Warren Milburn - Managing Director, InfraZen
Hello. I’m Warren, the founder of InfraZen. I’m a university-qualified computer engineer with over 30 years of industry experience including stints in IT systems admin, hardware and software development, web design, IT training and more.
My business story starts back in 2020. Prior to that, I’d spent some time being quite ill and unable to work. In January 2020, I met a new consultant who was not convinced by my diagnosis. To cut a long story short, his intervention, which included a change of diagnosis and treatment regime, meant that three months later I was feeling much better and wanted to find something to do again.
Despite being offered interviews and even jobs by some of the biggest names in the industry, I decided that going back to work for someone else simply wasn’t for me. I wanted to work for myself. Then COVID-19 struck!
The Issues it Presented
Many people, including all of the engineers in my locality, decided to “down tools” at a time when homes and businesses were in the most need of technical support. All of my varied career, I’ve had some involvement with IT, so I decided to play to my strengths. Workers were being sent home with inadequate resources and were expected to homeschool their children. In poorer rural areas of North East England, there were families trying to get by with one laptop between them and poor access to faster broadband.
How I Responded
My response was to contact all of the businesses, that were still open for business, within a 20-mile radius and asked business owners if they had spare laptops gathering dust in a store cupboard that they would be willing to donate to my project. 99% of them loved what I was doing and gladly donated to my cause.
I took laptops, desktops, printers, scanners etc., and refurbished, repurposed, and renovated kit and put it to use, FOR FREE, out in the communities. Families were astonished and so was everyone I told about my Million People Project – to lift 1m people out of digital poverty before I retire… At present rates, I will be retiring at the age of 105 😉
Once COVID-19 began to subside, I moved from a purely Business-to-Consumer model to a hybrid, offering support to businesses recovering from the effects of the pandemic.
Where I had done brilliantly in the first year of business, I was doing okay in the second, but a relapse in my condition took me out of the business at a time when I was trying to develop the B2B offering. A month and a bit later, my business was on its knees. My attempts to run the two-arms of the business were not well rewarded. My branding was wrong for the kinds of businesses I wanted to help and I was having relationship issues with a major supplier.
The answer was to cut loose the B2C part of my business and start again. Of course, when, you start again with a new company there is a lot to do but you aren’t going in completely blind, nor without the knowledge, experience and wisdom of your previous adventures.
Onwards Into The Breach Dear Friends
So here we are, powering again towards to success in my third year in business, with clients old and new. Through excellent use of IT, I look to help professional services business owners seize the holy grail of optimized billable hours AND achieve great balance between work and personal life at the same time.
Warren Milburn, Founder