Home » Create GREAT EXPERIENCES in 2023


Marc Firth’s thoughts on our experiences of creating a Managed Cloud Services start-up in 2022 (after 15 years of engineering and leading engineering teams as an employee) and where we intend to go next year.

Thank you to everyone who helped us launch the business. You. Are. The. Best!

A transcript of the video above is included below.

Making plans for the future

Marc: Hey everyone.

So it’s that time of year when we get to take a look at the last 12 months and see what happened and make plans for the next 12 months and think about where we take our businesses in the future.

It’s been an unusual year for us. It was around this time last year, I started really considering handing in my notice and going out and doing my own thing with my co-founder Ashley. I’m sure he’s got his own thoughts too, but personally, it was a bit nerve-wracking.

I’ve never really just relied on self-employment income before and up until April this year, I’d always been in full-time employment. I’ve done little bits of web dev on the side for years, but I was never really sure that I would take the plunge and start my own business.

But looking back, I’m so glad that I did.

But first, in an ode to Peter McKinnon and all the others, who taught me how to do this video recording. I need a coffee!

A strong start in Managed Cloud Services

Marc: We’ve had such a strong start, and it doesn’t look like it will slow down any time soon.

  • We have places to pass on our expertise now.
  • We’ve got clients.
  • We’ve got our Google and New Relic Partnerships.
  • We built out our Priority Solutions.

We’re doing what we wanted because helping these businesses build out their processes via training, consultancy and implementation services.

Giving back and sharing your knowledge with others

Marc: You see, I think you reach a point in your life where you need to think about giving back, and that’s what we’ve really been able to do with the solutions we’re offering.

As for Ash and I, we’ve had these fantastic careers, we really live for this stuff.

Over the years, I’ve had some wonderful mentors, and they’ve taught me a lot. Ashley and I have had these wonderful careers in engineering; where we got to work on some of the best brands’ websites, making scalable, reliable architectures and having incident support teams that we had to put in place. We had to figure these things out and build those solutions out.

So there are things that we’ve learned that we can pass on. It’s around… kind of.. how we do that and how we make that scalable model in terms of building out the business solutions and products and helping others with the things we can do.

Stay humble and keep learning

Marc: We love this stuff. We’ve got a lot of experience to pass on. That’s not to say I feel like we’ve reached the top because I don’t think you ever can. I think there’s always somebody smarter, somebody who knows something better than you. I think it’s better to go through life staying humble because then you can continue to learn, and you can continue evolving and growing your knowledge.

There is more to learn, and there are people who can help you.

Help others if you feel you can help them

Marc: Conversely, I think if somebody wants your support and you feel like you can really help them, you have a bit of an obligation to do the best you can for them. I mean, personally, I love to read and learn new things. But not in the traditional sense. I read tutorials and watch YouTube I think I’m close to completing YouTube! [ Joking ]

But yeah, the more I think about it, the more I feel like our purpose is to learn and pass on what we’ve learnt and figure things out, and grow as people and help others grow. This year I taught myself video [recording and editing]. I didn’t have a clue about that last year. I didn’t know anything about cameras, lights, or sound. You can’t see it, but I’ve got a little recorder going on here to help me with the sound because I’m in a conservatory that has terrible audio. There’s something dripping on the roof…

Understand where to focus your time

Marc: Yeah, I didn’t know anything about what goes into making a good video, how to tell a story, or how to edit a video. I learnt Adobe premiere and how to put things together. Although we’re looking. at getting some help with that now to free up some of our time. [I think that] is also important when you’re starting a business: understanding where to focus your time and your activities; so that you’re making the best use of your time and getting support from others who can help you.

Why video?

Marc: I learned how to be a YouTuber from YouTube! And video is a way to get my messages out in a way that I enjoy. I was nervous at first but, it’s now becoming a little bit easier. It’s weird talking to a camera rather than actually talking to people. But I now know the people that are watching this, so it’s a bit different now.

I enjoy 1-to-1 conversations the most. So, video is the closest I can get to having a 1-to-1 conversation with you without actually being there with you.

