Story: How to create your Own Business Consultancy
My story starts in 2005 as I enter the final year of my Computer Science degree. I’d had a interest in Computer Science post completing IT qualifications at college, I anticipated there would be a rising demand for Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) within businesses and marketing, computers were evolving, data capacity was building, and both were at the heart of online growth.
I wrote my dissertation on the impact of PPC (Pay-Per-Click) and SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for businesses – this led me to look for a local UK business who would be willing to permit me to use them as my case study – that company was Walls & Floors.co.uk, I implemented and proved a real digital marketing business success with one of their subsidiary websites.
As a result of the short term impact over 6 months, they asked me to come on board full time – at the time, my job role entailed listing products, publishing content, and photography online – I didn’t care; I was thrilled to have a job within the online industry! Fast-forward 18 months, and I had the opportunity to become a manager and build my own web development department. Fast-forward 5 years and I headed up a team of 10 forward-thinking marketers, taking the Ecommerce from strength-to-strength online – we were becoming market leaders, overtaking the competition – with website development, latest technology, and digital marketing at the forefront. A digital transformation was happening. We embraced it and did not stop striving for more success; every day, every week, every month – we wanted to be the first, and we wanted to be the best. That’s exactly what we achieved. In 2015 we became online market leaders within the UK, the largest independent company within the industry and a sales turnover of £30+ million.
My career advice, if a good opportunity comes along, take it – believe in yourself. In an interview, show your willingness, display ambition, demonstrate your drive, articulate your passion and back it up with the expertise and/or experiences you’ve have – drop in your own facts and figures – I increased sales by X, I increased conversion rate by Y, I increased efficiency by Z…
Over a ten year career at Walls & Floors, I later became Ecommerce Director, completed qualifications to become a certified Google Partner, speaking at various Google Events in London; the website had won a prestigious industry Ecommerce award and had entered into the Top 500 eCommerce websites in the UK – a true story of entering a company at the bottom, and exiting at the top!
My advice for CV writing is to keep it short and concise (2 pages max), clear headlines, a clear layout demonstrating your impact and backing it up with easy to digest stats. Show your experience, show your expertise, and show how you’ve influenced businesses and people.
I kept my finger on the pulse within the industry by keeping up to date with my Google Partner exams (outside of business hours!), regularly attending Ecommerce industry events to learn as well as building relationships, and subscribing to key industry figures and leading brands to hear about their problems, solutions, and news via email subscriptions and Social Media (LinkedIn, Twitter etc).
It’s also important to make sure you take yourself away from your desk and put yourself in your customer’s shoes from time to time. I’d regularly make sure I’d take time to talk to customers direct, listen to their opinions, read feedback, listen to their challenges, listen to our inbound customer service calls, sit in our stores and witness customer behaviour – then strive to help them by making their journey easier online.
After ten years at Walls & Floors, I left the boardroom of a company now turning over nearly £40m and created my own web design and digital marketing business consultancy – Ada Digital. I felt it was time for a change, time to experience something new, time to test myself at something different, a fresh challenge – using all my previous experience, business knowledge gained and industry contacts.
Ada Digital is about to become one year old – I’ve found a new passion, new energy, new direction and a further drive for creating success (and success for others). The businesses have survived and thrived during a worldwide pandemic, and itself is going from strength-to-strength – people and businesses need effective marketing solutions now, more than ever.
I’m still learning every day, and I love it – I rediscovered a hunger, and I’m completely in control of driving the business forward. Launching and owning your startup own business has taught me different dynamics – you’re the accountant, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO), the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operating Office (COO), the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), the face of the company and the developer… You’re the dreamer, the visionary, and the doer!
It’s a risk, but one with far greater satisfaction and potential returns – to dare is to do – the more you put in, the more you achieve, and you’re building your own empire – no one else’s – it’s up to you to make it work. No one is watching you, self-motivation and dedication to succeed is key.
The joy and buzz I get by identifying and helping a business grow via my business is unparalleled. It’s an incredible sense of fulfilment and pride.
My mission at Ada Digital: Empowering people to build their business online and inspiring people to achieve business growth.
My final advice in today’s ever-growing digital world – do something you love, find your passion, uncover a niche that genuinely helps people, become the expert, and then do not stop driving for success. Keep yourself educated within your evolving industry – identify trends, explore developments, and uncover insights. Listen to others, take all the advice you can from experienced professionals. Make sure in any business that your objectives align with the board of directors and owners.
Every year do an appraisal on yourself – set ambitious but achievable goals for 3 months, 6 months and 12 months. Check-in with yourself and track progress – what’s working, what’s not, what needs to improve, what can be scaled up…
Have a goal, and have a vision. Carpe diem.
Bio – Tom Murrell is a results-driven and passionate Digital & Ecommerce expert with extensive knowledge of online media, combined with strong marketing skills and analytical abilities, based in Warwickshire.
I work closely with emerging brands and established companies, helping marketing teams create new branding campaigns or take the next step in web design. I provide marketing solutions for different types of digital engagement goals. With an experience of over 15 years, I have helped multiple businesses transform their market presence, helping them reposition their product and services.
Specializing in marketing analysis and retail research, I pioneered the digital transformation of Walls & Floors.co.uk, becoming one of the leading tile specialists online, and the largest independent tile retailer in the UK. I now run my own digital marketing consultancy, Ada Digital.
Also read: How I Built A Career In Data Analytics