Meet the MD: Tim Dunton, Nimbus Hosting

Meet the MD: Tim Dunton, Nimbus Hosting

With 20 years in the hosting industry, Tim now leads a team of twelve making it as easy as possible for his clients to do business…

What is it the company does?

Nimbus Hosting is a specialist web hosting company that focuses on serving the digital agency market. Nimbus Hosting has recently gone beyond the traditional hosting model by launching its own control panel, which is called STORM.

STORM allows customers to manage their servers and web sites much faster, without the technical knowledge that existing systems like Plesk and cPanel require. Most of the features are just one click functions.  A simple comparison would be like switching from a Nokia handset to an iPhone.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words

I lead a team of twelve employees within a range of roles, from technical skills and client services, to marketing and finance. My role is to develop and encourage the team so that together we can build a better business and proposition for our clients. Our aim is to enable our clients to offer a faster and more efficient service to their own clients. I personally believe in making it as easy as possible for our clients to do business.

Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I’ve been working in the hosting industry for almost 20 years. About six years ago, I sold my previous hosting business to a much larger market leader. Learning from my previous business venture, I’ve ensured that Nimbus Hosting focuses on some key product areas of virtual private server (VPS) and dedicated server packages to provide a quicker, more reliable service. I’ve also removed both shared hosting and managed email, which were provided by my last business. This has meant we can have more technical staff on the front line so our client issues are resolved much faster.

What do you believe makes a great leader?

What makes a great leader is a tricky question. I’ve been in the fortunate, and unfortunate, position of never having worked for anyone else – but this has meant that I’ve found it difficult to establish what is a good and bad leader. That said, what I have found works for me is listening, encouraging and motivating the team to develop their skills. On top of that, I make sure the team has the equipment and resources it needs to do their jobs effectively.

What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

I’ve often thought that running a business can be like spinning plates. You have to keep all the plates spinning at the same time. And the larger the company, the more plates you have to keep spinning. For this reason, it’s important to focus on what you’re good at and never spread yourself too thinly across lots of tasks. There will be other people in your team that can help with the jobs you’re perhaps not as good at. With the hosting market changing so rapidly this is even more fundamental to make sure you’re on top of everything.

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

My job can be busy and very challenging at times, but I certainly don’t find it that stressful. I think it’s important to keep things in perspective but to also have activities outside of work that can take your mind off some of the pressures. I tend to do plenty of cycling, a mixture of this being on and off road, which gives me time to clear my mind.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was young, I always enjoyed building things and I think running a business is identical to that. I very much enjoy watching the company expand and dealing with the challenges that it brings.

Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?

One of the areas I take a big interest in at home and at work is our green policy and recycling. For example, we’ve implemented electric vehicle charging for employees, automatic lighting to reduce energy consumption, low energy bulbs and recycling bins. We try to make it as easy as possible to recycle paper, cardboard, glass and plastic. If more businesses saw the benefits of having a green policy then we would have a better environment.

Where do you see the company in five years’ time?

Although the web hosting industry has been fairly static for the past 15 years, there has been a huge amount of change in the past three to four years, with new entrants like Amazon Web Services and a migration to hosted applications like Shopify. This has forced hosting companies to fight over a smaller slice of the pie. With this in mind, Nimbus Hosting is focusing solely on the digital agency market.

Where the majority of the industry has been obsessed with megabytes, gigahertz and making hosting more complicated, we’ve gone against this. Our aim over the next few years is to make it easier for our clients to do business, and we are achieving this in two ways. Firstly, we’ve made our support easier to access by motivating our technical team to respond with a fast but comprehensive response. Secondly, we’ve made the management of our servers much easier with the development of a new control panel, called STORM, that requires very little technical knowledge to free up developer’s time.

What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Running a business isn’t easy. If you’re doing it for the money, you have the wrong idea. You need passion and to be prepared to work long hours. But never give up and constantly evaluate your business and change accordingly.

What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?

Always focus on what you’re good at and never spread yourself too thinly.