From The Judges: Lawrence Jones, UKFast
Posted on June 29, 2017 by Alistair Hardaker
From our panel of expert judges, we spoke to Lawrence Jones MBE, CEO of UKFast, who took his company from a bedroom start-up to a thriving, award-winning technology business with 400 employees and a turnover of £40 million.
UKFast is the longest standing sponsor of the Digital Entrepreneur Awards and Lawrence says that has been extraordinary to watch the industry change in the years since the first awards ceremony. He said: “The Digital Entrepreneur Awards provide a snapshot of the evolving digital sector; it’s an ever-changing landscape. Looking at previous categories and winners it’s clear to see just how much things have changed over the past decade. The tools available today make it easier than ever to become an entrepreneur, but to remain successful is just as difficult. Success in such a competitive arena and challenging economic climate needs to be rewarded.”
Lawrence began his entrepreneurial career in the music industry, before moving into telecoms and finally cloud-hosting after frustration with the lack of quality hosting options and good customer service available. He saw a need and began to solve the problem on his own, which is the origin story of UKFast and so many successful businesses across the world.
When asked about what he considers the key to his success, Lawrence said: “I’m often asked what makes a successful entrepreneur; it’s almost as though there’s one secret to success – if only that was the case! Creating a successful business has never been just one thing, it takes everything you’ve got. Set and write down your goals, evaluate them, and make the most of every moment of your time.”
UKFast is renowned for its employee engagement and employee satisfaction with offices boasting an onsite gym, free bar and even a slide that takes you from the second to the ground floor. The company is also known for its commitment to customer service, posting a live ‘NPS’ score which shows customer’s satisfaction.
It’s clear that the CEO knows how important it is to keep yourself, your employees and your customers feeling positive. He said: “Of course it’s important to work with the right people and be financially smart, but as well as this, long-term success is really about your state-of-mind and that of your team. Getting your business off the ground starts and ends with your thoughts. If you’ve decided you can be successful you are already on the right path. For growth and future success the most important thing is to dream big.”
As a judge, Lawrence says he will be looking for entries that share his tendency for goal-setting to the stars. He concluded: “I’m not just looking for a great idea, I’m looking for the businesses and professionals who have dreams of becoming household names, and who want this award to be the first of many.”
If you think you fit Lawrence’s description, there’s still time to enter the awards for 2017.
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