We spoke to Gareth Ellis to find out a little more about him and his internet marketing company.
Our billboard competition has brought us into contact with a broad range of businesses, from gospel singers, to condiment makers to talented face painters. It’s been fascinating talking to every one, so it’s with sadness we meet the final winner today, Gareth Ellis of Yorkshire Designs – an internet marketing company.
Other competitions are in the pipeline and we’ll let you know as soon they launch, but in the meantime meet our final winner and admire his beautiful billboard…
What was the motivation for starting your business?
I always wanted to be completely independent and run things my way, so when I saw the difficulties smaller businesses faced in accessing marketing services I thought, why not solve that problem?
My work has helped lots of small businesses and startups get more clients and generate more income, and because of that I love what I do. It’s what gets me up in the morning, so I continue to work hard at it and thankfully business is growing.
When did you first start your business?
I started back in 2012 just helping out a few friends, followed by some people they knew through word of mouth. This has grown out to me supporting larger businesses and it’s snowballed from there.
How do you promote your business?
Good question for an internet marketer!
The best answer is to make myself visible wherever my potential clients are. Nowadays a lot of my business comes from referrals, as I give value to clients by being able to show the results of a campaign. This helps them ensure that they’re getting a good return, and because so many find this approach refreshing they’re happy to spread the word.
In addition to this I keep an eye out for competitions like yours! They always have the potential to reach my target audience.
How important a role do you feel small businesses like yours play in your local community?
Small businesses are absolutely vital. They pioneer creativity and flexibility, and through them you’ll find the best unique goods and services at fantastic prices. Because we’re not delayed by administration, multiple management tiers, and stages of approval, we’re agile, able to make quick decisions and accommodate specific requirements.
I also think that there is a lot to be said for our ability to meet and deal with people closely. What excites me is that there’s still so many businesses out there who exist only in brick and mortar, and who’ve still not got around to linking that to a website or social profile. You don’t have to be one or the other - you can be online and still be social in person too. Even online people like to see who they’re dealing with.
Why do you think Doncaster is a good town to run a small business in?
Yorkshire Design’s services are UK-wide as we exist online, but Doncaster is a wonderful town to work in with some great people. We’ve got some wonderful restaurants like Aagrah (on Great North Road), Doncaster Racecourse, Yorkshire Wildlife Park… I really could go on and on! Because we have so much going on small business owners are positive - we’re lucky to have lots of potential customers visiting throughout the year.
What is the most difficult part of running an SEO business?
Some businesses don’t know what it is! The process is technically complex and as every business is unique, so too is the service. It takes a lot of preparation and planning to give the best service. Yorkshire Designs cares about connecting you to your customers, helping you achieve a good return and doing a sterling job.
We always want to build long lasting relationships so this entails a lot of work, not only in carrying out the service but also in continually improving ourselves. We have to continuously adapt and learn to stay effective.
What are your plans for your business over the next five years?
I’d like to expand so that I can give my current clients an even better level of service, and to get involved with the local community/college so I can help smart kids struggling to find work. In my trade all you really need is a PC and the internet nowadays, so I’m confident that with some creativity and effort, opportunities will continue to arise.
Do you have any advice for those considering starting a business like yours?
Be aware that there’s a huge amount of competition out there. So ensure you offer something unique and do what you enjoy.
I read about marketing, think about it throughout the day, and love doing it – even if I retired early would still enjoy it. My biggest advice would be to do what you love and then you’ll never work another day.
Just get out there and help those first few clients make some money. If you are persistent and work hard enough you can do it too.
Why did you enter the competition?
I find it very refreshing for a company to not only offer such a wonderful prize, but to also give people the opportunity to vent about insurance. It’s a great idea and shows you’re a company that cares and wants to connect with its clients. Perhaps every business should ask clients what they hate about what they offer, as this might inspire them to improve their services and address pain points in the future.
In fact it’s an idea I may well implement within my own business!
How will this billboard help your business?
The billboard will hopefully drive some recognition and interest amongst businesses new to internet marketing. Despite its potential many still don’t understand it, so getting the word out at street level is fantastic. It’s also a quirky prize which people will be interested in!