This was originally posted on The Business Centre (Cardiff) Ltd as part of their Customer of the Month series, find it here.
Here at The Business Centre, we have a wide variety of diverse and interesting clients all coming from different industries, we recently launch our Customer of the Month series and this month, we are celebrating BLAM! Partners. They create Tech Entrepreneurs, each Partner of BLAM! has their own website which then allows them to re-sell their websites, Mobile and Tablet Apps as well as additional marketing services. The past 18 month have been very exciting for BLAM! as they have acquired over 120 Partners across the UK and Ireland and are continuing to grow!
BLAM! operate under 6 very inspirational core values which we can really relate to as we are always looking to encourage wellness and productivity in the work space! It is their 2nd core value that we find particularly inspiring: Enthusiasm Moves Mountains!
We stole Gareth, one of BLAM!’s co-founders away for a quick chat and to find out more about BLAM!
What does your business offer?
We offer a unique Business opportunity like no other today, that offers the chance to be a valued member of the business community, serving a real need in a growing market to support small businesses with their digital marketing.
What sort of customers do you work with and what benefit do you bring them? We work with highly motivated and driven Individuals who are looking to start their very own tech business. We also have our own direct customers nationwide offering web services, mobile apps and marketing services.
Where did your name come from?
We used to trade as BLA Marketing, but we wanted to liven up our brand as we were launching the BLAM! Partnership Programme. Our Director Grant and Graphic Designer thought it would be pretty cool to have an explosive brand image. So, we added the M to BLA which became BLAM!
How many people do you employ?
10 (Including Designers, Copywriters, Account Managers and Sales Managers)
Where are you based and why have you chosen to be there?
We have two offices, Our Account Management team are based at The Business Centre and design team based in Redditch. We have chosen to base ourselves here at The Business Centre due to the facilities on offer and the convenience of living locally.
Did you ever work from home and if so at what point did you decide you need to look at alternative workspace?
At one point we were working from our Costa and Starbucks offices until we had sufficient funds to afford an office! We worked at home for short space of time while looking for appropriate office space.
What attracted you to The Business Centre and how does it help you do your job?
Based on the facilities on offer, location and friendly staff. James and Emma have always been very helpful and approachable and always go above and beyond to support us. Thanks for the Chocolates at Christmas!
Where do your customers come from, is it mainly in the Vale of Glamorgan?
Our Customers are across the UK and Ireland. Our Partners reselling our Products are predominately UK based but we are starting to gain International Partners as of 2017.
How do they hear about you?
We use a range of mediums as part of our Marketing Mix to generate leads. Advertising on Franchise Websites works well for us but also using a robust Social Media Strategy including, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Blogging and Email Marketing. Direct Customers also come from word of mouth.
Do you do any of your own marketing?
Yes we do all our marketing in-house. We are a team full of Marketing Geeks!
Have you always worked for yourself? Did you always want to be an Entrepreneur?
I graduated with a Business Degree at Swansea University in 2007. I had no idea what I wanted to do and ended up getting a job as a Business Manager for a Private Care Company. As much as I enjoyed it, I knew there was a big world out there and one thing I knew was that I had the entrepreneurial mind to do something for myself. I ended up buying into a Franchise for £3000 which was selling Mobile Apps to Small Businesses. It was all the money I had saved over the last couple of years. It was a scary prospect but taking action was the best decision. I built my Business by attending meetings on my lunch hour and on weekends until I managed to work on my Business Full Time. I run the Business for 3 years and was very successful. I ended up merging with the Founder of the Business which was called BLA Marketing and the rest is History. I live and breathe running my Business and wouldn’t want it any other way!
Did you always imagine this is what you would do?
If not, what did the teenage Gareth think he was going to become?
I was very sporty and always wanted to play Rugby or Football at a high level. However, in my teens I was very successful at Judo and became Welsh National Champion and part of the Welsh and British Squad.
Which was more rewarding: making your startup a success, or being able to continue keeping it successful?
Starting a business is a big decision for anybody but being successful and building a team of champions around you who all work towards a common goal is more rewarding
If you were to do (some venture) again, what would you do differently?
I wouldn’t do anything differently. I never look at the past, always look at the road ahead.
How do you conquer those moments of doubt that so often stifle or trip or stop so many entrepreneurs with great ideas…what pushes you through?
No doubts. I find it’s important to train the mind to ensure I maintain positive outlook on everything.
How do you relax?
If you love the work you are doing, you are already relaxing! I enjoy watching the football, working on Personal Development and spending time with my family and friends.
What advice would you give someone who wants to set up their own business, and starting out on their own?
The difficult part is taking action. Weigh up the risk and if it s low, don’t even think about it and take action as it could be a game changer. If you don’t grab an opportunity, you will kick yourself in years to come. I always stand by… Action Prevails!
BLAM! Partners are just one of many businesses that utilise The Business Centre for business support facilities within our professional serviced office facilities. With conference & meeting room facilities, use of our business address or call answering facilities, we can tailor a specific package for most types of businesses, whether you are starting out working from home or require office space up to 14 people, we have the tailored solution for you! For more information about our business services, click here.