Nick Poyner’s Business Journey

Nick Poyner’s Business Journey

Look out for the Jan / Feb issue of Sussex Business Times

Although Rubix VT, which specialises in hosted telephony, broadband and business telecoms, is a relatively new company, for Nick (managing director) it has been a 25 year journey in the industry.

Inside, in an in-depth interview, Nick discusses the telecoms industry and his personal business journey. The subjects covered include:


Starting out in business

“I left school on the Thursday and on the Monday, I was at a Brooke Street temp agency in London.

They said they had nothing for me, but I can be very persistent. I just waited and waited in the office until they ‘suddenly’ found something for me. They just wanted to get me out of the office.”


Recruiting himself into telecoms

“I was working in recruitment at Brooke Street and I was doing very well sourcing people for Cavendish Communications in Newhaven and, one day, a role came in and I thought why not go for it myself. Effectively I placed myself.”


Y2K and the 2025 Big Switch Off

“I started in telecoms at the perfect time. There was a great deal of uncertainty about the upcoming Millennium as there were real fears that computers around the world would crash on midnight on December 31st 1999. The fear was that the computers would read the year ‘00’ as 1900, and the result would be a global tech meltdown.

Businesses and governments spent billions on software fixes for their computer systems, and the same applied for telecoms software. The solution was either replacing or upgrading phone systems and, as an industry, we could hardly keep up with the demand.

We all took full advantage by using fear to sell. I didn’t mind at all at the time (I was young!) but, looking back, I don’t think that is the way to do business.

We have another big deadline coming up as in 2025, when BT Openreach will be permanently switching off the UK’s analogue telephone network, including ISDN lines, which many businesses are still using. Every phone line in the UK will become digital with all calls routed over the internet (usually referred to as VOIP calls).

The demand will be very high, but I am determined that we will only offer services that will benefit a customer and will offer a genuinely useful consulting service.

We are here for the long haul, and our reputation is very important to me.”


Ill-fated business ventures

“I went into business with the wrong people and I made the mistake of trusting them. I won’t go into the details, but I was very badly let down, and it shook my faith in working with other people. I started Rubix VT on my own for this reason. Hopefully I am a better judge of character now.”


The motivation for starting Rubix VT

“It wasn’t long before the urge to start my own business came back.

I have worked with many people in the industry, and I have seen what works well and what doesn’t. I have been ready for a long time, but I wanted to build up sufficient funds to finance the start-up. People need to be paid when you are building the business.

In the end, I decided the time was right when I found myself working for a company where the culture was unacceptable to me. I firmly believe that you should always treat your people with respect. I couldn’t face working any longer in a business where people weren’t being treated well.”


The importance of company culture

“There is nothing more important in a business than the people. We have a young sales team (Phoenix Young, Will Farthing and Sean Hurley) who all have a great attitude and are keen to learn. I have total faith in Jazmin Palmer who heads up the support operations and in Ekaterina Shakirova who manages the finances. And I brought in Ian Trevett to have a fresh look at telecoms marketing. We have a tight, ambitious team – and I think (and hope) that our people enjoy working for Rubix.

The company culture is at the heart of everything I want to achieve. I am determined to grow a business with the right values and ethics. This means treating the staff with respect and ensuring they are part of the journey. It also means being transparent and offering a high level of customer service.

I truly believe in giving something back and supporting local charities. Last year, we raised some money to help send a lovely young boy called Loui Legend to America for life-changing surgery. We have enjoyed working with the Rockinghorse Children’s Charity and we are inspired by the work of The Starr Trust, which helps young people fulfil their potential. We will be do more with Rob Starr and the team in 2023.”


How Rubix is progressing

“Early on we acquired two companies and we have grown steadily ever since. We are now at the end of year two and we are now exceeding £1million annual turnover.

The journey is just starting. And 2023 will be very exciting. We have some big plans – watch this space!”

Read the full interview in Sussex Business Times.