Welcome to this week’s addition to our “my business story” interview series. This time we had the pleasure of meeting with Gildas Jones, Director of Dial a Geek. Dial a Geek are managed IT services and provide IT support for businesses, they help people run their business by ensuring their productivity with smooth running systems.
What do you love about Bristol? And what do you love about your job?
Bristol is an amazingly vibrant city full of cultures, with a great music scene. I moved to Bristol from Oxford in 2001. I had some friends here and also moved here for work. It’s big enough to be a home to a multitude of businesses but also small enough to keep a personal character to all communications. It’s a proper city on a small scale.
I love how rewarding my job is – we make people’s lives easier and our customers appreciate our help. It feels great to play a part in the growth of someone else’s business.
How did you start your business?
Dial A Geek began in my kitchen. I was working from a laptop perched atop an ironing board. I wanted to provide a service that aims to understand the needs of individuals and businesses to help them to get the most out of their technology. At the same time, I wanted to provide this support in a clear, non-patronising, way.
After growing success providing IT support for home users and small businesses, I moved to an office space in the Fire Station in Bedminster, taking on several technicians and an office manager to help with the workload.
How do you keep it going?
We support many businesses in Bristol and around, but always make sure to keep it personal. All of our clients know the geeks, some of them have a dedicated point of contact, some of them know the whole team. Our customers trust us and appreciate our services and because of that they’re likely to refer us. We have the privilege of working with established cultural institutions such as Bristol Pound, Invada Records, TEDx Bristol, Luke Jerram, Boomtown Fair and Mud Dock Cafe [£B]. We also take part in a few networking groups. We stay active in the community and word of mouth spreads.
What’s your favourite thing about running an independent business?
Meeting and talking to like-minded people.
What are the challenges?
Where do I start…
What made you sign up to accept Bristol Pounds? What do you like about the scheme?
It keeps the business local and ensures ethical trade. I’ve never met anybody that I don’t like who uses Bristol Pounds.
Where do you spend your Bristol Pounds?
Mostly at Better Food Company [£B].
Do you have a nice story to share about welcoming a Bristol Pound customer? Are they different from other customers? If so how?
Bristol Pound customers are a part of the community. They are interested in the Bristol scene and Bristol’s future; dealing with them is always a pleasure. Of course, we help a wide range of amazing and conscious people who don’t use Bristol Pound and yet are very active on the local scene.
However, that profile matches 100% of our Bristol Pound customers which is why we’d recommend the scheme to everyone.
What are your five favourite places/shops/restaurants/etc in Bristol and why?
Chance and Counters for their choice of board games and warm atmosphere.
I spend a lot of time at Bristol Wood Recycling Project [£B] on William Street.
I recently enjoyed lunch at Koh Thai Tapas Restaurant on the Clifton Triangle.
The Volunteer Tavern [£B] is a very cozy pub near Old Market.
I love Cafe Amore, the service is great, our kids call it ‘the spy cafe’ due to being slightly dark and having multiple levels and balconies overlooking other parts of the cafe.
Do you have any special offers for Bristol Pound customers?
We can offer a free IT security audit light for Bristol Pound customers. Please contact us to arrange!
Find Dial a Geek online via the following links:
Thank you Gildas!