On the Sofa- Alex Morel, ALX training
So, tell us what inspired you to get this off the ground?
Discovering that although people use MS Office on a daily basis and that many companies’ productivity / efficiency depends on how well their employees use these products, most people do not use the software to its full potential, thus wasting both time and money. I designed a few lessons to address these gaps and the business quickly took off!
What did you do prior to starting this business?
I’ve been teaching since 1999 and have taught many different subjects from English language, to sexual health, literacy and now IT.
Did that teach you any lessons that helped you succeed?
Over the years, I’ve learned what people really want from a lesson, regardless of the subject – relevant, practical and easy to digest information delivered in a short lesson by a friendly and knowledgeable teacher.
What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learnt since starting the business?
The importance of saying ‘no’ and not taking on every contract which comes my way. It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to every request but you’ve got to keep your eye on your time and the bottom line.
Any funny stories that you have about the business starting out?!
Students meeting me for the first time are regularly confused by my name. When you teach IT and have a name like Alex most people expect to be taught by a man. This is then compounded by the fact that my husband is called Kirsten!
What are your plans for the future?
To establish a permanent base in Guernsey which would then spare me the regular white knuckle ride to our sister island. We are also moving into e-learning with tailor-made online training sessions which can be incorporated into a company’s induction process. This will also make the simultaneous roll-out of new MS Office versions across different jurisdictions much easier for large firms.
What advice would you give to would-be entrepreneurs?
Don’t think that being self-employed is any more of a risk than being employed. Remember, you’re never going to sack yourself or make yourself redundant. You may go bust but so could the company you currently work for.
About the business
ALX Training delivers Microsoft Office and BlackBerry classes for businesses across the Channel Islands. Using a task-based approach ALX Training delivers courses that are focused on the needs of the individual user and the business as a whole.
In a short time, ALX Training has become the Channel Islands’ leading provider of MS Office training, due in part to its flexible approach which means staff can be taught within the workplace in short sessions that keep disruption to a minimum. Importantly, employees don’t spend time learning irrelevant topics, instead they leave the session with knowledge and experience that can be immediately applied to their workplace.