Ben Wolfenden speaks to GrowthBusiness about founding Visibilis, a digital marketing company, in a highly competitive marketplace.
What does your business do?
Visibilis is a digital marketing company. In a nutshell we work with companies to help them grow – primarily focussing on online growth, through SEO, social management, blogger outreach and email strategy.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Having worked in agencies before, I spotted that rather than be seen as an external resource, I wanted to become more integral to my client’s businesses. Educating clients in everything digital has been key to helping them make informed marketing decisions and drive better ROI on their marketing spend.
How did you know there was a market for it?
The sheer breadth and complexity of digital marketing channels has meant a boom in the digital marketing sector over the last five years – there was, is and always will be a huge digital marketing sector – it’s just a case for an agency to be one of the best at implementing strategies for clients.
How did you raise funding, and why?
Initially it was self-funded but in 2014, I won disabled entrepreneur award along with £50,000 from Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou which meant we could take greater risks to develop the business, bring on new staff, develop a sales pipeline and grow.
Describe your business model in brief.
We work with client’s across their digital channels on a monthly basis, helping them to understand the various channel options available and helping them to gain that invaluable ROI.
Your lowest point was…
Sat drinking my morning coffee on my own, in my pyjamas, wondering how on earth I was going to create an agency from just myself.
Your highest point was…
Walking into the agency I built with 15 people across all digital specialisms for a great selection of clients.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Work hard, if you get knocked back, brush yourself off and work as hard as ever. Every entrepreneur will tell you – it’s all about work ethic and implementation – it’s well documented that the harder you work, the luckier you seem to get!
Where do you want to be in five years’ time?
An agency seems to work at it’s optimum with a team of 30 – which is where we would like to be in the next two years. My primary desire is that we manage to maintain our core vision as an agency to help SME’s understand how digital can work for them and to keep driving our clients growth and ROI.
If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be…
I have absolutely no idea – I’d own a coffee shop, getting to know my customers each day, but that is still being an entrepreneur so question #fail I guess.
If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?
Nothing particularly differently but I’d tell myself to be confident that things will turn out as expected, to just keep working hard and hitting those stretch goals and my vision of an agency would come to fruition.
What is your philosophy on business or life, in a nutshell?
To work hard and the goals you set yourself will eventually work out. Don’t punish yourself for things that are out of your control, smile when things go wrong, because it means you’ve just learnt something and finally, that life is as much about the journey than the destination – enjoy each day, week and month for what it is.