I'm an Account Director at Ideal and I really enjoy working for a tech start-up. Here's why.
Last month Ideal Networks was named number 50 in the Sunday Times' Tech Track 100 - a comprehensive list of the UK's fastest growing technology companies. We're delighted, of course: the accolade follows a series of strategic wins across many verticals, and comes as we achieve widening recognition within the public sector via accreditations such as the government's Network Services (RM1045) framework.
In 2015 the company will continue the year-on-year growth it's maintained since its inception in 2009. I joined the following year, and I've worked here as an account director for the past five years. So what's it like working for Ideal, and what are the reasons behind our growth and success?
The Ideal Networks I joined in April 2010 was a small team of highly motivated individuals, managed directly by co-owners Mo Merrick and Claire Hopkins. I was attracted to the idea of working for an ambitious start-up as I felt it had a huge amount of potential, as well as a clear vision of what we could achieve and a strategy for how we would achieve it. I understood the risks of joining a business at such an early stage but the clarity of vision from its owners made me believe that success was attainable.
Mucking in - Mike helps Ideal move to Arundel Place
The organisation's ethos is forged from the belief that the traditional IT channel and large outsourcing contracts have failed customers across the UK by not providing the highest levels of service or value. Our belief is that a smaller, more agile organisation with a closer link to clients can provide services far more effectively.
Ideal prides itself on hiring high quality staff and allowing them the autonomy to achieve their potential - it's a model that would be difficult to replicate in a large corporate setting. Over the past five years, the company's vision has spoken for itself, delivering consistent strategic wins against traditional big players within the UK IT channel.
Scope of works
When starting out in my IT career I had little interest in going to work for a large corporate, as I wanted to retain a connection between my input and the success of the company as a whole. Ideal is agile enough, and trusts in its staff enough, that by working as hard as I could I felt I could help us grow as an organisation.
In the five and a half years since I joined it's clear that much of the potential I saw in Ideal has been realised. The small firm I joined has evolved into a 40-strong team with a 24-hour presence based in our newly redeveloped offices on the edge of Brighton. Over time I have seen how my own work ethic and input has contributed to our growth and success. It's this ability to connect your own work output with that of the organisation, and this sense of individual pride in the company that's so rewarding, and which has been crucial to our success so far.
Working for a start-up means you may not have the most resources available to you to win projects. You won't necessarily be given a defined set of tasks within your role, or clear guidelines of what success even looks like. What you will have is a level of autonomy that will allow you to flourish if you put in the hard work and effort. The resource deficit may mean you have to work harder than your larger competitors, but the agility a small firm provides will better enable you to get things done, and to deliver excellence.