With the internet being a huge part of life and websites being main information tools, it can be frustrating and time absorbing when technology fails. Having a website is key in all aspects of business, networking and blogging but having the know-how in dealing with technological issues is best left to the professionals.
Black Nova Designs specialises in IT solutions for home & business providing web design and web hosting. They look after Haynet keeping the website ticking along nicely for you all to enjoy!
Sam Hobden recently caught up with Kyle and Danielle to find out more about the personalities behind Black Nova Designs:
Your love of animals comes through very strong! Were you both brought up with animals and horses as children?
Oh yes! Kyle was brought up with the ‘usual’ family pet dog, an Alaskan malamute, called Skye. He also had a snake, chinchilla and rat. There were definitely no horses in Kyle’s childhood, truth be known I don’t think he’s all that keen on horses.
I, on the other hand, grew up with ponies, dogs, fish and rabbits. Ponies were my first true love, we had one lovely pony on loan when I was little. I say lovely, she was lovely on her terms.
Next came Duke, my bay 13.2hh pony. I was around 11years old when he came, he was super awesome and put up with a lot. My pony interest grew and I went on to work at a number of event yards, riding schools and hunt yards.
I went on to own a few TB’s including Benson, who thought he was a cob. So docile, understanding and fun. Benson was incredible, so gentle with Zoe and a real pleasure.
We also had a family dog Jasper, whom many of you know sadly passed away January 2018. He was our superstar Border terrier, a big personality caught up in a small dog’s body.
After losing Jasper we couldn’t face a new puppy around, so now in our ‘spare time’ we look after our friend’s dogs while they are on holiday. I have also helped friends with behavioural issues with their canine friends as well. The joy a happy dog brings to a family is incredible.
My mum also still has two ponies that I help out with now and then, they have also featured in a few of our social posts. The incredible Golden King (aka Pablo) her 14.2hh Palomino pony. Mum has owned him from a yearling and with the help of many has trained him up to be a little competition powerhouse. The bond they have is so special.
Then we have Frankie, a filly bought from Ireland last year who was totally wild. With a lot of patience and time, mum has trained her to the point she now trusts us all to lead her, cuddle her and start handling her. Training the ponies from young brings a special bond and gives us such a sense of achievement.
That’s just a brief insight, being animal lovers there is never really a time where we are too far away from some fluffy friends.
Was it always an ambition to run your own business? Were you encouraged to have a career working for yourself?
For Kyle, absolutely not. He grew up wanting to be a pilot in the RAF and he did very well pursuing that dream until he was dismissed on medical grounds, but the love for computers started very early. He built his first custom built pc at the age of 8 years old.
After leaving RAF training Kyle needed a new purpose. He didn’t have really any support to start his own business, no family or friends thought he would make it. He was often being told he wouldn’t be good enough, he would never make it work or that he would give it up after a short while.
He was determined, he ignored them and kept the business going. He did find several full time jobs within the IT industry to ensure his knowledge and expertise were up to date while spending time in the evenings and weekends building on his skills. Kyle completed his Princes Trust course in Business, learnt loads and made his first business plan.
We still have that plan, it’s filed away and we refer back to it every time we like to reflect on how far we have come.
Me, I never dreamed of running my own business! I grew up with no idea what I wanted to do, maybe work with animals, maybe a mounted police officer, or a dog handler, maybe a groom. I was around 18 when someone told me if you qualify to be an accountant you can earn lots of money – that sounded like a good plan, so I studied for my AAT accountancy degree.
To cut a long story short, it wasn’t for me, I was bored, I missed being outside and enjoying time with the ponies.
I always had family around me who are my support network. My family have always been unbelievably supportive of everything I do. Their best advice is: ‘try your best at everything you do’, you don’t have to be the winner you just have to know that you tried.
Time moved on and I was a single mum. I met Kyle and found out about Black Nova Designs and read the business plan and just thought WOW! This has potential, we could do this and make something together building the dream business, helping others while making sure our family and kids were put first.
