Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! Our Preferred Partners at John Ross Smart Living

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The Smart Living team has a mantra: making life easier with technology.

But we’re firm believers in teamwork, too. Whether it’s getting up at 6am to network with local businesses or welcoming the right people aboard the Smart Living team, life feels easier when you’re part of a like minded community.

Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “teamwork makes the dream work”? It actually comes from an inspirational book of the same name by John C. Maxwell (a title that wouldn’t be out of place in our business network’s book club).

Ok, it’s a wee bit cheesy. But in business no man is an island. Whether it’s hiring outside expertise to get an idea off the ground or expanding your team in order to grow, you need the help of others.

We wouldn’t be where we are today without a little help from our friends. Building a dream takes time and investment. But you can shorten the learning curve if you make an effort to cultivate a wider network and draw on others’ expertise. Plus, you get to celebrate big milestones together!

We’re all for community over competition, which is why today we’re talking teamwork instead of technology.

Since joining BNI, our local business networking group, Smart Living has been enriched by the community spirit, camaraderie, and collective wisdom of a wider team.

A rising tide lifts all boats (another quote for your office wall!) so today we’re revealing why “teamwork makes the dream work”.

The power of teamwork

Big dreams are rarely achieved alone. Our founder John is a sociable guy, from his early days as an apprentice at a local company to creating John Ross Smart Living.

Like most new business owners, John quickly realised he couldn’t do it all himself. Over several years he’s built a thriving smart technology company powered by a passionate, knowledgeable team and a strong network of business partners.

Here’s how prioritising teamwork can propel your company forwards:

Better problem solving

Two brains are better than one. Ideally, your business will have several!

Our team is able to think on their feet. We don’t simply pull stuff out of a box — our job is to make a client’s life easier, not harder. Sometimes that takes a bit of problem solving to integrate technology into a client’s existing lifestyle.

Tech issues are some of the most frustrating to deal with. They’re also annoyingly common in today’s gadget-driven world. From patchy WiFi to off-kilter projectors in home cinema rooms, we’ve dealt with the lot.

Luckily, we’re a level-headed bunch immune to ‘tech rage’.

With decades of experience and having solved nearly every techy issue under the sun we can safely say that nothing is impossible with teamwork.

Opportunities for growth and innovation

In Teamwork Makes the Dream Work, Maxwell notes how businesses achieve more with empowered team members.  Crucially, each member of the team should bring something different to the table.

Surrounding yourself with people who think exactly like you is a recipe for stagnancy. Sometimes you need that person who will always give their opinion to keep you on the straight and narrow!

Technology advances constantly. Therefore, it’s crucial for us to bring people with varied backgrounds and perspectives to help us stay ahead of the curve. When you’re open to collaboration innovation is just around the corner.

Ever worked for a ‘micromanager’? It sucks all the satisfaction from a job when your boss always thinks they’re right and doesn’t value your opinion. We certainly wouldn’t get far if we didn’t trust our team to do their job. Like terminating and testing the myriad of cables involved in a whole-house installation — a job best left to the young guys!

Happier team members

It’s a fact that employees are happier when they feel part of a team.

Research shows that employees are motivated to work harder when they’re respected and encouraged to share their honest thoughts. Compare this to unhappy employees whose lack of motivation could cause employers up to 61 working days.

It’s not all about productivity, though. A healthy workplace has positive benefits that last long after employees clock off. A recent mental health study suggests that employees’ happiness improves when they have more time to spend on personal development and relationships outside work.

Giving your team more control over their schedule, a stable workload, and flexibility when needed are all ways you can keep employees happy.

Remembering birthdays helps, too. Even better, let them arrange their workload around the next Grand Prix if they’re a Formula 1 fan.

Listening to our customers

Your customers are part of your team. When you ask for their feedback, not only do you get a fresh perspective on how to improve your services, you increase your customer’s trust in you. Win-win!

Making people happier and making their lives better with technology is at the heart of what we do. That means listening to their needs and really getting to the heart of what will improve their lives. Sometimes our clients don’t realise how big an impact little things like automated lighting and blinds have.

One customer went from using a smart kettle as their entry product to having us design a whole-house solution. That’s why ongoing support is part of our business model. Customers know that we’re only a phone call away, easy to talk to, and quick to implement their feedback.

Lower risk of burnout

Many hands make light work.

An unreasonable schedule shared among too few people is a sure route to burnout. If you didn’t know already, burnout is defined as “a state of complete mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion.”

Sounds thoroughly unpleasant! Yet extreme exhaustion is on the rise with a record number of employees facing burnout at work.

Long-term stress at work can be caused by many factors. A consistently high workload, unreasonable expectations, and employees feeling powerless in the workplace are all warning signs.

When you commit to a healthy, happy team you lower the risk of burnout within your company. That means hiring contractors when you need to and checking in with every team member’s mental health.

