My name is Luke Quilter and I am Managing Director of Sleeping Giant Media. We are Kent’s original search and social media agency, delivering integrated search and social campaigns across a variety of sectors and markets – both within the UK and internationally.
We are a fast-growing agency that has come from humble beginnings, starting life with no external funding. Now, we have over around 35 members of staff and are focused on training and progression, holding regular 15-minute training sessions both for staff and external clients, hosting educational industry events and taking on apprentices. From building our own in-office ballpit, to holding frequent team events like bowling and go-karting, people are at the heart of SGM, and as a company we understand that a happy team means happy clients. We have also won multiple industry awards, including the Customer Service and Commitment Award at the 2014 KEiBA’s and the Search Category for Agencies with Under 40 Staff at the 2015 Recommended Agency Register Digital Awards.
Location – Folkestone
My business partner, Anthony Klokkou, and I have lived in the local area for most of our lives so it made sense to start up the business in Folkestone. It was only when the business was up and running that we realised how favourable Shepway was compared to a lot of other areas. Due to Shepway’s connectivity and lower operating costs, we decided to stay in Folkestone and expand the business here.
Advantages of Folkestone
With lower overheads than big cities like London, great opportunities and a thriving creative and digital industry, Folkestone is the place to be. Lower office costs mean we can boost our services and reduce overheads, something which our clients feel the benefit of. Thanks to the High Speed train line London is less than an hour away, meaning we can spend our days at the office with a view of the English Channel and still be in London in time for client meetings.
Funding and Support
We have benefited from a range of funding and incentives provided by Shepway District Council. Any savings have been pumped back into the business, specifically recruitment to help us grow faster in this competitive space.
We have taken on a number of apprentices with the Shepway Apprenticeship Scheme who have been able to gain experience working across a number of different teams within the business.
Networking is a vital part of many business development strategies and Shepway has a number of fantastic networks available to join. Shepway business owners are always happy to lend a helping hand, and everybody strives to be ambassadors for all of the businesses based in the local area.
Advice for Start-ups
A general piece of advice would be to never give up! Regardless of where you are based, business is tough and there will be days when you feel like you might not get there. It is so important that you keep going no matter what. I have heard the phrase invincible determination… I think this is an essential attribute for anyone looking to make a success of a business these days. If you are setting up a business in the area, good luck, and feel free to stop in for a chat!