Tell us about when your interest in IT started? Did you want to work in this area when you both left school?
Kyle has been an IT geek from around 8 years old, building PCs and was a competitive online gamer at a young age. Oh and there was that time where he took over the schools wireless network as a teenager! Turns out he knew about wireless networks and security even back then.
Kyle has a special skill, he just loves it all! He loves problem solving, he gets pleasure from fixing problems that are just too technical for us ‘normal’ people.
Me, my interest in IT I don’t think ever started (oops maybe I shouldn’t say that). In reality the reason I started to help in this business is because IT and computers HATE me! There isn’t one I haven’t managed to not break yet – even my own work ones, Kyle genuinely thinks I’m cursed.
But that helps me understand how much our clients have issues, how unbelievably frustrating it is when things don’t work the way you expect them to when your website just isn’t listening and your PC takes forever to load and open.
Was it an easy step setting up Black Nova Designs or a scary one?
Well, we registered with companies house and become a Limited company from the beginning. Setting up was easy, getting the work in was a bit different, and setting prices was again another big challenge.
SThere have been many lessons to learn. The biggest lesson was that not everyone will support you, not everyone will be your ideal client, and that is ok.
Tell us about the triumphs and the challenges of running your own business?
Oh wow, there are so many! Triumphs: winning the best website design agency Wiltshire 2018 and 2019 has got to be one of the biggest highlights. And then there is moving into our first ever office premises.
The company has grown from strength to strength, which is all thanks to our amazing team, family and support network.
The biggest challenge is keeping up with the kid’s very hectic social schedule, school runs and time management.
Being a husband and wife team, is it easy to work together? Tell us about the Black Nova team.
Is it easy to work together – ABSOLUTELY NOT! The team do a great job of mediation, it requires a lot of tea, Domino’s ordering and disco dancing in the office … There are days when one of us will work from the office and one will work from home, its best that way!
Social media might portray we are 100% working together all the time, but we will let you into a secret, working together is so hard! We do our best to have very separate job roles and not interfere. Truth be told I think Kyle prefers site visits than being in the office anyway.
To be fair, we do make it work better than you might imagine. We motivate each other on the rough days, and we understand each other’s struggles (mostly) and know when we need an ego boost or time out.
The rest of our team are incredible! Sasha, Melissa and Jana are incredible website designers. We also have a few other amazing contractors that help with onsite work and remote support – the team is the most important part of the business to us. Without them we couldn’t do what we do.
Most of our staff are part-time but we truly rely on them. They always provide work and services that we are proud of. We stand by our team – without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today.
What are your future plans with Black Nova Designs?
Grow, bigger and better. Kyle will be sitting his Ubiquiti Unifi Wireless installer certification very shortly, among his other talents, he will then be a qualified wireless installer.
Some of the staff will be increasing their work hours over the next few months and our 5 year plan is to have a much larger office, with more work stations for network builds, PC repairs and maybe some additional tech geeks in the office full time. Future plans are to release Kyle of being the ‘god of all knowledge’ and have a number of expert employees in each sector.
On a day off, where would we find you both?
With the kids enjoying a family day out, enjoying the outdoor sunshine, or just relaxing at a spa. Family time is treasured, when we get an extra chance to spend time with the kids we take it.
Where do you both hope to be in ten years’ time?
Running the company from a yacht in the Bahamas … only joking ☺
We would love to open branches of the company around the county, bringing more of the knowledge and IT care to more people. Kyle has plans for himself and the team to take more certifications and accreditations. He wants the team to provide the best possible service to all clients and always continuing to push us all to be the best version of ourselves we can be.
Against the Clock
Planes, Trains or Automobile: Automobile
Beer or Champagne: Beer
Cheese or Chocolate: Chocolate
Sunshine or Snow: Sunshine
Home Counties or Far Away Shores: Far Away Shores
Spend or Save: Spend
PC or Mac: PC
Home Cooked or Eating Out: Eating Out
Music or Film: Music
(yes we both had the exact same answers against the clock as each other)
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