1 February 2015

So far this year I’ve been asked one question more than any other:

What plans do you have for UKFast in 2015?

I think people might be expecting me to reel off a list of major transformations or crazy ideas, but the truth is actually quite different. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the odd crazy idea. If you’d have told me when we started UKFast that in fifteen years we’d have a hotel in Verbier, I’d probably have said, “Are you bonkers?”

Well, it turns out that Gail and I are the bonkers ones! Who’d have known? But, on a serious note, it’s these kinds of unconventional decisions that have maintained the energy of the business and kept us growing.

Having said that, when it comes to 2015, I don’t think we have to revolutionise the business. We might have the odd wild card up our sleeves, but this year it’s more about making sure our clients have the right type of solutions and making sure they’re happy to have chosen us.

When businesses put their trust in us to look after them, it’s not something we take lightly.

Another aim is to make sure we try to educate the whole of the UK to see that actually you can do business differently.
When it comes to UKFast, we’re not just here as a hosting organisation, we’re here as a business support mechanism. We’ve got huge benefits for people to tap into, the auditorium and the bar for example. For me, seeing the Manchester Camerata rehearsing in the auditorium again last week was magical; it gave me goose bumps. Because where in the business manual does it say you should have a classical orchestra in your auditorium?

For that matter, where does it say you should have an auditorium?

It was a bit of a milestone for me personally. With the Camerata, it started off as a bit of a dream and a place where I could help them and save them some money. But at the same time you’ve got some of the most incredible cultural music being played and some of the greatest classical musicians certainly in the UK under one roof with some of the greatest technical people in the UK, also under one roof. I think it can only be a recipe for a fantastic year ahead.

We’ve got an extraordinary bunch of people here who are very passionate. In fact, I’ve never met such an extraordinary bunch of people in my life. So to get everybody under one roof – I sometimes have to pinch myself and wonder how it’s happened. I could live for a thousand years and I don’t think I could ever build a business quite like this.

Looking back on the journey so far, I don’t think we would change a thing. On reflection, of course, it would be lovely if you could have foreseen all the trials and tribulations, but life is about moving forward. Plus, part of the fun is making mistakes, picking ourselves up and dusting ourselves off. As the saying goes, making mistakes is something everyone does, but learning from them is not.

I think UKFast is a business that takes stock of its situation and constantly questions how to do things better. One of the team said to me recently: “We’ve not broken the mould, we’ve made our own.” It got me thinking, what we need this year is more of the same. Let’s get even more organised and even more energised so we can supply the greatest service known to Britain.

Sound like a plan?

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