This week we feature two more local companies that have put their names forward for the Royal Tunbridge Wells Business Awards 2016.
Time is running out for those who have yet to submit their entry for the Royal Tunbridge Wells Business Awards 2016. Closing date is April 15. To find out more about the awards and how to enter visit www.tunbridgewellsbusinessawards.co.uk.
The creative sector continues to make up an ever larger part of the Tunbridge Wells economy, with the strategically-placed town being the home of choice for new businesses and start-ups.
One such firm, PixelPatch, already counts a company with nearly a billion pounds in turnover as one of its clients.
Founded two years ago by Adam Phillips, the web design company has quickly transformed from servicing small high street shops to working with multinational businesses.
Educated at Tunbridge Wells High School, now Skinners’ Kent Academy, 27-year-old Mr Phillips did not decide to get involved with web design straight away.
Instead of going to university, at the age of 19 he made the impulsive choice to move to Gibraltar in search of a ‘different way of life’ and ended up investigating insurance fraud.
However, after being made redundant Mr Phillips took the decision to retrain in web design and went on to work for various companies before setting up on his own.
Initially he did much of the work for free in order to gain experience. Today he employs four people and charges anywhere from £250 to £5,500 for his services. He regularly has up to ten jobs on the go at any one time.
But despite the rapid growth, it has not been an easy journey.
He said: “It was very difficult to get off the ground and I didn’t rely on any outside finance.
“It is also a very saturated market at the moment, but I just thought to myself that there is never a perfect time to start your own company.
“At the end of the day people buy from people, so we are very service driven and provide a good product.”
The company also ensures it can compete on costs by keeping its overheads low, and like many firms in the sector nowadays, the need to be based in an office is being increasingly seen as redundant.
“I now employ three other people and we all work remotely on Skype. If we were to move into an office we would have to charge the clients more.”
Mr Phillips said one of the biggest challenges in his industry is keeping ahead of trends and making sure they are always up to date with technology.
“We are researching all the time and always reading up on the latest developments in the trade magazines,” he added.
Ultimately, Mr Phillips hopes the firm will become a ‘white label’ provider of services.
This means PixelPatch will effectively be the in-house web design team for other companies, and provide their web design services under the client’s name.
He explained: “There are many types of companies, such as publishing houses, which do not offer web design services to their customers when they should be doing so.
“Designing on their behalf gives us steady work, as well as meaning we do not need a big advertising budget, and our client can charge a good mark-up to their customers.
“This is the business model we are aiming for.”