Hive Five – Authentic Digital

Introduction

Will Jeffries, the MD of Authentic Digital, lives in Weston-super-Mare with his young family. Authentic Digital is a Weston-based tech business with seven staff that’s evolved over the years. The company has been at The Hive since 2017 and has just launched its innovative new, software product: SheepCRM.

What does Authentic do?

Will says, “Authentic is a co-developer of membership management software, SheepCRM.
SheepCRM is a cloud-based SaaS or ‘software as a service’ product that’s been specifically designed to help membership organisations such as non-profits, charities and business associations manage their members more effectively.

“We were already working with a number of membership organisations, and were surprised at how challenging and time-consuming it was to manage a membership scheme. We realised we could make a real difference to these organisations by simplifying the process and providing them with valuable data insights.

“The interest in our software has been remarkable, we’ve even had enquiries from international associations based in London and around Europe.

“Recent wins include prestigious membership clubs, the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club, the Royal Dart Yacht Club and we mustn’t forget The Hive’s North Somerset Enterprise Agency. We’re particularly excited to have begun a partnership with Visit Somerset, helping them to grow their membership and engage with their regional community of tourism businesses more effectively than ever.”

Why The Hive?

Will explains, “I used to commute to Bristol for work and I certainly don’t miss that daily traffic hell. Working closer to home meant more time spent with my family, something that is very important to me. When we started out, our first office wasn’t situated in an ideal location and didn’t have any parking, which meant we couldn’t invite clients to our offices which didn’t send the right message out. We’re perceived as a much more professional company now that we’re based at The Hive”.

The Hive is on the doorstep for Will. It’s also a convenient, easily accessible central ground for his regionally dispersed team, with other staff living in Oxford and Devon.

Will says, “We’ve been at The Hive for about two years now. When we moved in to our office, it felt like a breath of fresh air. Though we’re not usually all in at once, it’s useful to have some spare desk space. This lets us invite our freelancers or project collaborators into the office to work with us; it can be refreshing and motivational to get people out of their usual habitats. In a similar vein, we often rent The Hive’s other spaces for client meetings, briefings and sprint sessions and have hired the large-screen and video conferencing kit as required.”

The value-added services at The Hive are important for Authentic Digital.

Will says, “Our visitors always have a great experience here. We often get positive comments back about the building, our work environment and the staff at The Hive. Rob, Rachel and Hazel on the front desk are great personalities, they’re the face of The Hive with a friendly welcome for everyone. Our post and deliveries are handled, too, it’s very beneficial for us to be here.”

Hive horizons

“Regeneration is visible in North Somerset in general and Weston in particular”, says Will.

“It’s great to be in a place where things are actually happening, things are changing for the better. There are new buildings going up all the time, from hi-tech schools to the innovative new FoodWorks development just opposite The Hive, and the Junction 21 Enterprise Area is expanding. We’re in the heart of it all which is encouraging both for us and for visitors to the region. The only thing missing is more support for tech-based businesses (hint hint!).”

Will explains, “We’re very busy promoting and enhancing SheepCRM at present, our key membership management software product. Launching a tech start-up is a huge challenge but we have a great team and are determined to make it a success. Our feedback so far has been extremely positive, so we know we are on the right track.

“In terms of expansion, we’ve always supported the college and have recently invited several students in for work experience and may look to formalise this. Our core team is also likely to expand but we’ve got space in our current office for now, as we encourage freelance and remote working patterns. Having the flexibility to know that we can down-size or upscale our office quickly should the market change is reassuring for a small business like ours and we look forward to The Hive’s next stages of growth.”

You can find out more about SheepCRM by visiting getsheep.co.uk

Hive Highlights from Will

  • The Hive’s staff
  • The location and parking
  • The great facilities
  • Easy rental terms
  • The bright, purpose-built building