30 August 2018
Rebecca is co-founder and Managing Director of Fountain, an internationally recognised digital marketing agency based in Norwich. Here are her top five ingredients for successful entrepreneurship.
There’s a huge myth hanging over the narrative of the ‘self-made entrepreneur’ that they go it alone. My main advice to people setting out in business is to surround yourself with great people who complement your skill set, who you like and respect, and with whom you enjoy working.
Setting up a business can be a rollercoaster of ups, downs, stresses and successes. With four co-directors at Fountain, we’ve weathered these by supporting each other. As one of us hits burn-out or starts feeling the strain, the others step in – and success is even sweeter when shared!
I remember hearing the phrase “don’t reinvent the wheel” a lot when we were setting out.
I actually think that one of our strengths was that we looked at how things were being done in the digital marketing field, disagreed with them, and went on the hunt for a better way.
At the same time, for people setting out in business for the first time, it’s important to remember that you don’t need a 100% original business idea to get started. Google didn’t invent search engines, they just did it better!
As well as being driven to succeed, all four Fountain directors have a strong commitment to our values. I remember back in the bad-old-days of ‘black-hat SEO’ someone calling us naïve for not playing the game of paying £200 for a thousand low-quality back-links from an off-shore company and charging them on at to the client for a massive profit margin. We chose to stick to best practice and build links the ‘hard’ way, and when Google updated its algorithm in 2012 and again in 2013, this approach paid off.
Our values define us as people, and they should define us in business too.
Find someone who has travelled your road and reached the destination you’re aiming for, and ask them for advice. At Fountain, we’ve been lucky enough to have the support of fantastic business leaders who have built successful agencies. Their advice steers us away from pitfalls and helps us avoid situations that have the potential to turn into black-holes of time and energy.
It’s easy to get swept up in the of narrative success and entrepreneurship, but the most powerful way to stay ahead of a changing business landscape is to always be learning. And it’s not just experts we can learn from, sometimes it’s a client or the most junior member of a team. As Fountain grows, I’m aware that my own viewpoint gets increasingly narrow – so seeking out other perspectives and diverse opinions are crucial to keeping ahead of the curve.
Co-Founder of Fountain