What problem are you trying to solve?
Social media and digital marketing are no longer optional, no matter what the industry or customer – if you aren’t there it raises question marks and represent a big missed opportunity. For so many businesses this is now a big problem, they don’t have the desire/knowledge/time to run these options and the current options (hiring the junior, freelancers or expensive large agencies) are not the right solution.
How big is the market – and how much of it do you think you can own?
Statistics show there are up to 2 million SMEs in the UK alone. Realistically 500,000 of those are true ‘businesses’ and that is a huge market. When we consider overseas, the potential market is endless – thankfully, we don’t think we will ever ‘run out’ of potential customers.
How do you make money?
Our clients pay us a monthly retainer for the services we offer. This can range from small for specific needs or a larger, more comprehensive package.
How has London & Partners and the Business Growth programme helped you?
The programme helped us massively. This can be broken down into three core ways:
- We met a number of like-minded, similar sized companies going through similar stages of growth. We have worked alongside some and really expanded our network.
- The sessions gave us a huge amount of food for thought – everything from business models to HR was highlighted and allowed us to address some blind spots we had.
- It gave us confidence knowing that the challenges we faced are faced by all and that, despite giving ourselves a hard time, we are actually getting a lot of things right!
Who’s on your team that makes you think you can do this?
We very much live by the idea of “Hire the attitude, train the skill” and therefore the team is full of positive people who see reasons ‘why’ before reasons ‘why not’. By getting the right people on the bus in the first place – we are confident in our decision making process as well as knowing that we’ll be told if people think we are about to make a bad choice. Our network of advisers are also crucial to us.
Who’s bankrolling you?
We are 100% privately owned and have no debt in the business – we’re old school that way!
What advice would you give other entrepreneurs trying to secure that kind of finance?
Don’t spend 50% of your time talking about funding and focusing on that. It might sound cool to your friends to talk about ‘closing a round’ but it takes away from concept of actually building a business model that works. If you’re in the tech business it may be very different, but overall only raise money if you need it, don’t let funding lead to bad habits and focus on getting traction first.
What do you believe the key to growing this business is?
There are a number of elements to this. To me though it’s about two core things:
- Having a product or service that is genuinely good. You can’t build a business around a bad product, it’ll become all too clear very quickly and quality will always shine through.
- Never underestimate the power of a network.
What metrics do you look at every day?
We like to look at the cliched ‘fag packet calculations’ most days. So this would be our revenue, overheads, client volume, margin and most importantly cash in the business.
What’s been the most unexpectedly valuable lesson you’ve learnt so far?
The power of having a co-founder. I’ve launched businesses before on my own and it’s a totally different experience – it’s quite scary what a difference having a partner makes. Every decision is easier, every high is higher, every low is more manageable and the ability to egg each other on is huge.
Find out how the Business Growth Programme has supported other SMEs during their growth journey across London and can help your business.
This exclusive programme is open to companies based in London operating in key broad sectors: Financial, Business Services & Technology, Life Sciences & Innovation, Creative, and Urban.
To find out more, please visit businessgrowth.london