General Information Archives - Cloud Genius Ltd
Growing the Business in Interesting Times

Growing the Business in Interesting Times

Did you notice that the last 12 months has been interesting? Rather like that curse, may you live in ‘interesting times’.

For me, it has been a time of re-engaging with my lovely, lovely customers. A year ago, I gave up my staff, gave up the office, started working from home (again).

What I realised is that I love being the ‘front-man’ for the business who works with customers and discovers what delights them. I also found out that there is a lot more demand out there than I could satisfy on my own. What to do?

Whatever Cloud Genius is, it is a small business. By that, I don’t mean that it is small-minded. We have our eyes on the stars! What I do mean is that I always want it to have that feeling where you are talking to someone real.

I know that asking you to submit requests through the support@ email has been a challenge, at times, for some. What happens behind the scenes is that it means you get served quicker. It means that subsequent emails you send are grouped together… so that when you ask? What has happened, we know. When we want to look at the issues you have, we know, too. It also paves the way for expansion. You may have noticed the use of the word ‘we’… it has already begun to happen.

In the last year, I have tracked down an excellent recruitment agency. (Believe me, there are lots of bad ones.) I have also begun to engage trusted individuals, who I have worked with over a period of 14 years. These are coming together to increase the capacity of Cloud Genius. At the same time, I don’t want to lose touch with customers.

The challenge: how do we maintain that small business closeness and flexibility, but also expand to give you a better service?

There will be a couple of changes. First, some of those help requests may be dealt with directly by other people.

Second, I am going to start up a ‘Lunch and Learn’ group. We had a trial this month (March 2021). The sharing of information is going to happen monthly, on a Thursday, for 45 minutes at lunchtime. Of course, we will be using Zoom. It gets rid of travel, need to hire venues and gets rid of travel time. These are going to focus on different aspects of Salesforce. You guessed it, the customers get to name the topic. Look out for an email, soon!

This article will also be published on Medium… if you slide over there, you will have an opportunity to comment!

Training on Salesforce for free?

Training on Salesforce for free?

On of the advantages of the current crisis is that it has allowed us to meet virtually, at a moment’s notice.

No travel time. Distance is no longer an object.

It is a tiny sop, out of a global crisis.. but it is very real.
Running on cloud-based technology, my clients have been all around the world. When I spoke of learning, everyone thought of a classroom.

One of the side-effects of the crisis is that people are much more familiar with Zoom. So, now we can bring everyone together in a new and wonderful way. Rather than having to hire a classroom, have everyone travel to the same place AND put on food we can just spend some time together.

I was able to experience this at the first Cloud Genius ‘Lunch and Learn’ event on 11th March.

So, it set my mind thinking… perhaps we could have more of this.

What I am proposing is a monthly Lunch and Learn, where we look at different aspects of Salesforce and learn together.

Expect details to be posted here, soon.

Together, we can make amazing things happen.

I feel a change coming on. I have a vision.

I feel a change coming on. I have a vision.

These are odd times.

To say the least.

Many people have been furloughed or wondering what to do with their lives. Will they have a job? Are they happy with the job they have?

With so much spare time, many people have taken this as a opportunity to think about their future.

However, money is scarce.

Many people are choosing to PIVOT to new careers, but budgets are tight.

Part of launching a new business is having a website to go with it… but just getting some hosting and an installation of WordPress is only the start. What about SSL certificates, forms for people to request you contact them, a high quality theme… all those cost money. Then there is the hosting… some is just so slow that you will lose customers.

I saw these problems and came up with a solution.

It is a package with everything you need set up. All you do is give us some text and graphics. We will put them up for you and get you going. At that point you have an amazing website package. When we totted it up, if you purchased it yourself the components would cost £450 per year. That would stretch most starter budgets. As we have mass buying power, we offer it all for £247… and it is all properly configured… and backed up… and the software is regularly updated, minimising data risks. Even if you completely ‘break it’… we can have it back to the previous days configuration in under an hour.

