The Business Owner: Steve Brennan, Bespoke Web Specialists
Admitting he can't bear the thought of not growing his business every quarter, a lack of ambition is certainly no problem for this entrepreneur
Name: Steve Brennan
Company: Bespoke Web Specialists
Proposition: Specialists in CMS, e-commerce, mobile and web applications
Size: 17 employees
How is your business different from what’s already out there?
We specialise only in digital with a strong results focus. We’re a good partner where generating leads or sales online is essential to your business. We’ve a great track record with building revenue online which full service agencies generally don’t have.
How did you finance your business?
We are in our sixth successive year of double-digit growth. We have built to our current size organically. As growth is our key product it follows that we achieve good growth ourselves.
What is the most important thing to keep track of in business and why?
It isn’t one thing, we track a range of KPIs on a weekly basis. You need to most or all of the components working well to achieve good growth. Measuring the right things, reporting them well and taking appropriate actions is what works.
What marketing techniques do you use to attract new customers?
A lot of what we do is idea generation for our customers so we are always finding new or different ways of marketing. We try to do things differently to what the majority our doing. Most of what we do is online and many of our biggest contracts have come from online leads.
Do you think it’s important for small businesses to export, any tips?
It depends on the business obviously. For many of our clients it is vital that they do, their biggest opportunities are abroad. For others the most accessible and appropriate market is within an hour’s travel. The key is knowing your market and servicing it as well as or better than your competitors.
What’s the business app you couldn’t do without?
I use Todoist which is great for capturing thoughts and ideas as actions quickly on-the-fly. You can organise and prioritise them later. LinkedIn is important of course though it is primarily a tool for recruiters now, rather than for useful networking.
Describe your company’s culture in three words:
Digital growth specialists.
What would you like the government to do for small business?
It’s obviously topical as we’ve had instability introduced by the EU vote, and business never responds well to instability. A quick return to stability would be appreciated.
I’d like to see more to help small business invest too, for example in premises. There seems to be a lot of help for start-ups, but government could do more for established businesses looking to grow and create jobs.
Who’s your biggest small and medium enterprise hero?
I have plenty amongst our clients to be honest. Everybody knows it’s difficult building a business up and it’s inspiring to see what people have done – and what they’ve overcome – to build solid established businesses.
One of the parts of my job I love the most is meeting clients who are on high-growth journeys, which fortunately, is a regular occurrence.
Where do you want the business to be in three years?
It will naturally grow much bigger, and we have ideas for additional services we should offer as we grow. But most of all I want everybody who works for us and works with us to see that everybody involved with Bespoke is growing and progressing. I can’t bear the idea of a quarter where no progress is made.
What’s your top tip for keeping it lean and making profit?
Set your goals carefully and have tunnel vision on achieving them.