Please introduce yourself to our readers:
My name is Simon Ensor, I am the Managing Director of a digital marketing agency and consultancy in London, England called Yellowball (weareyellowball.com). To use a corporate term we are a full-service agency in that we help companies right from the outset with branding, website design and website development. Subsequently we handle all types of marketing including SEO, PPC, social media, email campaigns and deliver consultancy on overall marketing, practical implementation of in house marketing and data usage. I have worked with clients ranging from startups to larger blue chips and governments.
Except for the necessary business operations, my particular area of expertise is SEO although I also work with clients on all aspects of marketing. I am particularly interested in how businesses can create efficiencies within marketing, ensuring that all departments/marketing facets are entwined and fuelling each other!
You are working on something pretty cool. Care to share a little bit about that?
We are developing a reputation as “creative consultants”. Whilst this may at first seem a little obscure it is proving to be an interesting and exciting niche. It also helps us differentiate ourselves from other traditional marketing or digital marketing agencies. Essentially we blend a creative team with more business and data driven individuals. The result is fantastic creativity that is then tailored to the more strategic business goals rather than creative ideas that look great but then do not deliver ROI. For us this is a critical aspect of producing engaging marketing campaigns whilst also developing long lasting relationships with clients because of the fact that they deliver real results for the business. Furthermore it helps us develop and transfer skills within the team that might not necessarily happen in a traditional agency.
What made you decide to follow that path?
I actually never intended to move into marketing, I sort of just fell into it. However, with a more mathematical or practical approach to issues, this idea of creative consultancy has suited me very well indeed. As one of the “squarer” individuals in the company I have had to concentrate on developing my creativity whilst also helping the more creative individuals understand the more strategic business objectives of our clients and how we can make sure our campaigns are intrinsically linked with these goals. I suppose the fact that it fits my skill set quite closely has encouraged me to pursue it, I also thoroughly enjoy it which is awesome considering I spent 2 years as a headhunter disliking my job!
Have you taken any outside funding?
No. Although I am not adverse to the idea, but at the moment it is not particularly necessary for the business. If we got to a point where outside funding was necessary for accelerated growth (and the risks were manageable) I would definitely consider it.
Do you have any partners?
Not at the moment, but we are currently looking to partner with other agencies within specific sectors that do not offer the same services as ourselves.
In terms of business partners, I have 3 other business partners. Importantly we all have different skills sets which compliment each other which allows us to offer more to our clients and also tackle internal issues more effectively.
What outcome do you hope to achieve?(What is your vision/goal for the company)
We are looking to become the foremost creative consultancy in the country, developing the team so that no matter what industry our clients are in we produce the best possible campaign which helps them grow as a company. Although larger clients are a target, we also want to retain the smaller clients and start ups due to the fact that they offer different challenges which in turn keeps us on our toes.
What is your company culture like?
We all get along well and are reasonably young so there is a lively atmosphere in the office. In terms of company culture that is driven by delivering for clients, so whatever it takes we get the job done. Personally I think this is a great culture where everyone is working towards the growth of the company rather than just doing what they need to do to get by! Everyone understands that hard work is rewarded and they will in turn benefit from the company’s growth.
Walk us through your average day:
I tend to get into the office fairly early, which gives me about an hour or two before our clients get “online”. I tend to try and sort out our own company’s marketing and content creation during this period so that during official work hours I can work on client campaigns. Come 9 am my day is then structured around project managing client campaigns and attending any meetings that have been arranged. A short lunch break with some table tennis in the office helps me get away from the desk before the afternoon settles in. As a company we like to schedule in blocks of time to work on accounts instead of trying to deal with too many tasks at anyone point. On average my time is spent 20% on business development, 20% on admin with the rest being spent managing and working on our existing client’s campaigns.
What advice would you give to someone else thinking of starting their own business?
Apart from the well known factors such as maintaining cash flow and clients, making sure you are working and delivering for clients in the most efficient way possible will reduce factors that restrict growth. Implementing new processes once the business is established is much harder than having them ingrained into the company right from the start. Just because you are a small start up does not mean that you cannot work in an efficient manner, using some of the processes from larger companies. As I said above, blocking out time means that you can ensure clients receive dedicated time rather than working in a more “bitty” manner. The problem is that the majority of people work less efficiently when they try to multi task so this is a factor that we try to mitigate. Also, do not be afraid of using tools which help you measure efficiencies such as measuring time against proposed budgets (Timely, Toggle or WorkflowMAX) will help you see whether your proposals are accurate.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you bring?
Flint: to make fire
Machete: to make shelter, tools and catch food
Surf board: well, just because you are stranded doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself (assuming there are waves!)
Thanks for sharing Simon! Be sure to follow him and Yellowball Social on social media.
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