So, you have one fewer thing to worry about.

You save money.

You have a full, working website. (Unlike some other providers who give you a ‘reduced functionality’ website.)

How much?

Just £347 (inc VAT!) per year.

Look at what some of our recent clients have done with it.

 

Your Path . Guru – where Em Melrose will gently help you find Your Path

Ty Llwyd Fach – Socially distanced camping

Perky Wales – Expert counselling from Gwilym Roberts

All of these are on our super-fast hosting.

So, what have you got to lose?

To book yours, go to Pivot Sites – we set it up for tutors, dog groomers and virtual assistants… but so many others are making use of it.

Podcast with HGKC and Useful Tips for Lockdown

Podcast with HGKC and Useful Tips for Lockdown

Just finished recording a new podcast with Kim Jones of HGKC. Kim and her company offer high-quality coaching for small and medium-sized businesses. In these unusual times they are producing a range of podcasts to help people navigate their businesses through these choppy waters. You can see the full programme here: HGKC Podcasts

During the podcast I refer to some tips that can be really helpful for people who want to let people know that their business is still open (or what they are doing during the lockdown). There are also tips about growing your business or even changing your business! To get the tips, just sign up on this form. (Or the one that pops up on the website.)

Cloud Genius checks your emails (from your website) are working

Cloud Genius checks your emails (from your website) are working

Most web hosters won’t admit it, but email from websites is a NIGHTMARE.

It used to be really easy and cheap to set up email to send from a website, for instance when a form is filled in on the website inform the owner of the website.

As it gets more complex, many hosting companies take a set it up and keep fingers crossed approach.

At Cloud Genius, we monitor that even this aspect of your website is working.

In the old days the web server sent out the email.

The problem is that spammers used to use servers to send out millions of spam emails in a day.

So, web hosting companies have gradually clamped down on this.

Even if you do send an email from your web server, the chances are that the recipient will block it… assuming it to be spam.

What is worse, if someone else on your shared hosting is sending out spam all YOUR emails will be treated as spam, too.

Your emails will not be received and you won’t know!

For this reason, we send our webserver emails via the client’s Office 365 account.

This gives them the same reputation as if they came from the client’s normal email. (Google for Business works just as well.)

This process is slightly more complex.

At Cloud Genius, we monitor this connection so that if it starts to fail we get a message via Slack to tell us which of our clients is in difficulty.

Part of our service that puts us above the rest.

Why do you pay people?

Why do you pay people?

I recently heard a great story about a man with a hammer… bear with me as I have a more up-to-date version.

The story starts with a submarine captain. His submarine is broken. This is a big problem. The submarine had a large crew. Every day that he was stuck in dock would cost a lot of money. Not only that, but he had a mission to complete. He was desperate to get going again. He asked around the docks and could not find anyone to fix his craft.

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Eventually, his first officer managed to find an old chap with a hammer. The captain was sceptical, but invited the man aboard. He went straight down into the engine room. The man looked at all the pipes, took out his hammer, tapped a pipe and the submarine sprang back into life. The captain was overjoyed. He asked the man to invoice him. The invoice was immediately produced: £2,002.

The captain was staggered and challenged the man.. why so much money? All you did was tap a pipe it only took a few seconds.

The man patiently explained: Cost of tapping the pipe £2. The thirty years learning where to tap the pipe – £2,000.

A client of mine has been trying to integrate their website and their email and their CRM system. So far they have worked their way through 3 volunteers. The volunteers were great people, but they did not have the experience and knowledge necessary. They had not put in the time to build up the certifications, the years building up experience (through mistakes as well as successes). Although the volunteers were committed, they did not have all that experience and all those certifications.

The lack of functionality has cost their organisation dear… possibly thousands in lost donations, wasted time, etc.

When they came to us, we were quickly able to see the issues and get everything working closely together.

Like the man with the hammer we then have to send in our bill. Although it is not free, it will save them thousands. We are not ‘cheap’, but we try to offer great value.

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