Founders of Norwich-based Further share their six tips to create a successful start-up
Like the founders of any new business when Steve Jaggard and Zak Ireson started working together they were convinced they had found a gap in the market where their new venture could thrive.
The pair had joined forces to work together on a business idea which they formulated over months of brainstorming meetings at Dunston Hall. That company was to become Further a digital marketing agency which wanted to help its clients grow and thrive by boosting its online performance.
They sensed an obvious opportunity - Norwich was home to a number of trailblazers such as Foolproof, OMG, and Soup - and both Steve and Zak came from creative backgrounds, the former was a founder of The Point, and the latter had worked at Archant.
In May 2006 aged 42 and 35, they were ready to take the plunge, and May 6 sees the company celebrating its 10th anniversary.
The business was one of the first companies to be part of Future50, so we asked Steve and Zak what advice the would have to anyone starting out.
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Zak: 'It sounds really cliched but just believe that what you think is right. If you are going to start a business, you just have to believe in it
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Steve: 'If you have got a passion and love what you do - you shouldn't be afraid. Just go for whatever you believe in, and whatever you are best at. Even if you are working from your back bedroom, you shouldn't see the barriers, you can make it happen.
Zak: 'Even when you get it wrong, you can row back - making a decision is more important than not making a decision
On growing the business and managing the team...
Steve: 'We've found it's been more beneficial to have more directors' meetings, even shorter ones, because there is so much happening
'We think we are trying to do something different. It's about sharing knowledge. We sent our team to a conference in Brighton recently and they came back full of ideas. One of them has said they will put together a presentation for our Think Tank Tuesday meetings - that's the way to start engendering the same passion
On working with clients...
Zak: 'When we first started it was hard for us to push back. The world has changed and our confidence as a company has changed. We are trying to build relationships.