If you’re the boss, remember that these tips also apply to you! Taking regular breaks when you need to and socialising outside work will leave you feeling refreshed and excited to tackle your goals.

As smart living enthusiasts it’s no surprise that we advocate for the “work smarter, not harder” approach.

Dream bigger

Thirty years ago no one would have dreamed that we’d be glued to our smartphones. Let alone that you could use them to open your blinds in the morning or control every gadget in your home.

With a great team behind you, it’s possible to dream bigger. We think we live in a technological paradise now, but imagine what gadgets and gizmos will be making our lives easier ten or twenty years from now.

Our founder John has been in the business long enough to see how quickly technology improves — and how greatly it benefits our lives.

A business’ ability to see the big picture and pursue higher goals lies in the strength of their team. Is your team on your side? If so, you’ll feel able to take the risks necessary to drive change.

Who we work with

It’s nearing the end of the year and we’re in reflection mode. Our success this year wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our various business partners who we see as part of the extended Smart Living Team.

Business Network International (BNI)

BNI is the world’s leading business networking and referral organisation. Quite an ally to have on your team!

BNI helps business owners achieve their goals by developing relationships between like-minded professionals and creating opportunities via referrals.

Our own John Ross is the current President of Perth BNI which has almost 30 active members. With £3 million of business being passed in 2023 we firmly believe in the power of being part of a connected group.

BNI meets every Wednesday morning at the George Hotel in Perth. Find out more here.

DG Ritchie Joinery Services

When is the best time to install smart tech? Answer: when you’re building a house.

It just makes sense for us to partner with a reliable joinery firm so our customers can create home automations in alignment with their dream home.

Dave Ritchie has been in the trade for 40 years. From custom windows and staircases to extensions and garage conversions, Dave’s team are craftsmen dedicated to seeing your renovation project from beginning to end.

Dave is a big believer in the power of community too and runs training courses for school leavers at Perth College UHI.

iFab Scotland

Meet the metal fabricators who can transform your business or home. “Where traditional values meet modern excellence” is iFab’s tagline and we can testify to the truth of that.

iFab have been brilliant partners, helping us install smart security like automated gates. Not only do they look impressive as you pull up the drive, they keep your family safe.

We also share similar values of teamwork and caring about the opinions of our clients and employees.

AJ Fitchet Architects

AJ Fitchet Architects are a boutique architectural practice based in Perthshire. They specialise in commercial and domestic property design and have a passion for breathing new life into old buildings.

Luckily for us, they also work at the cutting edge on new builds. Their knowledge and expertise are invaluable when it comes to designing your home for the ground up — especially if you plan to include smart tech. If you want a home cinema in your new home, for example, the planning stage will highlight the correct position for smart entertainment in your home. Factoring smart tech in at the architectural stage means less headaches in the future — you get the optimal layout from the start.

AS Wealth Management

Everyone needs a good financial advisor on their team. A S Wealth Management are financial advisors based in Perth who help people manage all aspects of their money and estates.

Want to grow your wealth but fear the risks? Not got a scooby about investments? AS Wealth Management helps you find practical solutions to financial conundrums. They’re a great partner for us because automating your home can actually save you money and add value to your house.

CIK Accounting Solutions

New kid on the block? Growing your company? More established than Heinz? CIK Accounting Solutions work with clients of all sizes. Based in Perth they advise clients to make smarter choices that make life easier. Like a smart home office, come to think of it!

But this isn’t just friends recommending friends. CIK Accounting have built their reputation on years of helping clients grow their profits. They’re all about streamlining daily tasks with technology — and we couldn’t agree more.

No one went into business to do admin. So if your team doesn’t include a trusted accountant, you’re missing a trick.

Custom Cleans

Custom Cleans offer cleaning services to homes, businesses, and holiday lets. Founder Jenny Souter also offers a keen ear to clients’ struggles. Often the simplest tasks can be made easier with technology, and that’s when Jenny recommends us.

As owners of smart holiday let Taigh Gleusta we don’t hesitate to recommend Jenny’s services either.

Word of mouth referrals is a business network at its best. How many times have you bought a product or watched a TV show on a friend’s recommendation? People buy from people, and an honest recommendation goes a long way.


We’ve always used Control4 products in our smart home installations because they’re a forward-thinking company who move ahead of the curve. Technology changes rapidly so we need to work with a company who thinks not just in terms of today but in ten or twenty years time.

Add to that Control4 just works. In the Internet of Things era we need reliable products that integrate seamlessly with existing tech. Control4 fit the bill.

Looking to expand your network in 2024? Join us at BNI or get in touch with your local business network.

There is no limit to what you can achieve with a little teamwork.

Want to learn more about making life easier with technology? Our blog is full of ideas on how smart technology can make your life easier. If you really want to fall down the rabbit hole of smart home automation subscribe to our YouTube channel. That way you won’t miss a thing.

smart screen with smart home with modern living room

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