Hello! It’s time for another Small Business Update. Do you enjoy reading these? Please do comment or like the article if you do! Today, we’re catching up with Suzi Brown from The Smart Bear Digital Consultancy, who I first chatted to in June 2014 and again in July 2015 and July 2016. When I asked her then, with her business growing fast, having moved into an office and with lots of ideas floating around, she said, “Judging by how we have grown in this year, I expect my turnover will be at least 50% more – perhaps we’ll need bigger offices!” Read on to see how she’s done in the past year …
Hello again, Suzi. So, are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
Yes, business has doubled since this time last year and it’s going from strength to strength in both terms of website builds, WordPress development and search engine optimisation.
Wow! What has changed and what has stayed the same?
We’ve introduced new services and streamlined our products, introducing a new customer service system to make everything go smoothly from start to finish. We also took this step with our systems because a new member of staff is starting with us in September and we wanted to make it as easy as possible for her to hit the ground running.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve learned to constantly evolve the company to make it more efficient, which has been essential with the amount of work coming in. We’ve also learned that it’s OK to advertise. Up until now we’ve never advertised as we’ve always had a steady stream of work and didn’t think we’d cope with any huge influx. But, now we can handle a lot more and so we’ve placed an advert in a local business magazine to off our advertising journey.
Any more hints and tips for people?
We’ve enjoyed moving our systems to a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system which has a lot of useful built-in tools – tools we were using several different systems for before. Although we have to pay for the CRM, it’s been really worthwhile and makes us more efficient and professional, and saves time in the long run.
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
Next year, we’ll have our new member of staff installed and I think the business will have evolved again, organically, in tune with her talents and strengths.
What a fabulous and exciting time for Smart Bear and Suzi! It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on developing your business and streamlining systems, but especially in those early years. But it’s exciting, too, and I wish them all the best of luck with that first hire (new offices last year, first member of staff this year: it’s all looking good!)
You can find Suzi and Smart Bear Digital Consultancy here:
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.