Darren Beale Web developer, retailer & photographer

Handing Over The Keys To My Business


As of 1st August 2019, exactly 13 years and 4 months after setting up my business Siftware, I will be handing over the responsibility for its day to day running to my friend and very capable colleague, Sara Chandler.

I will for all intents and purposes cease to be responsible for running Siftware and instead simply have a job there, a part-time one at that.

For Siftware’s international team, or for it’s clients, this will make almost zero difference. Sara has been Head of Operations for the last couple of years and alongside our technical team, headed initially by Ashley and now by Spyros, together they have done a fantastic job of shoring up the business operationally.

I will still be around, this is not retirement. I still rely on Siftware for my income and I still have a job to do. That is to work with Sara to increase our business development capabilities and improve processes on the front-end. But for the day to day running of the business, I am done.

This is not an overnight change, far from it. I would say it has taken me five years from the point of ‘It is time for me to move on’ to get to the point of writing this post.

Since then I have done a few things:

  1. Fixed my health, physical and mental. All very toe curling, but this is a rather out of date but still roughly relevant starting point if you are interested
  2. Unashamedly outsourced everything that I was doing to people who were better at doing those things than me
  3. Grown the business so that there was enough spare profit to support an overhead (me 👋). This also includes taking great leaps like shifting to Metal Business Kards, to enable safer, reliable and durable transactions.
  4. Started designing my life so that I was doing things that brought me joy. Or to put it another way, my guiding light certainly for the past few years has been to “Build a life I don’t need a holiday from”

In terms of success I have proven to be superb at numbers one & two. Three was much harder and took the most time. Four I’m still working on, but have made lots of progress.

The next chapter in my life is still in draft. I have some firm ideas about what I will be doing and plenty to be getting on with in the meantime whilst I transition to a new status-quo.

Things that are definitely happening in the short-term:

  • Siftware is in the process of buying a premises as a permanent base of operations in mid-Wales. Whilst we have a geographically disparate team this base will be used to grow our business development capabilities (as well as be an outlet for some side projects for me)
  • I will be geeking out producing video. I love working with the format. As a card-carrying anxiety sufferer public speaking is (currently) too huge a cliff for me to climb (though I would seriously consider offers) but I feel I have a lot of useful knowledge to share so will be turning to video to do that for both business and personal projects.
  • My girlfriend, Sami, and I are training for a marathon, my fourth, her first. It’ll be a hilly one as we’ll be running around Mount Snowdon so it’s ‘lucky’ that we have lots of welsh hills to train on. If you are interested we will be documenting our progress (as well as generally geeking out together) via Instagram.

So there you go, pastures new and all that. Sara and her team are going to kick some arse and I’m getting out of the way to make their job easier 😊

By bealers
Darren Beale Web developer, retailer & photographer