Find something you love and put your mind to it

Marc: I think that’s what you have to do: You have to find something that you love doing and really put your mind to it so that you can be proud of yourself and your achievements.

So… what’s in store for next year?

Marc: Well, we spent a lot of time thinking about what we’re going to do with the business, and where we’re going to take it. We have a meeting every week where we focus on growth activities.

We’ve got our Google Cloud onboarding offer. So that’s something we’ll focus on for the next few weeks. It’s an offering around helping businesses get onto Google services. That came through the Google partnership. It’ll be interesting to see how much interest that gets, as it is a free solution. Hopefully, we should be able to help quite a few people with that and we’ll be building relationships off the back of it.

We want to build a wider community so that we can share our knowledge with more people and help businesses with their application modernisation and with their cloud-native solutions. So, I think that will be our focus for Q1 next year.

I want to make sure we keep doing these videos so we can share the knowledge. I mean, don’t get me wrong, they’re great marketing material, but it goes back to what I was saying about passing on what you’ve learnt. It’s fulfilling when you can help somebody else with their challenges.

We have some great ideas for videos, but I’ll be honest, I don’t make half of them because this is a business channel, and they are a bit wild! But I think it’s important that we enjoy making them so that you do too. We’re doing these videos in addition to our day jobs, so we’ve still got all the client work going on as well. So yeah… I want to think about that a bit more and where we take that as well.

Be inspired and purposeful

Marc: I think you have to be inspired by and purposeful with the work you do. We’ve managed to be able to be quite selective with the work we’ve taken on this year, which is a wonderful position to be in for a business that has been around for less than a year. Which is a pretty cool place to be.

Starting a business in 2023?

Marc: To anyone who’s thinking about starting a business next year, I would say, “go for it!” It is hard work, and your heart has to be in it to keep going, and you’re up against some pretty tough odds. But I’ve always thought it’s better to try and then fail; than not to try and then have regrets. It’s a way of seeing what you are capable of when it’s you and it’s your livelihood on the line.

One of the things I learnt, and it took me a long time to learn this, was that if somebody else is already doing the idea and is succeeding, it is actually a good thing. For years, I thought that you needed to have that unique idea that nobody else was doing and that it had to be an award-winning idea. But, if you look at the Facebooks and the Amazons, they weren’t the first to do what they did. Amazon essentially started as an online bookstore. They took a concept. They weren’t the first to do that. Facebook was the same with Social networking. There was MySpace and other solutions around before. All of these businesses just found a niche that they could work in and built a better experience, and that’s what drove people to them.

Create great experiences

Marc: It’s about building that better experience, and that’s something we want to focus on with the solutions we offer. How do we build that experience that makes it easy [and] delivers a lot of value; making [our services more] useful to our customers and efficient and faster, [with a] lower cost… So that they can get more value out of the things that we’re offering.

Thank you to everyone who helped us launch the business

Marc: That’s it. That’s the thoughts. I want to take a moment to thank our families and friends and everyone who has helped us along the way. And I know it’s not easy when your partner says that they’re going to hand in their notice at their job at a top-tier digital marketing agency and go off and do their own thing. So, thank you for believing in us and for the help along the way.

To all the clients who believed in us enough to purchase our services, despite us being a brand new company and to the partners who helped us out and gave us those credentials that can help us win more work. Thank you. It’s gone absolutely amazingly, and it’s wonderful to see so many people actually seeing the value in the products and solutions that we’re offering.

So we’ll see you in a few weeks. Time to go wrap up some presents; I’ve got a box of them sitting just off-camera over here. I’m going to have to go through and sort and wrap up and label.

To our growing team and everyone who supported us and encouraged us, and gave us the motivation to continue moving forward. I want to say a big thank you to you. We’ve got a clear path. We know which way we’re going for next year. The business is growing and it’s doing well.

I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next. Thank you for giving us a flying start. We couldn’t have done this without you.

I’ll see you in 2023.

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