What do you currently do?
I am the co-founder and technical director of 34SP.com based in the centre of Manchester. 34SP.com is a UK web hosting provider which aims to bridge the gap between sophisticated hosting solutions, by offering affordable hosting prices coupled with exceptional service and support. The company was founded in September 2000 by myself and our business director, Stuart Melling. We had just graduated and were struggling to find a reliable and secure web hosting company so decided to set up 34SP.com not realising then that it would turn into a such a successful business for us.
What is your inspiration in the business?
My inspiration would be providing world class hosting with accessible support, helping novices and experts alike to take full advantage of the web.
Who do you admire?
I admire anyone that does something for themselves. There are lessons to be learned from most businesses and most business leaders, but the ones that make a difference are the ones that have done something different, led rather than followed and haven’t been afraid to go their own way.
Looking back are there things you would have done differently?
Personally, I haven’t suffered any significant career setbacks so it’s difficult to say what I would do differently. Myself and Stuart founded 34SP.com right out of university and 14 years later we’re still here. As a business we’ve invested time in projects that came to nothing, but we didn’t know that was going to happen and learned things along the way. We didn’t really encounter many barriers to entry and started out as a true home business, firmly establishing that cash flow was important through not having much to invest in the business.
What defines your way of doing business?
34SP.com operates in a crowded and hugely competitive marketplace. From the start we’ve made sure that our customer service differentiates us from our competitors. For us, it’s all about providing top quality support to our customers. We regularly seek and act on feedback to ensure that we’re providing the right services and that we’re doing so in a way that meets our customers’ needs.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Get out there and do it! It’s easy to come up with reasons why you shouldn’t have a go, reasons why you idea might fail but there’s only one way to find out if it’ll all work out!