Victoria Usher is an entrepreneur with first-hand experience of what happens when a new business rapidly goes from nascent to scale. Six years ago, she won her first two clients and celebrated by investing in a computer and desk to launch GingerMay PR. Today, she manages offices in New York, London and Berlin, and a network of 30+ staff.
Throughout her journey, Victoria put her faith in the cloud, so we caught up with her to find out what drove her decision — and how it’s helped in the transition from the early days as sole trader, to the creation of a thriving multi-site business.
Tell us about starting a business – at what point do/should you begin thinking about technology?
I vividly recall the first day of my new venture. Initially I was overcome by the task before me. But once the excitement kicked in, I set my sights on rising to the challenge I had always strived to achieve.
With two clients already secured, my key focus was delivering excellent PR and winning new business. It wasn’t until a friend asked how I was storing files and the security measures I’d taken that I realised… aside from my beloved laptop, operational technology was something I hadn’t even considered. That’s the thing when starting a business – you’re an expert in your field, but you very quickly need to master the many other aspects of running a business, or source a company that has dedicated itself to being a specialist and invest in their expertise.
I toyed with a few solutions, but struggled to find one that met my requirements. Then someone recommended a free service they had used with great success: Dropbox. As soon as I set up my account it immediately solved all my IT problems: file sharing, storage, backup, and security.
After that, as the business grew, I invested in Dropbox Business, which came with added competencies to fit my growing needs.
What benefits has Dropbox Business given you?
While the consumer version worked flawlessly for my small but growing business, it became apparent that we required more flexibility as additional members joined the team. Naturally, I researched all available options to ensure we had the best service, but kept being drawn back to Dropbox Business. As Managing Director, I required full control of file access and absolute assurance that my data was secure.
How much do you rely on Dropbox Business from a file access and security point of view?
The business relies on it completely. I explored every security consideration at the point of purchase and have never had cause to question it. For example, I know we have two-step verification settings, which gives me huge confidence in the security we enjoy.
We haven’t had any issues with Dropbox Business since the day we started – and that’s not something I can say about all IT services we’ve used.
How important is a good cloud service when growing your business?
Implementing a safe, flexible and smart cloud solution that fits with key requirements is vital to any small business. By selecting a provider who can manage vital yet time-consuming housekeeping responsibilities – such as storage and security – start-ups and businesses are free to focus on doing what they do best. For us, having a system that streamlines those areas has made IT effortless and contributed to our success by allowing the team to pour every ounce of strength and skill into providing fantastic PR.
Reliable cloud services are essential to ensure that our IT system is flexible enough to accommodate our international structure. Staff members travel frequently between international offices and client sites, so Dropbox Business plays a vital role in ensuring we can gain access to our files if we are working in London, New York, or Bangkok.
Immediate file synchronisation also means the team has the most up-to-date information whether they are accessing the system via their desktop, laptop, or a mobile device. They can collaborate on documents and projects, and do not need to be in the same room (or even in the same time zone) to produce awesome results. It gives us the tools we need to be responsive, efficient, and versatile in both the way we operate and work with clients.