RedKiteIT are our T&DBA Member in the Spotlight this month. Thank you to Kelly Teagle and Charles Collinson for sharing an insight into the services you offer in and around Thirsk.
1. When did you start your business?
RedKiteIT was formed in January 2015 from the combining two long established businesses of over 20 years.
2. What led you to start a business/how did it all begin?
I'd been working from home as a freelancer web developer for 9 years before I met Charles at a business networking meeting. We got on like a house on fire, and our skills in software development and web design were very complementary. Our business goals and passions also matched perfectly. We'd both been looking for an office to work from, to expand from our home offices, and we decided that we should share one.
One thing led to another, and we decided to combine our skills and form a new company: RedKiteIT.
3. What do you like about Thirsk?
I've lived in Thirsk since 2001, and I just love the area. The town is a great place to live, with the open countryside right on our doorstep. The people are so friendly - much friendlier than where I used to live. I just feel right at home here. Charles has lived here all his life and he says: There’s a reason it is referred to as "God's Own County"!
4. What is your most popular product/service?
Our main areas are bespoke software and app development, website design and business problem solving. As we have been doing this work for so long, we are adapt at many issues related to websites and IT in general. I build websites either completely bespoke or using Wordpress or WooCommerce. It all depends on what is the best solution for our customers.
Charles focuses on cost effective software developments that solve business problems. We seem to have a knack at fixing problems others cannot.
We also have several software products used by many businesses around the country and locally. From an office management suite to an agricultural business management package.
5. What other local business do you support?
We work with quite a few local businesses, to provide services that we don't offer in-house. We recently referred one of our clients to Gemma at My Little Graphics Co. She's in the process of creating a new logo and brand for them, which we'll use to create the next version of their website.
In the past, we've worked with Deborah from Aer8 Marketing, Caroline Todd from Hot Toddi, and Ed Newsom from Wantedd.
We also try to shop locally, always using local businesses for our supplies when we can.
We also have a UK and EU trusted contact list to bring much needed skills for the benefit of the local community that might otherwise be difficult to trust or manage.
6. What is the best part of your job?
Charles and I love being able to help people with their website and IT problems. The more complicated the problem, the better we like it!
We don't just 'do' websites, but everything that goes with it. So this often includes the website hosting, and the email too. People often have problems setting up their email, and I really enjoy helping them with setting it up.
My day-job is very varied - sometimes it's pure website design, sometimes it's developing a product spreadsheet, sometimes it's helping people out with email or tech problems. I wouldn't want it any other way!
Charles likes problems. Moving and interrogating data. Or taking a simple customer request and solving and designing an effective solution so our customers don’t have to. He develops code and user interfaces to make otherwise massive tasks a simple press of a button and saves many hours of wasted time, as well as getting the details right every time. Our customers have a ‘need’ and computers can do things really quickly. Charles talks to the computer nicely – or so he would lead you to believe.
7. What is the best piece of advice you would offer a new business in Thirsk?
Go out and meet other businesses. Get yourself to business networking if you can and meet people.
Also, get involved in your community. You'd be surprised who you meet and what connections you can make when you're out doing good things to help other people.
Have a passion for your business. The reality is people buy from people and your passion means more than you think.
8. Fun/amazing fact about your business people might not know?
Our logo is a Red Kite (bird of prey) as I'm a glider pilot and instructor. We also have them flying overhead our business park (near Dishforth) so it seemed a good idea to have one in our logo!
Like a bird of prey, we are calm and considered soaring around a problem. We are never happy until we have found a solution for our client. We just keep at it and leave no stone unturned, which is why many of our customers have been with us for 20 some years!
9. Favourite book/famous person that inspires you?
Kelly's favourite book is 1984 by George Orwell. She finds it very prophetic, especially now that we all have Smart Devices in every room of our homes!
Charles will say Stephen Fry for his comical and linguistic view of the world, but I think it is because Stephen taught him at school when he was a youngster.
10. What does the next decade look like for your business?
Whilst RedKiteIT might be relatively young we have both been running this business, in one form or another for around 20 years. The next decade looks interesting due to the ever-growing uptake of IT and we simply love helping our clients build on this. Helping the local community and inspiring others in the field greatly interests us, as our field is built up from sharing knowledge. Expanding our business through strategic collaborations both nationally and locally is also an area we are interested in.