I always wanted to become my own boss after working for my father in my teenage years. I admired how hard he worked and how he was in control over his own destiny. My father ran a kitchen design and installation business before the likes of B&Q, Homebase & Wicks made his industry difficult.
I was just 24 when I started my first company, I had graduated from University where I did a multi-media degree, soon after graduation I set up a web design agency called Evolution Media. I mainly worked as a Freelancer for larger web agencies in the Eastmidlands. Things were going smoothly, I had just become a new dad to my son Thomas and the business was growing nicely.
However at the age of one, Tom was diagnosed with Epilepsy, eventually having up to 50 seizures every day! I realised that I needed to concentrate on Thomas and looking after him. As a result I closed the fledgling business down, and found work for one of the large agencies I was previously freelancing for. My life as a director of a limited company was short-lived and I shut the business down to focus on family life.
I still had that burning desire to be my own boss, my entrepreneurial spirit was very much intact, I began to learn about Epilepsy to a very high level and launched one of the UK’sd leading Epilepsy Blogs (www.ukepilepsy.com). This blog was intended to help parents of children who had epilepsy, I shared my experiences and offered advice and support to other parents. This website became very popular and in 2012 I was nominated as a candidate for an award being given out by one of the UK’s Epilepsy charities.
What happened next?
Tom’s Epilepsy took 5 years to become controlled, and for him to stop having seizures, it was at this time that I began to think of setting up another business. I worked in various companies in managerial roles up until 2011 when I set up TWDG Ltd, The Web Design Group. I opened the business bank account with 50p and began to work with an old laptop from my kitchen table, for the first 12 months I had a day job with a health company in Nottingham as the head of their eCommerce department. I was slowly building my business in the evenings.
By November 2012 The Web Design Group was at a stage where it could support my wages on a full time basis, at this point I quite my day job and concentrated full time on building my company. I took the plunge, sacrificing my evenings and weekends to grow the company. It was coming round to Christmas time in 2012 and I was thinking of ways to grow the company quickly, I hit on the idea of white labeling my services for other web agencies, working as a freelancer effectively, but acting as if I worked for these other , larger companies. My work load soon started to become unmanageable, this was the time to expand and grow.
In February 2013 I began looking for somebody to join the team, I needed somebody who could hit the ground running and bring additional skills to the table. I recruited Matt Porter and he became my business partner and creative director in 2013. We decided early in our partnership to target the larger companies, and be selective who we worked for, it was about choosing the correct clients. We quickly began to attract the attention of some of the UK’s international corporations, gaining highly lucrative contracts which helped to fuel our growth.
In October 2013 we recruited a 3rd member of the team, and again in March 2014 expanded again to recruit a 4th member.
2014 has seen growth of over 300% for the turnover of the business, we have also become a Google Partner Agency which has helped build our profile and attract even larger clients by way of referral from Google.
Written by Andy Morley. For more information visit http://www.twdg.co.uk/.
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