No Quibbles for Quibble
Having worked in the digital marketing agency world for many years, Anna Morrish knew that she wanted to start her own company. When the opportunity arose, she gave in her notice with her employer and used weekends, evenings and even lunch breaks during her notice period to set up Quibble Digital in 2016.
“I’ve always been headstrong with strong views on the type of company culture that I wanted to create. This was one where my team would be responsible for themselves, rewarded for good work and have access to opportunities for their career not available to them in a larger company,” explained Anna.
Initially Anna started to canvas the business park where her company was located and reached out to potential customers to promote the services she could offer. Contracts started to come in and two years later, her now husband Adam joined the company to focus on the technical side. “Our aim was to provide small and medium businesses with access to digital marketing tailored to their needs without the hefty costs involved with larger agencies,” stated Anna.
To help young marketeers, Anna offered work experience placements to pupils from the local Stamford College to give them a taste of the real working environment. She also worked with inmates at Peterborough Prison to develop their business and marketing skills for when they returned to the workforce. Additionally, Anna is involved with several local charities, recognising that “if I was employed and not running my own business, these opportunities would not be possible.”
It was a recommendation by a friend which brought Growth Works to her attention when she was exploring funding opportunities for the business. Having spread the risk for the company by selecting clients from different sectors, she had managed to maintain revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, with many clients moving operations to digital platforms and the increase in the use of e-commerce, Quibble Digital performed well despite losing some clients due to the national lockdowns preventing trading for certain industries such as events.
Anna knew that she wanted to grow the business further but felt that “I needed some support to achieve my ambitions and we also required funding to make this possible”. She applied for a Growth Works grant to fund mentoring for herself and to help develop a new web design in addition to training courses for members of the team.
“The mentoring support I received has been invaluable and my mentor has been generous in sharing her experience running an agency and what she has learnt along the way,” explained Anna. There were some changes within the team at this point and this has brought more focus to the company with a new SEO & PPC role and employing a more driven web developer. “This has allowed us to reduce our risk as a business with a wider but more specialist skills base within the team. This has been key in allowing me to step back, taking time out to have a baby and then come back to work on business development, meeting clients, while delegating the content marketing and PR work I previously did,” added Anna.
Adam’s focus has also changed with him now working on projects such as creating tools to assist clients with their digital campaign plans through a subscription service.
“This step up in terms of the business would not have been possible without the Growth Works grant, as we would not have had the money available to invest so significantly in the team and the development of our offering as a business,” stated Anna. They also hope to employ two more members of staff by the end of the year as a result too.
Anna is busy in the development of new services for clients as well as planning presentations at key events to build her personal brand and help build the profile of the business. “The future looks very bright, and we are delighted with the support we received through Growth Works in terms of job creation and business growth which has increased by 25% over the last year!”
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