The owners of SMEs (small to medium enterprises, defined by the UK Government as 250 or less employees, with a turnover less than £ 50 million) have used many different ways of handling modern information technology (IT). This paper describes how one SME – Marston Lindsay Ross International – turned the challenge of new customer requirements in the IT field into a springboard for growth. The strategy they used was to develop their own systems, rather than using industry standard software, giving two advantages: first, that their systems were genuinely designed to meet their needs, and second, that the expertise developed in- house could be used as the basis for new business areas. This paper shows that the company is not typical of SMEs in its use of IT, explains how many other SMEs could follow its lead, and describes briefly where research in this area is headed.