17 July 2016

Wow, what a week it has been!

It is extraordinary how, even after months or years, everything seems to come together at once.Lawrence Jones Sale Sharks rugby

That’s exactly what happened this week.

Not only have we made some significant progress with the business, which I am certain you will read more about tomorrow if you haven’t already seen today’s Sunday Times; we’ve also signed once again to be the main sponsor of the Sale Sharks.

The rugby club is incredibly close to my heart and it was a truly emotional moment for me at their BBQ on Thursday, celebrating the new board, the new sponsor and we took my 5-week-old daughter Summer for her first rugby experience. I blogged about how becoming the Sharks’ sponsor again was like coming full circle and having Summer there highlighted this more than anything. We took my eldest daughter to meet The Sharks when she was just a week old, and now, more than a decade later, we’re back and back with our fourth daughter and having come a long way since!

I made some wonderful friends during our time with the rugby club – all of whom I still class as friends today. It’s amazing how many friends you can make when you share great memories and experiences.

The record sponsorship deal came from a chance meeting I had with the club’s management team when I bumped into them at Le Farinet in Verbier and we got talking. We talked about the club, reminisced and I admitted that I had missed it over the past few years, promising that if the situation at the club changed, they could count UKFast in.

Then, lo and behold. the club changed hands a few weeks ago and we’re once again associated with the historic club and its incredible team, and we’re already make more memories.

Life, for me, is about making memories, with your families, with your teammates and with your friends. That’s why we place such a focus on team events and events with clients.

In business it is important to get to know the people with whom you’re working. Don’t be an unknown entity that your clients only turn to when they are in trouble. The only memories they will associate with you are those of panic and pain, and hopefully the resolution. I prefer to add positive experiences and great memories to that.

Whilst it is a challenge for one person – especially the CEO or business leader – to get to know thousands of clients, there is nothing stopping your team from properly getting to know each of them.

This is why we have created a Pod System at UKFast, splitting the client base into mini businesses or ‘pods’ of two account managers, two support managers, two Linux engineers and two Windows engineers who each look after their own pool of clients. This means, in theory, that clients are always speaking with the same team, the team know each client and their solution and, as such, are able to resolve issues quicker. Of course, when there is an issue late at night or on holiday, other people may step in but overall, the system works.

As business leaders, it is up to us to facilitate this, to empower relationship building as much as possible. With the Sale Sharks sponsorship, we’re now able to once again offer amazing Friday night experiences with the team and, once again, have an incredible place to get to know people and make memories.

I am incredibly proud of this partnership and I’m looking forward to meeting as many of you as possible in the Shark Tank after the match.

I do think it is important to highlight that we’re not here just to be a name on a shirt, we’re here to make a difference. We’re here to bring back that awesome match day experience and make The Sharks the place to be on a Friday. I am already looking at ways we can improve the issues we’ve heard about from last season, and I know the board are looking into the transport and traffic troubles. We’re on a mission!

How do you make great memories with your teams and your clients?

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