Cloud4 Masterclass at Manchester Academy
MD speaks to students about the power of a business model.
Cloud4 Computers gave a rare insight into a business that thrives in these times of recession last week as Managing Director Phil Donoghue spoke to students at The Manchester Academy in Moss Side.
The Cloud4 Hosting Business model.
Talking specifically of their business model, Phil explained that Cloud4 Computers had seen growth of over 600 and 300 % in years 2 and 3 of trading since its launch in 2009.
Providing Hosted IT (Cloud) services supporting c36,000 users in 26 countries worldwide, the business supports both individual users and large corporate firms, with UK based servers and 24/7 telephone support. The presentation showed that growth was based around the business need for their services, the quality and value of the hosted solutions, the levels of support provided, and the fact everything is UK based. When you add to that the services save money and improve efficiency, you have a winning formula especially in the current economy.
Phil was very honest in providing his career history to the students and explained that even though his business now is thriving that was not always the case. With one failed business behind him, he used his experience in the sector to sit down and think of a model that would be sustainable over a long period of time. His goal was not to make an immediate profit with short term benefits, but to develop subscription based services that would have lasting remuneration and predictable growth.
Phil explained, “At Cloud4 all of our services are subscription based and therefore provide a regular monthly income that grows month by month. Our model is quite simple but with businesses looking hard at ways to save money and improve efficiency, our services suit the requirements perfectly. Our model is not a traditional buy low, sell high transaction based business; it is designed to provide consistently growing income through providing a complete solution that is very rarely beaten on price, with the highest quality of support. The proof of this is that many of our new clients come to us through recommendation and reputation.”
Passing on tips for successful business techniques and explaining to the students how, when setting up the business very little capital outlay was required was paramount to the discussions. With young people of today seeing how the economy is affecting us all, it was a breath of fresh air to see how a model can be created with positive cash flow in mind, debt taken from the equation and service and support being at the forefront of the success.
Jane Delfino, Director of Enterprise and Internationalism at Manchester Academy said, “The students have been involved recently with the Tie Young Entrepreneurs and have been looking at business models as part of an overall business plan competition set within the school. To have Phil explain his achievements is certainly very heart warming and exactly what the students need to see, that life after school can be fruitful and rewarding, successes can be found with the right level of energy and the correct model.”