary experience.
Also in the show (after the interview with Stephen) – funding opportunities for businesses and social enterprises.