MEMBER OF THE WEEK - Calico

Established in 1994 by the original owners, our team had a management buyout in 2004 to take over the Internet Services part of the business. I'm Kirsty Pryer and I joined the company myself straight out of college in 1998 and worked my way up a small ladder to become MD.

Over the years we’ve offered a wide variety of Internet related services and now specialise in domain registration, website hosting and email services. We have a friendly helpdesk based here in the Highlands to offer personalised support in relation to our services.

We’ve always been at the forefront of technology and advances in Internet services. We were the first to offer dialup internet services in Scotland, back in the day, through to being the first company to have a live .scot website. Our https://calico.scot website is our dedicated site for DotScot ending domain names, for people to search for available names . There is great availability on .scot as it’s a smaller namespace than say .com. That includes 3-4 letter names, and good/short keywords.

My role in the business is to manage a variety of business functions including new sales, online promotion, marketing, business networking and customer support. Most of my day is spent helping customers via the telephone and email to configure their devices, troubleshoot technical issues and offer support on advice on their online activities.

ICC asked us why we'd like to do this MOTW campaign and we’ve seen how the Chamber of Commerce has facilitated the showcasing of other members and introduced them to the membership base and beyond. Of course we’d want to be part of that!

We offer a variety of domain endings (TLDs) and can combine those with different types of web hosting and web builder systems. Our domain options include the standards such as .com, .uk, .net, .org as well as the more specialist options such as country codes and industry related, such as .shop, .art, .press, .physio and many more.

We offer WordPress supported hosting on our Linux systems, pre-installing WordPress for customers to get a head start on using the web development tool. We can even offer staging hosting for development of a new website whilst an existing website remains live for our customer’s clients. Alongside that we’re running a series of #WhyWordPress blogs on our website that showcase customer websites and educate on why people might use WordPress for their website management system.

Our .scot domains are great for any of our Scottish customers. Whether it’s a Scottish business, Scottish products of services, or just for personal use for someone with Scottish heritage, we can help anyone get theirchoice.scot for a website or email address.

Our services are constantly evolving along with changing server and software systems. We’re also featuring a TLD of the month to introduce customers to the lesser known domain endings. For April our domain of the month is .shop, which is great for eCommerce websites.

Over the next 12 months we’re looking forward to collaborating with other small technology businesses to offer additional services to our customers. We’re going to be raising awareness of some of those lesser known domain names such as .shop and .scot.

We also plan to move the last of our server systems from our network in Cromarty out on to the cloud, to increase the service reliability and availability as well as to provide easier upgrade paths and easier expandability.

We’ve also received a Bronze Award from The Apprentice Store because of our referral activity with them. As we don’t do web development here at Calico, we love to refer design work through to their team. We appreciate the work they do as a social enterprise to train up young people with IT skills in the Highlands. It’s great to be able to collaborate with other small businesses based in the area, and work together to help our mutual customers.

I’ve recently received an engagement badge from STEM Ambassadors Scotland for my volunteering time. Sadly my engagement has been lower during lockdown as schools haven’t been allowing external visitors in, but I’ve been able to participate in some online activities instead. 

ICC asked me what we value most from our membership and it would be the networking events. I love to be able to attend Networking events, and am looking forward to face to face meetings resuming soon. We also make use of preferential rates with FDMS for our credit card transactions and Westfield Health membership to allow team members to claim cashback for healthcare charges, such as dentist, optician and physio appointments.

Calico's top-tip for making the most of your chamber membership would be to definitely attend a new member event, as they showcase all the membership benefits, so there might be some you weren’t aware of.

At Calico we offer a 25% discount on all services for the first year to Inverness Chamber members. If you’re interested in taking out a new service with us, get in touch with our team and mention Inverness Chamber to benefit.

Our primary website is https://cali.co.uk

Our dedicated .scot registration site is https://calico.scot

Our social media links are as follows, should you wish to tag us:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/calicouk

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/calico_uk

LinkedIn Business: https://www.linkedin.com/company/calico-uk

LinkedIn Kirsty: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kirstypryer

We also have an occasional newsletter. This gives company news, special offers and IT security news. People can sign up for that at: https://www.cali.co.uk/newsletter.asp

We also have an Internet Hints & Tips Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/calicointernet/