Connecting with the World – Tim Macknelly

From an office located at his home in Helston, Tim Macknelly runs TM Designs, www.tm-designs.co.uk/, an agency which specialises in website design, branding, print design and website hosting. Having a superfast broadband connection has transformed the way he runs his business and created worldwide growth opportunities.

Tim explains: “A ‘fibre to the premises’ broadband connection has revolutionised the way in which I operate. My connection can now deliver download speeds of up to 100Mbps – something that I am able to take full advantage of in my work.”

This high speed connection has enabled Tim to reach out to an international customer base and to draw on support services based overseas which help with the smooth running of his business:

“I now have clients in the USA, Australia, Morocco and Thailand, as well as an important customer with its main operation in Germany and its head office in Switzerland.

“Using tools like Skype and screen sharing, I can discuss projects with these clients as if we are in the same room, while putting up design ideas on screen for them to review and comment on. The connection is crystal clear.  It is a brilliant way of working which is very cost effective and productive. There is no feeling of distance between us, once you get used to the time difference between Europe and, say, Asia or America.

“I can also now use overseas support companies for specialist services such as administration and coding. Again, fibre broadband makes it easy for us to work as an integrated team and to be in constant touch.”

Ongoing, reliable communication with clients is vital to the way that TM Designs operates, and fibre broadband is a crucial enabler for this. Tim says:

“It is very rare these days that I am expected to go to a meeting, which is a huge relief! When I worked in a busy London office I had to attend many meetings and I have to say, I often found them a frustrating waste of time. Now I can have instant dialogue with my clients whenever they require it, without the wasted time, energy and cost of travelling to a meeting. I simply couldn’t go back to the old way of working.”

Tim also appreciates being able to send and receive large files, such as databases and graphics. “This now takes seconds” he says “so I can provide a more efficient service to my clients as well as be more productive.”

He also now makes full use of the cloud, for example for data back up and file transfer. “I can take full advantage of the latest cutting- edge tools to improve efficiency and business resilience.”

Tim is an expert user of a software programme called Concrete5, an open source content management system for websites. He regularly communicates and collaborates with an international online group of Concrete5 users, so that they can share ideas, solve problems, and find new applications for the software. Tim says:

“This kind of online peer collaboration is a valuable resource. It is like having access to your own development team, made up of some of the finest brains in the business worldwide. For example, if any of us runs into a software problem, we can instantly put it online and be discussing potential solutions within minutes. If necessary, I can upload entire projects so that my colleagues can take a look at them and suggest improvements. This is ‘open source’ collaboration at its very best – a fantastic way of working that would be impossible without superfast broadband. It helps me stay at the top of my game.”

As father of two young children, Tim also values the opportunity to work from a home office and the improved work-life balance he can enjoy as a result. “It is fantastic to be able to run a international business from my home in Helston, whilst not missing out on time with my family. Superfast broadband is allowing me to have the best of all worlds.”

“Using tools like Skype and screen sharing, I can discuss projects with these clients as if we are in the same room, while putting up design ideas on screen for them to review and comment on. The connection is crystal clear.  It is a brilliant way of working which is very cost effective and productive.”