The Business Owner: Ian Leadbetter and Daniel Reilly, Ruler Analytics

The Liverpudlian business aims to only deal in facts and never shy away from the fear of failure, all while maintaining a clear moral compass

The Business Owner: Ian Leadbetter and Daniel Reilly, Ruler Analytics

Founders: Ian Leadbetter and Daniel Reilly
Company: Ruler Analytics
Location: Liverpool
Proposition: Call Tracking and Analytics
Size: Small

How is your business different from what’s already out there?

There are a number of established call tracking and analytics companies already out there, however very few have changed their product offering since they started. They are failing when it comes to the development of their core offering, leaving a gap in the market for a hungry, technical and consumer focused team like Ruler Analytics to eat into their market share.

Already this year, Ruler Analytics has landed numerous breakthroughs such as; re-providing organic keyword data, enhancing its already popular company tracking, and making a number of key changes to complement its sophisticated suite of analytical and call tracking tools. Not only all this, but Ruler Analytics integrates with over 500 other products including Google Analytics, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

How did you finance your business?

Initially, the business was self-financed but then we received further investment from venture capitalists, the North-West Fund European Investment Bank, in December 2015.

More recently, we have also just secured an additional six-figure investment from The North West Fund for Digital & Creative, managed by AXM Venture Capital, and now we have ambitious plans to triple in size within the next two years.

What is the most important thing to keep track of in business and why?

Customer feedback is at the heart of our business. We want to be the go-to product within the marketplace and we can only get there by listening to our customers and developing the product in line with their needs. This goes for other businesses too – by communicating with customers and taking on board their comments, companies will know what’s working and what isn’t.

At the end of the day, customers are the ones buying the product or service so it’s important to ensure you’re meeting their needs, then they’ll come back to you time and time again.

What is the biggest day-to-day challenge you face?

Not every marketer knows they need our product until they’ve tried it, so educating businesses in each sector has to be our biggest everyday challenge. We have a hugely innovative product with cutting edge features that marketers may not even be aware of, which means we’re constantly trying to educate companies and open their eyes to the opportunities analytics and call tracking presents.

For example, our call tracking and lead tracking shows the exact keyword, source and journey of each enquiry that comes in via the website or over the phone. This gives marketers valuable insight allowing them to accurately track how leads are being generated and how marketing campaigns are driving conversions.

Using our call tracking and analytics product, it is possible to link sales directly to PPC, organic, mobile and offline marketing campaigns by providing end-to-end attribution for every phone call or every website enquiry.

Being able to clearly see what is working and what isn’t when it comes to marketing efforts, improvements can be made and money can be spent in a more targeted way, meaning marketing budgets can go further.

What marketing techniques do you use to attract new customers?

From our own analytics, we can see that paid search, PR, SEO and social works for us, so that’s what we use. Paid search (or PPC) allows us to advertise within sponsored listings on search engines or on partner websites, helping us to drive traffic to the website.

We find this to be really effective as it increases awareness of our brand and helps us stand out over competitors. We also see the importance of PR and have invested in a PR company to raise awareness of our brand to our target audiences.

Thought leadership campaigns play a major part of the PR strategy and help to position us as experts in our field, as well as gain great pieces of coverage, links and drive traffic to our website. Social sites such as Twitter and LinkedIN are also effective platforms to reach our audience with targeted and useful information that will encourage them to contact us.

Do you think it’s important for small businesses to export, any tips?

Exporting is definitely important for small businesses. Our offering is international, and trading in the international market is a must for all technology businesses, big or small. The internet has made the world a very small place with huge opportunities, and businesses can’t afford to be missing out on the chance to expand their offering to a broader marketplace if they have the option to do so.

What’s the business app you couldn’t do without?

There are a number of applications that we use on a regular basis throughout the business, but the top three that we couldn’t do without are Trello, a product that assists with project organisation and management, Slack, which helps us stay connected to our messages and files wherever we are, and of course Ruler Analytics.

Describe your company’s culture in three words:

Our company culture centers around three key themes – collaboration, innovation and performance. We aim to be a straight talking business, encouraging our employees to be supportive and empathetic to one another to foster a positive working environment where everyone can reach their potential.

We put a big emphasis on everyone showing respect towards each other, only dealing in the facts and never shying away from failure because of fear. We pride ourselves on being an organisation that has a clear moral compass and does not suffer from conflicts of ideas and beliefs – we’re all aiming for the same thing.

What would you like the government to do for small business?

One of the biggest barriers for small businesses when it comes to their growth is unnecessary red tape and the huge amounts of paperwork that comes with it. The government should look to reduce this as it’s very costly and time-consuming for small businesses, and often prevents them from securing future investment and expanding their team through further employment.

Who’s your biggest small and medium enterprise hero?

Eric Ries is one of our enterprise heroes. We found his book “The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” inspired how we work: start small, test, learn, improve and repeat.

Where do you want the business to be in three years?

Our main goal for the next three years is to become the go to call tracking and analytics software provider in the UK. To do this, we need to continue reaching out to businesses and educating them on the benefits our analytics and call tracking product can provide them.

As mentioned previously, this is one of the biggest challenges we face but is something we are dedicating a lot of our time to. We would also like to increase our market share within our key global markets.

What’s your top tip for keeping it lean and making profit?

It’s quite simple really – the key is to start off small and remain focused on the task at hand. Success doesn’t just happen overnight so you need to test ideas continuously – see what works and what doesn’t, and don’t be afraid of ‘failure’. Inevitably, you will make mistakes, but see this as an opportunity to learn and grow, and use your experience to improve on your ideas.

Then it’s just a case of repeating the whole process as the business continues to grow and develop!

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