A lot of business owners are understandably worried about the future right now. Once again, we find ourselves living through uncertain times.
That said, we recently took the time to reflect on the almost 150 clients we currently work with across the UK. And were pleasantly surprised by what we found.
Despite the economic headwinds dominating the news, there are lots of success stories out there. Lots of businesses feeling optimistic about the future. And lots of companies focusing on investing in growth - rather than battening down the hatches and waiting for a brighter day.
We caught up with two of these companies to find out why they’re feeling positive and what they’re doing to realise their ambitions.
Russell James, Specialist Door Solutions
Russell James is Commercial Director at Specialist Doors Solutions and has worked at the company for over ten years.
“Some businesses might feel nervous about the wider scenario in the world. But actually now’s not the time to let off the gas,” Russell says. “Now’s the time to push it and to really come forward as a company.”
All businesses are affected by occasional turbulence and inflation - they're an unavoidable part of living in a market economy. “We’ve seen massive inflation and prices going up in exactly the same way as everyone else. No one’s unaffected.”
But the way to survive, says Russell, is by investing in your company. “In our opinion, it’s the companies that haven’t invested in the past that become weaker and potentially fail when they’re hit by market turbulence.”
Investing in the future
Over the past year, the company has been investing heavily in new teams, employees, manufacturing facilities, and in its product in terms of compliance and regulation. It has also recently begun investing in marketing.
“We’d invested very minimally in marketing over the past few years,” says Russell, “but we’ve come to recognise and embrace the fact that we need to invest in marketing to get our name out there properly and in a regular fashion.”
Since the company began investing in marketing and working with The Marketing Centre earlier this year, it’s been able to create a proper marketing plan and build new relationships with potential customers.
“For the first time, we have a plan,” Russell says, “We know what we’re doing, we know where we’re going, and we can measure the delivery of it.
“If you act positively, you get positive results. And we’ve definitely seen that happening at our company.”
Tom Blakey, Wayfairer Travel
Tom Blakey is the founder of Wayfairer Travel, a luxury travel company that promotes responsible travel.
“Part of being an entrepreneur for myself and my business partner is the passion, excitement and pride in what we do,” Tom says. “And we’re very proud of only working with what we consider to be top talent.”
A key way of achieving that is reinvestment. Even when times are tough, investing back in the business is a vital part of growth.
“If you want to attract and retain the best talent, you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is. And we are a one hundred percent reinvestment business.
“It’s exciting. It’s why we get up in the morning with smiles on our faces. It’s why we’re always looking to try new things and keep the business growing.”
What’s next for the company?
Within the next five years, Tom plans for Wayfairer Travel to grow by five times the size it is now. “And a lot of how we’re going to do that involves marketing, tech and our financial strategies.”
The business has begun investing in part-time roles in these areas - including a part-time chief technology officer, part-time marketing director and part-time finance director. Part-time contracts mean they can access top-tier talent without paying large full-time salaries each month.
“Not having to commit to six-figure salaries has been massive for us,” Tom says. “It’s helped us push on to a level of performance where previously we’d have had to really dig deep into our pockets to find that level of talent.
“The big win for us is having that direction and leadership. Having things explained in numbers and return on investment and it being data-driven and experience-led. It allows us business owners and other people in the business to focus on what we’re good at.”
Surviving the storm
“Travel was the worst hit industry when covid happened,” Tom explains. “But we survived it.”
The combination of travel picking up post-lockdowns and the company’s investment in the business has meant they’ve been able to bounce back stronger than ever.
“The demand has been fantastic and 2022 has been really good. We’re hoping 2023 and beyond is even better.”
How can your business get on the front foot right now?
So, what can we learn from Russell and Tom? Well, there are two key takeaways here.
Adopt a positive mindset
Of course, it’s important to be realistic. But equally, it’s also possible to talk yourself into a recession.
If you act like growth is impossible, it probably will be. But if you think and act like growth can happen, you're much more likely to get positive results - as Russell said earlier.
Invest in the growth your business needs
Growth doesn’t just happen. It isn't an inevitable result of a booming economy and, equally, it isn't impossible during a recession either. Growth happens as a result of good decisions and smart investments.
For a great example of how investing in growth can give your business the boost it needs, take a look at how Joloda tripled its website leads by investing in its marketing.
Things might feel uncertain right now - but you don’t have to go through it alone.
Our experienced Marketing Directors have the insight, knowledge and know-how to help you make strategic decisions and investments in your long-term business growth.
To learn more, feel free to get in touch at any time.