29 July 2018

UKFast Campus from ParkwayYou may have read the news this weekend that we have appointed GCA Altium and we are looking at potentially floating UKFast. It’s lovely to read so many positive comments. I’ve even read people saying that they would proudly buy shares in UKFast if it is publicly listed. Of course, it’s wonderful to hear but the most important matter now, for me and my team, is staying focussed on the day-to-day details.

We’ve grown UKFast from a startup in a spare bedroom to the size it is today by focussing on our customers’ needs. We’re always looking to build the best technology and provide it at the best possible prices. With regards to what happens in the future, these three things will remain my number one priority.

Whatever our long-term objectives are for the business, the single most important objective here and now, is ensuring we deliver the best customer service on the planet. We have a Net Promoter Score (NPS – that measures customer satisfaction) of 82 as of last week, which is incredibly high.

Whilst it may be easier to rest on our laurels, regardless of the high score we have gone back to the drawing board to look at our systems to see where we can improve and do better. No matter how many happy clients we may have, there will always be a few that may feel let down, for one reason or another. One of the most effective ways of improving is to engage with those customers, to see where we went wrong, apologise and ensure that we don’t repeat the same mistakes in the future.

This very simple process ensures we’re constantly improving based on direct client feedback. It is one of the most valuable processes you can go through as a business.

A week of focus at UKFast

I am incredibly lucky that we have got a broad spectrum of talent on the board of directors at UKFast. It means I’m able to focus on the things that I really enjoy, designing systems and helping motivate the team, while Gail (MD), Catherine (CFO) and Nicola (Head of Legal) look into the potential of the IPO and the inner workings of the organisation.

I split my week between various teams in the business to see where we can make improvements. Some are small 1% changes, that have an incremental effect, building to big changes in the long term. Others are big pushes, driving evolution in areas of the business where we can tackle multiple things in one go.

I’ve been working closely with our quality and service teams to see how we can maintain and grow our NPS even further. I have always prided myself on the service that we deliver at UKFast. Our purpose is to make life easier for people to grow their businesses. To remove any unnecessary hassle or stress for them. Simple things like ensuring our team answers the phone within three rings and clients get straight through to someone they know and someone who understands, that is qualified to resolve it. It’s these seemingly simple things that really make the difference.

There’s a lot going on, arguably more than ever before and with the launch of our new business ClearCloud, we’ve been doing a lot of work with the team at ClearCloud ensuring that this new part of the business has the best start possible and maintains its incredible momentum. Combining our eCloud with AWS and Azure to create cutting-edge multicloud solutions is already proving effective.

We set up a bank of computers to get the job done there and then!

We set up a bank of computers to get the job done in the war room there and then!

A creative at heart

There is no denying that marketing and creativity is something I enjoy. So spending the latter part of the week with some of the creative teams in the boardroom, planning the future positioning of our brand is always something fun. It’s hard to describe the energy when we run these ‘war room’ sessions. At dinner on Friday night, Gail said: “It’s such a shame it’s Friday, I am really enjoying this war room. I could do with it carrying on tomorrow.”

Seeing what the team are delivering and working with them directly with such passion and focus is incredibly motivating!

With key people from various departments – including creatives, project managers, copy writers, programmers, engineers and many others – we closed the boardroom doors and locked ourselves in. With chefs keeping us fed and watered, all distractions are removed. We tackled more in those three days that we could normally achieve in weeks. The momentum from everyone’s effort is huge. I can’t wait to see the results and things start slotting into place this week.

One of my personal highlights of the week was recording my podcast. I always enjoy teaming up with other entrepreneurs especially startups who are experiencing teething problems or struggling with challenges growing. Looking back years ago, I remember how alone you can feel when you have a challenge with your business and having no idea how to fix it. I also know how valuable it can be when I have had the opportunity to talk with entrepreneurs who are more experienced than me. They almost effortlessly have an answer that rolls off their tongue. Things become clearer in an instant.

The team are publishing the latest podcast tomorrow, so look out on my social channels for it. It’s a great story and definitely one for any entrepreneurs looking for that new stage of growth.

The important basics

There is always so much going on. My diary is forever packed with meetings and appointments but that never draws my focus away. Ultimately, in business, whatever your day-to-day tasks look like, we have to try are absolute hardest to never lose sight of what’s important.

Without our customers we are nothing and that does not mean you can neglect your teammates either. Both are incredibly important. If you get the balance right, you have a chance at making it in business. It’s what we work towards continuously. No matter how hard we try, there is always an area where its blindingly obvious we can improve.

When measuring your progress, everything comes back to one simple thing. Do the basics well. If you can manage this, it sounds easier than it is, if you are lucky enough, things might just go to plan, occasionally!

Have a great week.
Best LJ

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