ON and off the pitch former Wycombe Wanderers mid-fielder Andrew Harman has focused on the goal. It is one of the reasons the company he started with his brother Tim in Holmer Green aims for a £75 million turnover in three years.

Since its humble beginnings in a dining room nearly 20 years ago, Annodata Business Communications has thrived. It now employs 400 staff at its 23,000 sq ft Kings Langley headquarters alone.

Annodata scored a £48 million turnover in the last financial year and the directors have set the bigger target through organic growth, merger and acquisition. The latest goal is emphasis on facilities management where companies outsource non core business functions.

With offshoots throughout the country, the company is at the forefront of business technology and communications for thousands of organisations as diverse as Wycombe District Council, Glaxo, National House Building Council, Education Authorities and Amersham International.

Harman, 44, who lives in Beaconsfield played for Wycombe for eight years after leaving school and started Annodata when he had reached the top of sales with Canon photocopiers. He persuaded two fellow salesmen and his business graduate brother to quit their jobs and start Annodata.

"I suppose I wasn't very good at taking orders and wanted my own business," he said. "it made sense to do our own thing."

Today, the company is prominent in voice, data, and document communications and the largest independent partner of Canon in the UK.

"Everything around the office we will sell, support or service but we have been careful not to branch into areas outside our expertise," said Harman.

His mantra has been listening to customers and providing a good service. Key to keeping customers happy is having rapport with suppliers such as Canon, Siemens and Toshiba and making sure products are delivered on time.

"The strength of our business is that we have strings to our bows," said Harman, "there are other businesses similar to us who are either in print, telephone or office equipment. From the customer point of view, we are do it all."

The firm studied the market from the beginning. Despite launching at the beginning of the 80s slump they were not buried in the business graveyard and achieved a £1.2 million turnover in the first year.

Staying focused and spotting the potential of the internet, computers and audio visual progressed the business.

"We didn't want to do business equipment only, which is why we chose the title business communications in our name. We didn't want to be restricted in what we did," said Harman.

They've been at Kings Langley 16 years and became a launch pad for companies needing office equipment, facilities and advice. They eventually opened satellite offices in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Reading.

Initially Andrew Harman's idea of heaven was taking his girlfriend on tours of business parks, spotting potential leads. It may not have been romantic but it showed commitment to sales and strength of purpose.

Even though his role as joint managing director is directing staff and defining strategy he still can't resist business parks. Instead of hitting the phone and cold calling personally he now galvanizes sales teams into action.

Apart from sales teams there are 140 engineers specialising in the installation and servicing of phone, photocopiers, printers, personal computers and IT support. Their printing division at Dunstable which employs 100 people takes care of design and print. The IT and telecommunications division handles the needs of offices and schools.

He's a role model to secondary children who feel a "failure" for not passing the 11 plus and said: "When I gave a talk at my old school, Holmer Green Secondary, they thanked me afterwards for giving them hope. Like many of them, I didn't have a clue what I wanted to do when I was at school. I was good at sport and an average pupil but it didn't stop me getting up the ladder and achieving."

Although he only had a handful of O'levels he became confident after starting at the bottom and working his way up in sales. His college was the workplace. His advice to teenagers is to work hard, stay focused and grab hold of challenges and not to put themselves down.

Harman admits to being a driven man who has restless nights and said: "Keeping ahead of the game is important. If you take your foot off the pedal, it can soon disappear."