The Business Owner: Kevin Box, Pug Mug Marketing

In this week's Business Owner, is4profit talks to West Bromwich-based Kevin Box about attracting clients, cutting costs, and helping others

The Business Owner: Kevin Box, Pug Mug Marketing

Name: Kevin Box
Pug Mug Marketing Ltd
Location: West Bromwich, West Midlands
Proposition: Our goal is to help businesses get online through creative websites and attract visitors that convert. We do this by making sleek websites which are optimised to rank within search engines. Our business is to help your business grow.
Size: 1

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

When building websites we put a lot of focus on preparing them for the search engines and how they can be found. We also extract as much information about ‘trust factors’ (what makes visitors trust your company, such as certifications or clients you’ve worked with) as possible. This allows us to think about the website conversion process.

A lot of our clients are small/start-up businesses and we have a great deal of experience in getting them off the ground and turning them into successful enterprises. We know they don’t have large budgets so we need to give value for money.

We are forward thinking and not afraid to try new ideas, we recently launched a skill called MarketingTips on Amazon Echo. I think we are the first if not only marketing agency to do this. Show clients we stay ahead of the times and keep up to date with new technology.

How did you finance your business?

The business is based around my skill sets, so start-up costs are at a minimum. I personally had saving set aside to cover myself so I didn’t need to take money out of the company at the early stages.

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

Cash flow, always prepare for the unexpected. You ever know what bills are around the corner and if you’ve take too much out early on, you could face issues down the line.

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

As a small business (which is less than six months old) it’s about gaining that traction of new clients. It’s hard to convince clients how good you are with a small portfolio.

Educating people about the benefits of online marketing is also a challenge, there are still a lot of websites which are not mobile friendly or optimised for search.

What marketing techniques do you use to attract new customers?

We started off talking to people we knew personally, spreading the news on our social media accounts. We also emailed our Linkedin contacts we’d gained throughout our career. This managed to get the ball rolling as people who knew us were more likely to do business with us.

We also focused heavily on building a blog for our site, giving us something to spread through social media and expanding our knowledge base.

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

All methods are generating income and expanding should be explored. If it benefits the business allowing it to grow then exporting is a great idea.

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

I would say Xero (my accountancy software) is one app I like on the move. I can keep track of invoices and where I am financially at any time.

Describe your company’s culture in three words:

Forward thinking, passionate

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

I think a more structured support scheme from the government which helps with your personal income. Taking the pressure off earning a wage can help you to focus on growing the business and getting everything set up.

The process for setting up a company and submitting VAT, PAYE and self-assessment still seems overly complicated. Complex jargon and multiple hoops that need to be jumped through, often confuse owners. This often leads to people hiring accountants and advisors which take from their start-up capital.

Who’s your biggest small and medium enterprise hero?

One of my favourite brands is Innocent drinks and therefore my small and medium enterprise hero would be Richard Reed. The book about their start-up journey is fascinating and they have a lot of ethical principles that many businesses should aspire to.

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

We want to be a more established company, employing more staff and having an office in the heart of West Bromwich. We also want to see the websites and companies we help grow succeed and expand too. If successful we should also explore fundraising opportunities to give back to society.

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

Make sure you make every penny counts early on. Do you need an office or can you work from home? Do you need an accountant or can you find software that does it for you? These are the questions that you need to ask yourself when making purchases. Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves!

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