Whitefish Marketing focus on all forms of digital marketing including initial web development, search engine marketing, email marketing, and performance analysis to name just a few. They can also be found as a guest speaker at various marketing events and exhibitions throughout Kent and London, offering advice and tips.
My name is Chris Surridge and I’m the director at Whitefish Marketing. We are a digital marketing agency, specialising in the accountancy, legal and architectural sectors. We provide complete end-to-end digital marketing services from search engine marketing such as SEO and PPC, through to conversion rate optimisation and brand reputation management, as well as strategic planning and data analysis.
Whitefish Marketing was launched early 2014 and although it’s only been a few short years, our business has expanded well. We started off with single deskspace in The Factory Floor (a business start-up incubator within The Workshop), and gradually built out our team and moved into a new office within the building. What started off as a one-man operation now comprises of a nine-strong team of experienced marketers.
During our short time, we have successfully won a number of agency awards, including being the first multi-county award winner for the Kent Digital Awards and Essex Digital Awards in the same year. Through our marketing services we’ve helped our clients expand their own businesses, with one firm even having setup two more offices in time that we’ve been working with them.
Location – Folkestone
We are based in The Workshop on Tontine Street; a relatively new and purpose built structure offering a vibrant and professional environment, complete with modern shared facilities. The co-op style atmosphere allowed for a natural sense of business networking and shared leads. In our first year, a lot of our purchase orders came either direct from companies within the same building or through their referrals.
Another key benefit of our position here in Folkestone is of course the HS1 rail link to London. That has proven invaluable for our client meetings and events in the Capital. Being able to head to central London for a 10am meeting, to be back in the office just after lunch, has been a game-changer.
Funding and support
Funding for us came in the shape of preferential rates for business start-ups. The incubator that is The Factory Floor meant we had very low overheads, whilst having access to a professional office premises which was ideal for client meetings.
We are aware of other funding opportunities within the Shepway area including finance for apprenticeships and growth vouchers. Whilst we haven’t formally applied for any extra funding as yet, we do know there is help available for businesses like us, should we need it. This is, of course, encouraging for any new business venture.
Advice for start-ups
Having unyielding determination and skin tougher than a Rhino’s hide are the two main pieces of advice I can offer. There will undoubtedly be times when you hit rough patches, lose client contracts due to factors outside of your control, or come in second to a competitor’s sales pitch, but that is simply the nature of business.
There is more than enough work to go around for everyone and it’s a case of pushing forward to securing the next client or customer. As one last thought – market research is important, but don’t spend all your time finalising the details and making sure you have the “perfect setting” before your launch – otherwise it will never happen. Actions sometimes speak louder than formal business plans.