Solid Blue Liquid Ltd are a friendly, professional web hosting company that like to put their customers first. Priding themselves on solving challenging technical problems, they provide secure web hosting to keep websites and email operational around the clock. We chatted to founder Nathan Platt, two years on from starting his business, who gives us an insight into why he set up the company and how important customers are to the success of the business.
What is the nature of your business and why did you choose a Start Up Loan over other types of finance?
We’re a small, independent hosting provider who like to give personal care to customers who have technical problems with their web hosting and email operations. Starting the company in August 2016, we received our first loan to buy equipment and the search began to find customers. It took another two months to find customers that weren’t family and now two years later we have ninety customers!
Start Up Loans is a fantastic platform for startup businesses. Banks often shy away from loaning to startup businesses, who are often deemed a riskier proposition, whereas Start Up Loans specialise in this type of support to new businesses. The application is quite detailed but the process is really designed to help you succeed.
What has your business achieved over the last year? What is your favourite success story to date?
In the last year we’ve doubled our turnover which was a fantastic achievement for us. We then went on to hire a support team so we could offer 24/7/365 support. This helps strengthen our business proposition and makes our customers very happy!
What have you learnt from the first year in business? Is there anything you would do differently?
Looking back, if I had to do anything differently, I would have followed my instincts and applied for a larger loan. Having the extra money at the beginning would have allowed us to buy the right equipment at the very start and grow the business with more security. In the early days, we probably made some bad decisions (poor deals for us, but great for the customer!), but it’s this experience that helped us learn and got us started. And we’venow been able to secure a second loan to help us develop.
Would you recommend a Start Up Loan from Transmit Start-Ups to other businesses? How beneficial was the free business support?
The free business support was so useful, you have a business manager supporting you through the entire process, checking your work, challenging your ideas and making you rationalise your figures. By the end of it, you have a really great business plan you can stick to and work on.
Recommending a Start Up loan is easy for me to do, after now successfully using them on two occasions, as I’ve now had two for my business. Ask Transmit Start-Ups for help in getting your dream started!
If you could give any tips to a new entrepreneur, what would they be?
I found it to be lonely at the top in the early days, having to portray a certain level of success to do the job and win customers. So no matter how hard things get, it’s best to keep it all to yourself. Offload frustrations to a family member or even work with a friend who can offer you some support. Ultimately however, failing is not failing. It’s inevitable that you’re going to have falls at some point, you just have to pick yourself up and deal with the problems. Then once things have settled, take a look back to see what went wrong and how to fix it for future issues. Also, it’s really worth getting an accountant. I stressed for the first six months whether I was doing everything correctly. Get someone who knows what they’re doing as soon as you can!
If you have enjoyed reading Nathan’s story and are inspired to learn more about setting up your own business, make the first step and register with us now!